Short Wave

Why it's so hard to resist holiday sales (and how to try)

Dec. 13, 2023

Malls are designed to overwhelm our brains. Add the stress of holiday shopping, and a quick trip to pick up presents could turn into an hours-long shopping spree thanks to all the ways stores use research from fields like consumer neuroscience and neuromarketing to entice you. Retailers create urgency and scarcity to push you to give into the emotional part of your brain, motivated by the release of dopamine.

But we've got your back! With the help of NPR business correspondent Alina Selyukh, we get into the psychology of sales and discounts: Why it's SO hard to resist the tricks stores use — and some tips to outsmart them.

Read Alina's full story here.

Questions about the science driving the world around you? Email us at [email protected].

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