Dirty work

let's say they are doing a study on shopping habits, and they ask if they can monitor you to test motivation, impulse, acquisition and satisfaction.

do you think that being aware of the experiment would alter your shopping habits? and/or your pleasure from shopping?


The Seeker said...

Wow, a question into my university knowledge, social sciences.
So I just can’t dissociate the common woman from the social scientist.
Accepting the assumption that all the participants are informed of the study their behaviour will be different from the normal.
All social scientists know that when a study of that matter is done there will be always some prejudice of the object of the study, in this case persons and theirs shopping habits.
So one must uses a method of evaluation that diminishes those prejudices, however, I believe that the key word of these studies is environment.
When I say environment I’m talking about new “strange elements”.
When we go to a clothes store normally there are employees that can help us and advice us in different matters. And it’s normal that they ask you question. Normally the answers are truthful. But if you enter the some store and there’s an employee that ask you questions and take notes your head will fire some alarms that may change your answers.
It will be preferable that the employees act like advisers or installing a video system than answering a formal inquiry.
There’re some direct questions that people could have some difficulty to answer truthfully, such as questions that put their social statues in danger.
When we ask someone “how mush you spend in clothes for month” the most part will not answer correctly.
We all have some and different “secrets” as a result of our education and socialisation. Even inconscient ones, they influence our answers to some questions, to avoid that situation we must put the question in a different way.
This situation is so complex that are several books which teach how to do this in a better way.
I hope I have answered your question, but if you pay me the flight tickets we can discuss this face to face.
Just kidding, I only wanted to go on a free trip.


Iheartfashion said...

Absolutely! I think knowingly being a part of any experiment would alter my behavior. I tend to be very impulsive and make quick decisions about what to buy, only to let half of my purchases languish in my closet unworn. So I'd probably change for the better if anyone were watching/monitoring me.

Nancy said...

I might not change my actual purchases, but my behavior would be affected. Normally I do some research and let things stew in my brain before buying. Most of this is done by myself, without much input from others.

I don't like being watched or followed. My pleasure would be affected by the experimenter's presence, even if I was just filling out surveys.

Sometimes I wonder about websites and shopkeepers and whether they record or remember me looking at say, a bolt of orange and purple fabric, or a pair of socks 10 times before I buy it.

And if they do, what do they think about it?

Prêt-à-Porter P said...

being aware that my shopping habits were being monitored wouldn’t affect the way I shop. I started to “study” my own shopping habits when I realized I was letting my mood determine whether or not I made an impulse buy. Or loving something, buying, only to get it back home when I had 3 very similar things already…

So now I don’t buy things when I 1st see them. I have to reflect on cost per wear, budget, uniqueness (im not 100% sold on $200+ casual dresses when I’ve been able to find phenomenal $20 ones), and versatility.

However, I agree with nancy when someone asks me how much something costs (and the less close I am to the person), my answers will tend to be vague or along the lines of: “i’ve had this” “it was a gift” “I don’t let myself look at that receipt”

Anonymous said...

brilliant question, once again. and here is the genius as i see it: you are asking if our shopping would be different if we KNEW we were being watched. yes, i get it. we ARE being watched, but we get to act as if we don't know.
all those club cards that give extra discounts, and when borders or barnes&nobles gives membership cards, even my local drugstore has one. those discounts we get when we use those cards, yes, effectively work like coupons, sure, but they are also a way for the kind corporations to track our shopping habits. every time they ask for a zip code with a purchase, does anyone think it's actually required for the register to process the order? nope. tracking. i'm sorry that i sound paranoid, but i really am not. i am, however, aware of the huge investment companies have in knowing how, when, where, what and why we buy.
does that alter my shopping habits, knowing this? yes. i do not ever give my zip code and i do not use those membership discount cards. i might have to pay .48 more cents for my box of tissues, but it's kind of worth it to me.

K.Line said...

Call me naive, but I don't think my shopping habits would be altered. I'm pretty comfortable with my style, method and the reasons why I shop. I am always deal seeking on high-quality, durable goods (one of those, spend to save people, for sure) and I'm not cowed into buying things I'm not entirely sure of. More to the point, I love shopping as a pastime (even if it involves simply looking, thinking and not purchasing). If anything, I'd probably be a show-off because I do think I shop effectively and efficiently and to good ends. But I could be entirely wrong. Good question. K

enc said...

I'm sure I'd hold back buying things so as not to seem gluttonous or frivolous. All my insecurities would come out. Very good question.

fashionaddict said...

it would definitely affect my shopping pleasure - being followed and observed is never a good feeling.

i do think it will affect my shopping habits - i'd definitely exhibit more self-control.

this reminds me of those questions magazine put to "style icons", like asking them to list favourite designers, style inspirations and so on. i never believe the answers entirely - i always think they give answers they think impress people.

The Seeker said...

I think Anonymous left a good matter to think about.
Off course that's a "subtil" way that corporations have to track our shopping habits.
And if people don't think about that they aren't awere of that, so they tend to react normally.
But you see that Anonymous think about that and that is already altering the behavior.

The Seeker said...

fashionaddict has right people tend to give answers that think are the most apropriated to the aspects that "sociaty" respects most.