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购物就像吸毒一样会让你上瘾

Shopping a sale gives you the same feeling as getting high
购物就像吸毒一样会让你上瘾

That feeling. You know the one. The adrenaline rush and desire you feel even thinking about it. You need your next fix. When you’re close to it, you can’t stop yourself — from buying, that is.

这种感觉你应该不会陌生。你内心的欲望被激发,肾上腺素飙升。你需要找渠道发泄一下。你虽然想要摆脱这种欲望,但却无论如何也做不到——你就是想买,就这么简单。

For some of us, the signs shouting 50% off, one-day-only sale and clearance are not so different from the siren call for other types of addictions: the feeling of winning at shopping a sale is not unlike the addiction to alcohol, drugs or even food, therapists say.

对某些人而言,"降价50%"的标签如同销魂曲一般诱人,与其他令人上瘾的东西别无二致:治疗专家称,买到减价商品时的愉悦跟酒精、毒品甚至美食成瘾的感受并无不同。

Even those of us not diagnosed with true compulsive buying disorder (an impulse control disorder recognised by some mental health professionals) can experience a similar rush. That’s why even the casual shopper finds it challenging to exercise self-control at the cash register.

即便你没有被诊断为强迫性购物症(这是一种冲动控制障碍,已经得到了一些心理卫生专家的认可),仍然可以体会类似的冲动。就连在商场里闲逛的消费者也很难控制自己的购物冲动。

In reality, we typically decide on a purchase in a split second, without much rational thought, says Keonyoung Oh, an associate professor at State University of New York Buffalo. Oh specialises in neuromarketing, an emerging field that tracks consumer behaviour through neuroscience.

纽约州立大学布法罗分校副教授肯勇·奥恩(Keonyoung Oh)表示,事实上,我们通常会在一刹那间决定是否购买某样东西,并没有经过太多理性思考。奥恩是神经营销学领域的专家,这个新兴领域专门通过神经科学知识追踪消费者的行为习惯。

We don’t employ the usual process of weighing the outcome when it comes to the lure of sale tags; instead “most of our decisions to buy something are made instantly”, says Oh, who studies brainwaves to track subtle peaks in emotions. We don’t employ the usual process of weighing the outcome like we would in the workplace, because these types of emotional decisions are often made subconsciously due to the human brain structure, she adds.

奥恩表示,在评价减价标签的吸引力时,我们并没有采用常规的决策方式;相反,"我们的多数购物决策都是在一瞬间作出的。" 她利用脑电波来研究情绪变化过程中的微妙波峰。她补充道,我们不会像在职场一样用常规的方式来衡量结果,因为这种决策往往是由潜意识做出的——这都是由人脑结构决定的。

The instant we decide to buy, we feel good and there’s a rush of positive emotion. But afterwards, similar to a drug addict or alcoholic, intense feelings of guilt after indulging can make it difficult to rebound, says Kit Yarrow, San Francisco-based consumer psychologist and author of Decoding the New Consumer Mind. We need more. We have to have more. We need the high again. We have to go back for more.

旧金山消费心理学家、《解码新时代消费心态》(Decoding the New Consumer Mind)的作者吉特·亚罗(Kit Yallow)表示,当我们决定购买某件东西时,就会感觉很好,从而形成积极的情绪刺激。但在此之后,与毒品和酒精成瘾者一样,因为沉溺其中而产生的强烈负罪感会导致我们难以恢复过来。我们需要更多刺激,需要再次获得快感,需要多买些东西。

If it all sounds so out of our control, it might not be. The key is to understand exactly what’s happening as the desire sets in.

这听起来似乎已经完全不受控制,但事实或许并非如此。关键是要了解欲望出现时究竟发生了什么。

The thrill of the hunt

狩猎刺激


Entering a favourite store or logging onto your favourite shopping website is the catalyst. This very action tells your body that it should start producing greater amounts of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that makes it feel good to keep shopping and searching for pleasure and rewards, says Darren Bridger, London-based consultant at Neurostrata, a neuromarketing research firm.

伦敦神经营销研究公司Neurostrata顾问达伦·布里杰(Darren Bridger)表示,走进自己喜欢的商店,或登录自己喜欢的购物网站,都会成为催化剂。这种活动告诉你的身体,是时候释放更多多巴胺了——大脑中的这种神经递质可以让人感觉愉悦,促使人们不断购物,并寻求快乐和回报。

Shopping “is kind of like a treasure hunt,” he says. “The search itself is highly motivating.”

购物"就像狩猎刺激,"他说,"寻找的过程本身就很能调动积极性。"

Much of what happens next is outside of the sort of rational decision-making we employ all the time — the sort that makes us avoid sloppiness on a work project or think twice about reckless driving. Most of us spend less than a second deciding on whether or not to make the purchase, according to Oh. During that burst, the spike in brainwaves occurs to signal what Oh calls “emotional engagement” in a specific product.

接下来发生的很多事情都脱离了理性决策的范畴——正是由于平时保持这种思维,才让我们免于在工作中犯错,在鲁莽驾驶前三思。奥恩表示,多数人决定是否购买一件商品时花费的时间都不到1秒。在这么短的时间内,脑电波会出现波峰,奥恩认为,这就好像在与具体的产品展开"情感互动"。
 

冲动购物产生的负罪感会让我们渴望再次追求快感

Most of the time, those impulses are triggered by our previous experiences with specific brands (a secret of effective marketing) or spotting items already on our wish list, she adds. (Hint: if you know you can’t control your desire for sneakers, make sure you really need a pair before you walk into a shoe store.)

