This Is Your Brain on Advertising: Why Impulse-Buying Is So Seductive

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Even as you click “confirm purchase,” you know on some level that you are very likely to regret your hasty decision to buy an online shopping cart full of stuff you don’t need. And it happens just as often in real life, too, when you add junk food at the last minute to your grocery cart, even though you should know better. Why is it so hard to resist the allure of impulse-buying? 

The answer has to do with a deeply ingrained human behavior, one that psychologists have studied for years. To understand more about that — and how you can use this psychological principle to make better purchasing decisions — watch the latest episode of our five-part Science of Us series “This Is Your Brain on Advertising.” After that, check out the previous episode, about how your feelings for your favorite brands seem an awful lot like the feelings you have for your friends — at least at a neurological level. And come back next Tuesday for the next episode, to find out more about the interaction between psychology, marketing, and the things you buy.