Unrealistic happiness behind overuse of credit cards

Washington: People who expect strong and unrealistic transformational beliefs from their purchases are more likely than others to overuse credit and take on excessive debt, according to a University of Missouri researcher.

Marsha Richins, Myron Watkins Distinguished Professor of Marketing in the Trulaske College of Business, said many people buy products thinking that the items will make them happier and transform their lives.

"There is nothing wrong with wanting to buy products. It becomes a problem when people expect unreasonable degrees of change in their lives from their purchases,” said Richins.

“Some people tend to ascribe almost magical properties to goods — that buying things will make them happier, cause them to have more fun, improve their relationships — in short, transform their lives. These beliefs are fallacious for the most part, but nonetheless can be powerful motivators for people to spend," he said.


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