There are studies that show people get “high” on shopping due to the release of a chemical in their brain called dopamine, which is a sign of anticipation for a reward. New research, however, suggests that there is a relation between shopping and pleasure for shopaholics.
According to a new neuroscience study, shopping could be more stimulating than sex.
As reported by The Sun, scientists recently unveiled the physiological effects shopping has on the brain, revealing that “inspired shoppers” have moments of prolonged highs that are comparable to intercourse.
The researchers, who partnered with mind-tech experts MyndPlay, analyzed Gamma brainwaves, which are linked with higher mind-states of creativity and extreme pleasure.
According to their data, 84 per cent of these “inspired shoppers” experienced a “buyer’s high” when they went to check out their items, which, as The Sun reports, is comparable to a Formula 1 driver finishing a circuit.
The researchers also identified another type of shopper, the “shop-y-cat,” who buys things to fit in with their peers.
While the “inspired shoppers” got a high from buying things, the “shop-y-cats” felt exhausted, and experienced a cumulative 30 per cent increase in mental fatigue for every ten minutes they shopped.
The “inspired shoppers” also buy unique things they really want, and see it as an expression of their individuality.
But if you find yourself with an uncontrollable urge to shop, you may have a shopping addiction.
“Although it’s not recognized as an official addiction, shopping, like many behaviours can become compulsive to the point where it is uncontrolled and therefore can have a hugely negative impact on one’s’ life,” Dr. Robyn Brown from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health at the University of Melbourne told HuffPost Australia.
To figure out if you have a shopping problem, Brown suggests to take note of how you feel during and after shopping. If you feel excited when you buy, only to regret or worry about the purchase after, you may have a problem.