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What we thought was just good taste and a drive to keep up with the runways actually holds scientific reasons – lots of them. Don't fret, we're not telling you to stop shopping, because the scientific facts are filed and men are just as vulnerable to that new-purchase buzz as women. We just knew that purse was calling our name! Here's how it all works...

1. Our brain tells us to

Oh it's a marvelous thing. Dopamine is the chemical our brain produces in response to a whole range of circumstances, like sex, food and shopping. It controls the mind's tendencies towards rewards and punishments and encourages us to get out the credit card as a response to exploring new things and acquiring new items. Interestingly, research shows Dopamine works in overdrive if we're away from the norm, like on holidays and makes the mind more inclined to have new things. Hence that Chanel purse you bought last summer in Paris was purely scientific.

Our Seven Emotional Triggers to Shopping

2. It's in our DNA

The modern shopper shows some scary relationships with cave men – only with a better taste in loincloths. The hunt and gather theory, which our ancestors used to find food, is the same DNA strand we call on when on the hunt for those last-season Choo's. We hunt for the new collections and gather them in our wardrobes.

Our Seven Emotional Triggers to Shopping

3. Our minds are more emotional than they let on

It turns out our bodies have multiple pleasure centres – some of which are in our brains. Within the empathy centres in our brains hides the ventral striatum – the most influential of all our pleasure centres. It's not only your fingertips which can feel the warmth of the cashmere, your ventral striatum can too and it's telling you to get out the Amex.

Our Seven Emotional Triggers to Shopping

4. Oh the power of chocolate

Or cake or macaroons or lollies, as long as it's packed with sugar. Scientists have discovered our brains use glucose to fuel self-control so topping up our bodies with a bit of a sugar hit is a sure-fire way to combat impulse buying. It's also a good enough reason to treat ourselves to some Lindt over those $1200 Louboutin's. Does champagne have sugar?

Our Seven Emotional Triggers to Shopping

5. Companies have the scientific research to be able to tap into our minds

Neuromarketing is the top-of-the range in advertising – much like Moet is the top-of-the-range in champagne. Companies aren't afraid to spend big and do research into test groups to make sure they're getting our Dopamine happening. Companies know what we want – and in what shade – before we even know we need a new coat.

Our Seven Emotional Triggers to Shopping

6. What happens in store, stays in store

Shopping lets buyers act and behave differently than they normally would, spurred on by the lust of the shoes or the thrill of the sale. Shopping means we can cut loose of how we are normally perceived in everyday situations but still maintain a sense of who we are – an emotional safety valve. In-store, we can remove ourselves from the rest of our lives and indulge in the thrill of the moment.

Our Seven Emotional Triggers to Shopping

7. Sometimes we can get overexcited

Misattribution of arousal is a dangerous thing. It's a term scientists use to describe when we confuse the excitement of something else going on in our lives with the want to buy. It also describes those celebratory diamonds when we get a promotion at work.

Our Seven Emotional Triggers to Shopping

All this new information is so exhausting – let's go shopping while we think it over.



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