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How Brands Psychologically Manipulate You Into Buying Crap You Don’t Need


If you've ever found yourself running into Target to buy a carton of eggs only to leave with a basket full of candles, slippers, snacks, and other junk you don't need, you've been a victim of the "Target effect." Consumers have even turned it into a hashtag, sharing pictures of their packed carts to prove how tantalizing the effect is. But what is it about retail stores that make us want to buy more stuff than we need? Although you might just think you have poor impulse control, the reality is that brands are intentionally manipulating you into buying more. Below, a few ways they psychologically control you.

1. They use color psychology to persuade you to spend.

Source: iStockPhoto

Color psychology plays a huge role in how your buy items. It can change your mood, evoke a feeling, and even subtly suggest an idea. For example, red is a frequent color in sales since it evokes action, which definitely helps explain all those impulse purchases at Target. A study even found that waitresses who wear red get bigger tips. Other colors that manipulate you is black, which is associated with high-end, expensive items that seem exclusive, and blue, which is associated with trust and loyalty.