Tag Archives: shopping


People faced with the threat of death go out shopping more


Death is ubiquitous and inevitable, and people have learned to cope with it in various ways. In some places of the world, however, death is a more immediate prospect than in others. A team of researchers at Michigan State University led by marketing  professor Ayalla Ruvio found that people faced with a mortal threat such as a terrorist attack are more likely to engage in  compulsive consumption, and impulsive buying than those who are less exposed to such a threat. Their findings suggest the more materialistic the individual, the great the urge to shop – often buying habits include purchasing things people don’t actually need or afford. The findings extend to people who fear death and are materialistic, though they live in a low-threat environment such as the U.S.

The research consists of two major studies on two different kinds of shoppers: one in Israel, and the other in the U.S. For the Israeli study, the researchers handed out questionnaires at a community center in a town just one kilometer from the Gaza Strip, during six months of daily rocket attacks there in 2007.  The same survey was distributed to people living in a town much farther away from the fighting, who were aware of the ensuing violence but weren’t directly exposed to the threat.

The questionnaires were built in such a way so that the researchers might correlated shopping habits with traumatic stress. Did they experience post-traumatic symptoms such as nightmares or memory loss? Did they cope with negative feelings by buying things? How often did they return from a shopping trip with items they hadn’t meant to purchase? Other questions assessed how materialistic the subjects were—did they place a lot of value on owning nice things?

Shop and stop thinking about death

Based on questions such as these, the researchers found that Israelis who were under threat of dying from the bombing were both more likely to report more post-traumatic stress and admit to more compulsive or impulsive shopping behaviors. The more materialistic the participants  , the stronger the two of the effects were found to be.

In the second study, the researchers gathered data from 855 American subjects who participants in an online survey. The questionnaire was similar to the Israeli one, in the sense that it asked people what their shopping habits are and measured how materialistic they are. Because the U.S. participants weren’t subjected to a direct threat, the survey measured how much they thought about their own death. The researchers found that people who are more materialistic both feared death more and were more likely to engage in impulse shopping, than people less materialistic. According to the researchers, this makes bad events even worse.

“Our U.S. study suggests that these effects are likely due to the fact that materialistic individuals exhibit lower levels of self-esteem, which reduces their ability to cope with traumatic events. Thus, our results indicate that, in addition to its well-documented harmful direct effect on psychological well-being, materialism also exerts an indirect negative effect by making bad events even worse.”

via Ink Fish

3 Stocking Stuffers for Techies for the 2012 Holidays

We all get it perfectly – even if we want to give each and every one our loved ones and friends the gift of tech, it’s just downright unrealistic, especially in these trying economic times. You can’t possibly buy six units of the iPhone 5 in a huff – one for each family member – lest you want to use up all your life’s savings for this one single holiday. And let’s face it – even if you want to get the latest Galaxy Note for your two BFFs, it won’t be practical unless you’re a Zuckerberg or a Bieber, perhaps.

But ultimately, you don’t need to give up on Christmas just yet. You can opt for “stocking stuffers” to keep up with your techie inclinations in giving gifts. There are a number of low-priced tech items that are interesting and useful enough to pass as little gifts for friends and family. With this list, you will have no problem filling those Christmas stockings this year. Now, some people would raise their eyebrows at this list, because they could already consider these “stocking stuffers” as real serious gifts – but really – if you can buy yourself the iPad mini or the iPad with Retina display a mere seven months after buying the iPad 3, then maybe you’re just being stingy! Don’t be a scrooge this Christmas by sharing the gift of tech, because such gifts can still be friendly to the wallet.

iPhone 5 cases

Since of your folk already have or are having plans of getting the iPhone 5, you can give them the iPhone 5 cases or protectors found on eBay or Amazon for cheap (they can go as low as $5 but the more decent ones go for $10 and up). Not only will you help them guard their precious, precious phones from scrapes and shocks but you will also be able to help them express themselves through their phone if you choose something that befits their personality. What’s even more interesting is that you can acquire discounts for bulk purchases since these stores usually want to exhaust all stocks towards the yearend.

