Making Misery More Miserly: Reducing the Sad-Spending Effect

Sadness has been shown to increase the amount of money decision makers pay to acquire new goods, fueling the phrase “misery is not miserly” (Cryder et al. 2008; Lerner, Small and Loewenstein 2003). Decision makers are typically unaware of the influence sadness has on them. Based on the theories of compensatory consumption, the present studies test three ways to reduce the influence of sadness on buying price. Results reveal that the underlying sadness effect is robust. One theoretically-derived technique succeeded in reducing the influence of sadness while two theoretically-derived techniques did not. Our research also, reveals self-reported sadness as a mediator of this effect.


Nitika Garg and Jennifer Lerner (2009) ,"Making Misery More Miserly: Reducing the Sad-Spending Effect", in AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8, eds. Sridhar Samu, Rajiv Vaidyanathan, and Dipankar Chakravarti, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 294-295.


Nitika Garg, University of Mississippi, USA
Jennifer Lerner, Harvard University, USA


AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8 | 2009

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