How does guilt affect our spending?


“I hate my uncle, he jokes disgustingly and is generally an unpleasant person,” Anna admits. – I did not hide my dislike, always avoided him at the holidays. And to defend his diploma, he unexpectedly gave me money. I have such a mixed feeling … As if some kind of awkwardness and disgust. I didn’t touch the envelope for a long time, in the end I decided to spend it on a present for my dad. Something useful, but not for yourself. “

“I worked in an advertising agency, and from some projects there was a feeling of guilt – for example, they came up with many videos and campaigns for advertising beer, but this is propaganda of alcohol, and I have drunken acquaintances,” says Lera. – When it was completely unpleasant from this contradiction between work and my own convictions, I transferred money to a dog shelter. It got easier – at least some benefit to the world. “

“I watched a video about the slave labor of children in Vietnam, and I was blocked,” writes Marina. – Sometimes you buy all kinds of clothes, and then you see the tag “Made in Vietnam”, and the rage rushes directly to brands, corporations that use slave labor. But it turns out that I am an accomplice, since I buy from them? .. “

“Ten years ago I read somewhere that one of the brands does not test their creams on animals,” says Olga. – I immediately threw away all the others, and now I have all the cosmetics only for them, from shampoo to lipstick.

Restoring balance

Feelings of guilt are a convenient hook that can be pulled not only by the manipulative people around them, but also by brands. Yes, and we ourselves sometimes, driven by pangs of conscience, make purchases that we would not otherwise do.

In some cases, the end of the manipulation justifies the means. For example, there is an impressive poster for drivers: there is a child car seat and a wheelchair next to it, and the slogan suggests thinking about where to put the child. Playing on feelings of guilt? And how! The right message is to keep your little ones safe? Undoubtedly!

The property of the psyche is to focus more on negative events and news than on pleasant ones. Feelings of guilt are an even more intense experience that threatens a positive sense of self. We are so arranged that we want to see ourselves as positive characters rather than negative ones.

Few people, having committed an ugly act, honestly say to themselves: “I am a mean person and just love to do nasty things to others.” As a rule, he will find an excuse and an external reason for his actions. Therefore, having done something really bad, for which we condemn ourselves, we experience guilt and try to compensate for it.

In the case when it is impossible to compensate the victim himself, we seem to restore the inner balance by doing something good to other people. This is where neuromarketing experts are playing, setting traps for shoppers, as well as larger players.

Taking advantage of the benefits of civilization, do you feel guilty for deforested forests and environmental problems? Then buy our super safe renewable energy sources. And the companies will try to keep silent about the fact that for their production the slave labor of underage workers in the Congo was used to extract, say, cobalt.

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