Generic cables

If you want to give people something they’d really use, then you can buy them generic cables for their phones (or other USB devices). It’s always an ideal gift because you’ll never know when your personal mobile (slash) business phone will drain its battery down to nothing. A spare one – one that you’ll never have to share with anyone, will always come in handy whether you’re in the office or meeting with your business partners in a café. Be careful in buying stuff like these though, as they can get really tricky. They’re relatively cheap; but as prices go lower, the quality may be compromised as well. Grab your cables only from decent accessories suppliers, and not those run-of-the-mill sellers you’d usually stumble upon online.

Tablet joystick

Tablets are aplenty in today’s highly touch-centric market, and products like the iPad and the Galaxy Tab are used heavily for video viewing, media playing, and even console gaming. ThinkGeek’s popular Joystick-It arcade stick for the iPad will help bring gaming on your slate to levels of epic proportions. All you have to do is attach the $7.49 accessory anywhere on your screen and start playing your touchscreen-based games with ease – without having the need to use wires or batteries. And don’t worry about having dents on your device’s screen because they’re easy to remove and reposition whenever desired.

So, can you suggest some other stocking stuffers for your fellow geeks at heart and technology lovers? Sound off in the comments section!

Hot Gift Ideas for the 2012 Holidays

The holiday season has finally begun. As you read this, I’d probably be out in the mall finding presents for friends, family – and of course – myself. Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, flew by so fast – these three usually kicks off the holiday shopping season. I’d like to believe that I’ve officially prepared myself for this, as I’ve written down and carefully weighed in the latest gadgets that I believe would make for great gifts this Christmas.


Perhaps the hottest item Christmas shoppers are eyeing today is the iPhone 5. There’s nothing really outstanding or revolutionary about this latest release from Apple; it’s just that many people already have it on their wish lists as early as, say, its September 12 unveiling in San Francisco. While most features remain the same, the iPhone 5 is sporting a new OS (iOS 6), a new processor (A6 chip), and a taller and bigger screen. Fans have gone head-over-heels with the feather-light new version of the phone, too.

Although the iPhone 5 tops a lot of wish lists this year, it’s highly likely to end up in the “wishful thinking” lists of people instead. Terrific wallet-friendly alternatives like the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, the Samsung Galaxy S3, and the HTC Droid DNA, however, can make up for the high-end appeal people eyeing the iPhone 5 are after.


In this specific gadget arena, Apple once again reigns supreme with its outrageously popular iPad. Its two latest incarnations, the iPad 4 (with Retina display) and the iPad mini, are currently the hottest tablet devices in the market. Just the same, competitors such as the Nexus 7 from Google and Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite are not too far behind, selling like pancakes due to their respective price tags. If you’re considering gifting yourself or a loved one a tablet and you’re on a strained budget, perhaps you could get the cheaper tablets so you’ll have more money to spend for other gifts.


There are three general preferences for laptops this season: ultra-thin, hybrids, and touch-enabled laptops. The trend could be largely attributed to the release of Windows 8, the latest OS offering from Microsoft, which is basically carried by every new laptop from any given manufacturer (except for the ones from Apple, of course). If you’re after a device that perfectly fits the ultra-thin, sleek, and slim bill, then HP’s Envy Spectre XT will undeniably be a good buy. For those looking for “hybrids” or convertible laptops, the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 which bends up to 360 degrees or the slider-style Toshiba Satellite U925t are automatic shoo-ins.


Aside from the usual smartphones, tablets, and laptops, here are other tech gifts surely worth checking out:

  • Cameras. Olympus Stylus Tough TG-1 rugged compact camera, Nikon’s D3200 entry-level DSLR, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 all-around point-and-shoot, and the Canon PowerShot S110 Wi-Fi digicam.
  • Audio. Klipsch Image S4i earphones, the weird-looking yet improved earphones Apple recently released called Earpods, and the bang-for-the-buck Audio-Technica ATH-M50 professional studio monitor headphones that never goes out style.
  • Games. NBA Live 2K13, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Dishonored, and Halo 4 are just some of the hottest multi-platform games out there.
  • Paid Services. Gift your friends with subscriptions to useful services such as the Insync Google Drive backup and sync tool, RingCentral Office business phone solution, a Flickr Pro account, or a Chatter Plus account for collaborative messaging efforts.

Shopping for the holidays can be a tough task; but with a little knowledge of what’s in and what’s hot in the tech marketplace, decision making would be a tad easier. Now the only thing that’s left to do is to procure the funds needed to buy even one of these drool-worthy gadgets.