Shopping on impulse

I HAVE lost count of the number of times that I have bought things because I needed a "little cheering up". These were often things I did not need but rather bought on impulse, a condition my mother called buying syndrome.

Those in the know have pointed out not only differences in the way that men and women shop, but also their reasons for going shopping. They have also suggested that retail therapy for women means that "when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping".

Cure for the blues

Being sad leads to feeling self-centred, which researchers have said makes people (in most cases women) more willing to spend money on themselves.

Women are happier when they have something new in their wardrobes, partly because it satisfies their need to treat themselves.

It also makes them feel good about the way they look or the way they feel about themselves, though this might be short-lived.

Some even take the rather primitive view that men are engineered differently from women and that their shopping habits are different.

Men are hunters, they argue, and regard shopping as a mission - something that has to be done in the shortest possible time.

Women see it as a way of gathering things.

Regardless of the reasons suggested by those in the know, few can deny the pleasure of finding that much sought-after item and putting it in your trolley without the nagging guilt.