Why Buying Bright and Colorful Things Can Make You Happier
Do you feel a twinge of jealousy every time you see someone with colorful clothing, a creative mani, or a bold electronic device? Maybe you secretly lament that you chose another all-black thing or passed up a statement piece that gave you heart eyes. At the time, your decision might have seemed sensible, but a new study from USC Marshall shows that while consumers most often buy “safe” colors, people who purchase vibrant stuff like it more — and like it for a longer time, leading to increased overall happiness.
In the study, researchers divided products into two groups based on arousal or excitement. The first group of high-arousal products all featured bold hues and busy patterns; the second group of products, labeled as low-arousal, featured solid colors such as silver, beige, and black. Next, researchers conducted a number of tests to figure out how participants felt about each product before using it. Finally, each person was allowed to use the product repeatedly for a set amount of time.
What the researchers uncovered is fascinating: Participants wrongly guessed how much they’d like the bright and colorful products that were grouped into the high-arousal designs category. Even more, they underestimated how much satisfaction they’d get from using a high-arousal product more than once.
So why do we choose neutrals, time and time again? The research suggests that we may feel like our choices are safer, or simply more practical: “Consumers likely find motivation in selecting low-arousal designs, be it because it makes matching different designs easier (clothes), because these designs are less likely to go out of style over time (furniture), or because the designs are more versatile over time (household items).”
Lead researcher Dr. Eva Buechel is an expert in future feeling and forecasting satisfaction. According to her, the study’s findings are important for buyers, designers and marketer because encouraging different aesthetic choices — like buying “exciting” stuff — can scientifically help improve self-expression and satisfaction.
Armed with this factual information, you don’t need to feel stuck when waffling between a bright dress or yet another classic choice. Living colorfully IS living happily. Dare to be bold and bright!
How do you shop? Tell us what kind of stuff you buy time and time again on Twitter @BritandCo!
(Photo via Getty)
Back in January, we introduced you to a feel-good cause to inspire your New Year's resolution: a walking challenge to help raise funds for the amazing cancer fighters at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I took part in the challenge with the Brit + Co team and ended up walking 105+ miles in January — it was awesome.
This spring, there's a new challenge on the horizon, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Big Climb. The ask: On May 15, 2021, you can step up to take cancer down by committing to climb 1,311 steps, walking 3.2 miles, or doing 440 chair step-ups at home as part of the Big Climb. If you need some motivation to bring movement back into your daily routine — look no further!
As always, it's free to sign up, but climbers are encouraged to set a fundraising goal to help beat cancer. We'll be organizing another Brit + Co team to step up, and I hope you'll join us too! Keep scrolling for a peek at where I'll be completing the challenge in my Los Angeles neighborhood around the hidden Silver Lake Stairs. Happy climbing!
Never underestimate the power of an accountability buddy! I asked my in-laws, my partner, and a few friends to join me so we can keep each other motivated and accountable in completing the challenge — virtual high-fives all around! Also, my dog Fox is a great climber, too.
An aesthetically pleasing backdrop is a huge motivator for me! I'm fortunate to have all sorts of painted steps around my neighborhood to keep the challenge interesting, but you can also keep cool inside with at-home chair step-ups.
Don't forget to share your progress on social — #BigClimb!
Feel free to break the challenge up if you need to by tackling half the distance in the AM and half at sunset. Here's me 1,311 steps later and ready for a break — but, think I earned this one!