Fellow menstruating women: We're now another step closer to a temporary Bipolar diagnosis. We already exhibit rapid mood swings, lack of sleep, and sometimes recklessness and delusions. A new study show's we're also prone to impulsive spending.
Miller McCune's Tom Jacobs reports:
"Writing in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, British psychologists Karen Pine and Ben Fletcher report the shopping behavior of women is influenced by where they are in their menstrual cycle. According to their first-of-its-kind study, a pre-menopausal woman is more likely to make excessive or impulsive purchases the further she is into her cycle."
The team's research showed almost two thirds of women shopped on impulse right before their period.
This may explain the $30 worth of incense, candles and "wish beans" I purchased from a Harley Davidson slash Witchcraft store last month. "You make a wish and carry it in your pocket for seven days," I eagerly told two friends I also bought the bean for. "How much did you spend on this?" one of them asked. Cue another PMS symptom: quick temper. Now I have two beans to wish on.
Shine Staffer Mira Jacob says she can relate. After work yesterday, as I returned another PMS impulse purchase (lesson learned: jeans should be tried on before they're purchased), Mira hit the 'credit cards accepted' line at her favorite stores. "I might just look at their shirts," she said as we approached Old Navy. And then: "You know what? I'm going to do some shopping!" Mira pronounced boldly as her physiology quietly did its thing.
Three hours later she had spent $64 on stickers for her son. "I went in for train stickers," says Mira of her purchase rationale. "That expanded to transportation, which got me thinking about planets, and then I wondered if life on other planets had flowers. I ended up buying 20 packs of stickers. Who does that?"
Women. Once a month. Sure enough, Mira links the impulse to her cycle. It may sound like an excuse, and in fact Jacobs' article notes another study in the journal Psychological Science that suggests lack of control during PMS may be "more a belief system than a biological fact."
But it doesn't negate the fact that we lose control, whether we allow it or not. And I'd rather blame biology than brain functions for the Paula Poundstone-style vest that hangs in my closet. That boxy, purple and green wool contraption is a direct result of an egg in my body going bye-bye. In that sense, it's even more depressing.
Anyone else notice anything you own that you never use? Take inventory of your closet, check out your credit card statement: what on earth did you buy at Linens and Things? Probably not linens, right? Period purchases, ladies and gents. Go ahead and share yours. I bought magic beans, something you learn not to do the first time you read Jack and the Beanstalk. I'm in no place to judge.
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