多数时候,这些刺激的触发因素是我们之前通过特定品牌获得的体验(这是有效市场的一个秘密),或者看到已经存在于愿望清单上的商品。(提示:如果你知道自己不能控制对运动鞋的欲望,那就应该在走进鞋店前确保你真的需要这样一双鞋。)

Most of us are not actually addicted to the things we buy. Rather, it’s the process of shopping that can become a tough habit to break in the same sort of way it’s hard to break free from eating disorders, drugs and drinking, says Angela Wurtzel, a therapist who works with compulsive shoppers in Santa Barbara, California. The feelings of wellbeing begin when a shopper begins to think about the experience, which can be days or even weeks before they head to a store, she says.

加州圣巴巴拉的强迫性购物症治疗师安吉拉·沃泽尔(Angela Wurtzel)表示,多数人其实都没有对我们购买的东西上瘾。相反,真正令人难以摆脱的是购物的过程,这就像摆脱进食障碍、毒品和酒精一样困难。当消费者想到这种体验时,幸福感就会出现,甚至早在他们走进商店之前的几天或几个星期就开始了。

“The whole process starts when you’re looking forward to it — it’s not that different from thinking about getting a drink,” she says.

"当你开始满怀期待时,整个过程就开始了——这跟期待喝酒没有什么区别。"她说。

Working against your inner desires

对抗内心欲望


Sales — like those we salivate over on Black Friday, a day of bargains in the US and elsewhere across the globe — can be especially difficult for us to keep at bay. During a sale, the body’s autonomic notice system (the system that triggers the fight or flight response) reflexively takes control of some organs, which creates a heightened response in the body, similar to the one early humans had when encountering predators, says Yarrow.

亚罗表示,"黑色星期五"这种令人垂涎的降价促销日尤其令人欲罢不能。在降价促销时,身体的自发关注系统(这个系统会激发战斗或逃跑反应)会反过来控制一些器官,从而令人体产生强化反应,类似于早期的人类遇到食肉动物时的反应。

The fear of missing out on a purchase can switch us into a “competitive mode” which makes it difficult to control the impulse to buy something that could be bought by someone else first,she says. In the past, this “physiological arousal was designed to protect us from bears, not other shoppers,” she says. “The reason [our response] is so powerful, is because people don’t think about it,” says Yarrow.

她表示,由于担心错过某件商品,我们便会切换到"竞争模式",导致难以控制内心的购物冲动,免得被他人抢先买到。以前,"这种生理反应是为了保护我们免受熊的攻击,而不是防御其他购物者。"她说,"我们的反应之所以如此强烈,是因为人们并没有多加考虑。"

Conversely, while some of us feel excited and competitive, others experience a slower heart rate and use shopping to relax and escape from daily problems, says Wurtzel. “Some people report exhilaration and less anxiety and more of a calming of their nerves,” she says.

沃泽尔表示,与之相反的是,虽然我们中的某些人会感觉兴奋,充满竞争意识,但还有一些人却会心跳放缓,利用购物来放松身心,逃脱日常烦恼。"有的人表示购物可以令人愉悦、减少焦虑、放松身心。"她说。

No safety in numbers

结伴购物并不安全


Think you can go to the mall with your friends and they’ll act as a buffer for your addiction? Not exactly — having friends in tow actually entices you to shop.

你是否认为跟朋友一起逛商场的时候,可以让他们为这种购物成瘾充当缓冲器?其实未必——跟朋友一起逛街反而会引诱你购物。

Bringing friends, encountering other shoppers at the store or reading online reviews can increase feelings of connectedness, which makes it easier to go through with a purchase even if we do feel a flicker of hesitation.

跟朋友一起购物,在商场碰到其他购物者,或者阅读在线评论,都会增强你的关联感,导致你更容易下决心购买——即便你内心可能有一丝犹豫。

And you won’t even realise it. Most of the time, these changes are only visible through brainwaves or larger pupils, rather than a quickening heartbeat or tense muscles, Oh says.

你对此可能浑然不觉。奥恩表示,多数时候,这些变化只有通过脑电波或瞳孔放大才能体现出来,不会引发心跳加快或肌肉紧张。

There is some hope. For starters, force yourself to avoid the bargain (just like you’d avoid a pub if you no longer drink). And, rather than checking price tags first, Yarrow recommends looking at the price tag after you are interested in the product to reduce “bargain frenzy”. Online, don’t click through to the sale section first.

但也并非希望全无。首先应该强迫自己避开打折促销活动(就像你为了戒酒而不去酒吧一样)。另外,亚罗建议人们不要首先查看商品标价,而应该先考虑自己是否喜欢某件商品,以此降低"捡便宜的冲动"。等到确定自己真的感兴趣后再看价钱。在网上购物时则尽量不要首先点开促销区。

“You have to calm yourself down and force yourself to be logical about the whole thing,” she says.

"你必须让自己冷静下来,迫使自己对整件事情保持理性。"她说。

And remember, buyer’s remorse almost always follows addictive shopping.

请记住,购物成瘾引发的冲动购物几乎都会令人后悔。

 “It’s very easy to trigger that motivation to search, but people might overestimate how much pleasure they get once they found the thing that they buy,” says Bridger — something to bear in mind when rushing to the sales this shopping season.

"捡便宜的冲动很容易被激发出来,但人们或许高估了他们拿到商品后的愉悦程度。"布里杰说——当你在今年的购物季到处搜罗打折商品时,一定要牢记此事。
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