You sworn against your wardrobe not to bust your budget again this season. But you just can’t get that swoon-worthy designer ‘It’ bag out of your mind, although the non-branded trendy carryall of quality leather will probably carry you through a few fickle fashion seasons for half the price. To help you make a wise investment, you could:

Uh-hmm, a new study by the Brigham Young University found that actual physical balance can literally help you make smarter, more balanced decisions in the face of shopping temptations – i.e. balance begets balance.

 

Read More: Look Luxe for Less

 

This curious piece of advice was based on a paper published in the Journal of Marketing Research August 2013 by two Marketing Professors, Larson and Billeter. In this experiment, the volunteers leaned on the two back legs of their chairs, played games on the Wii Fit balance board, struck a one-legged tree pose or imagined walking on a balance beam while virtually shopping for a printer and a computer. They were given three options to choose from: one that was best in one way and the worst in another, one with the reverse attributes and one that was average in both ways. The participants who were focused on centering themselves were more likely to buy the product that’s average in terms of cost and features, instead of the one that’s the priciest but has the best specs or the cheapest but of the poorest quality.

The experiment is part of an emerging area of research that examines the relationship between physical sensations and decision making. Previous studies have looked at the role of warmth, weight and hunger.

The authors said an important takeaway is that we should be aware of how physical forces can change the way we think about things.“We need to sit back for a minute and consider, ‘Is this really what I want, or are the shoes I’m wearing influencing my choice?’” Professor Billeter said. “We need to be more aware of what is influencing our choices.”

 

Read More: Exercises to Prevent High Heel Injuries

 

“The concept of balance is connected to the concept of parity or equality, which affects choice,” explains Professor Larson. Balancing the scales, balancing a checkbook, balancing your responsibilities: They’re all metaphors for equalising opposing forces. Priming your brain for balance will help you rationalise and feel more satisfied with the smaller, cheaper version of the product you want, rather than falling straight into brilliant marketing traps and credit card debt with the top-of-the-line stuff you can’t afford.

So if you’re a fellow member of Shopaholic Anonymous, try going straight to the malls after yoga next time, or teeter-totter in heels as you head your way to more savvy shopping. Let us know how you fared! xoxo

 

– By Emily Wong