High Heels Lower Urge to Overspend

Science Fields

Besides caring to read product reports and comparing prices when out to buy an expensive item, wearing high-heeled shoes may be useful to prevent you from overreaching the limits of your purse, a survey shows.

Findings of a marketing survey conducted by researchers from Brigham Young University have shown that a heightened sense of balance brakes the tendency to overspend and helps direct the choice to the product carrying a price tag in the middle of the lowest and the highest. “If you’re someone who tends to overspend, or you’re kind of an extreme person, then maybe you ought to consider shopping in high heels,” counsels Jeffrey Larson, a marketing professor of BYU and lead author of the study.

Since such tendencies are not exclusive to women, going up and down in the department store’s lift, playing a few television fitness games (Wii Fit) or going through your Yoga session before leaving home for shopping are alternative moderators listed for the benefit of all. The conclusion Larson and co-author Darron Billeter have reached is that “most anything that forces your mind to focus on balance, affects your shopping choices as well.”

Among the experiments  carried out to reach the findings published in Journal of Marketing Research were leaning back on two legs of the chair while online shopping, answering questions concerning shopping while playing Wii Fit games on television and standing on one leg while contemplating which printer to buy. Further reining mechanisms thought up but never tested were taking important purchase decisions on the rolling deck of a cruise liner, or, if it’s winter, on an ice-covered sidewalk.

“We need to sit back for a minute and consider, ‘Is this really what I want, or are the shoes I’m wearing influencing my choice?'” Billeter says, because “results demonstrate that influential cognitive processes are at play as people stumble through life, regardless of whether those stumblings are literal or metaphorical.”


  • 1. “Shopping in high heels could curb overspending” , Brigham Young Unibersity, 28 August 2013