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Archives for Consumer Behavior

Addiction

Are Our Emotions Cranked To 11?

Have you been watching "Downton Abbey" like the rest of us?

Think about the Dowager Countess of Grantham, marvelous Maggie Smith. When she doesn’t like something, she gets a face like a cat that’s smelled something bad. And you get the message.

If you read authors like Edith Wharton and Jane Austin, you know there’s not a lot of bellowing and stomping around. Hearts are broken, fortunes lost, people became ill, or bereaved, despondent...
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Books

Complaining About Complaining

Carl Jung said, “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves."

I picked up The Squeaky Wheel: Complaining the Right Way To Get Results, Improve Your Relationships, Enhance Self-Esteem, by psychologist Guy Winch, in hopes of learning something about the chronic complainers in my life.

But the book taught me as much about myself as others.

Despite the many years that have passed since, I still wince...
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Consumer Behavior

Why Stacy and Clinton May Be Right

I love me some What Not To Wear —or any makeover show, for that matter. I get a kick out of watching Stacy and Clinton take frumpy dumpies and zazz them up into snazzy sassies. I don’t always agree with the styling (what is this obsession with flat irons?), but usually, the afters are lots better than the befores.

Women on these show who start out resistant to the makeover process often argue...
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Books

The Irrational Pleasure of Exchanging Gifts

What is your favorite kind of gift to receive?

My favorite is useful gifts. Socks, for example. A nice sweatshirt—nicer than I might buy myself. Something related to one of my hobbies. Food gifts are nice. They always fit and don’t take up space.

My least favorite is gift cards, which stress me out a little because then I have to decide what gift to buy myself. That’s a lot of pressure. And I’m at an...
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Anthropology

Why Women Aren’t Funny

The Wall Street Journal recently ran a great story about celebrities trying to win the New Yorker magazine’s cartoon-caption contest.

And the operative word is “trying.”

Zach Galifianakis got so frustrated, he finally gave up. Roger Ebert tried 107 times. Maureen Dowd wrote at least one caption I think was funnier than the winning caption. Remember that as you read the rest of this post.

I entered the contest once and never again. The more...
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Aging

Like Mother Like Daughter Like Mother

According to research that will be published in the Journal of Consumer Behavior, women are more likely to buy clothes and make-up their teenage daughters like than the other way around.

A press release explains:
The study, conducted through questionnaires, sampled 343 mother-daughter pairs, with an average age of 44 for the mothers and 16 for the daughters. The researchers found that if a mother is young at heart, has high fashion consciousness and...
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Consumer Behavior

The World’s A Stage And Tourists Are The Players

It’s roughly 147,000 degrees here in Texas and it’s been that way for the past month, so if you’re looking for deep thoughts, you’re going to have to look elsewhere. My brain is poached. The best I can do is coherent, and sometimes not even that.

Mostly I’m thinking about how much I need a vacation.

My friend K is in the throes of packing for her vacation in Los Angeles, the hometown she...
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Consumer Behavior

Sometimes You Just Need a Pressure Release

It’s been a very long week, and not in a good way. Righteous anger is a bitch.  Trying to fit another thought into my overheated brain has been difficult and I've struggled to settle on something to write about. I didn’t want to write more about institutionalized sexism in the media. (Actually I did, but y'all have probably had enough.)

Casting around for something to get traction in my brain, I thought about ancillary...
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Consumer Behavior

What the Dallas Mavericks Did For Me This Year

I recently did something highly uncharacteristic for me: I stood in the blazing Texas heat with tens of thousands of people for the parade celebrating the Dallas Mavericks, who had just clinched the first NBA championship in the team’s history.

I’m a total bandwagoner. I never watched basketball before and ignored the Mavs until the semifinals. Even then, my interest was desultory at best. I kinda sorta watched the first games of the finals because my...
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