Do thoughts of death change our shopping habits?

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Credit: Concordia University

It’s that time of year again: when festive ads command consumers to BUY! BUY! BUY! for their friends and family. But despite this holiday cheer, negative news marches on.


Reports of plane crashes, terrorist attacks, fatal car accidents and deadly fires may lead shoppers to think more about their own mortality than buying that new holiday sweater for Uncle Dave.

But new research from the John Molson School of Business (JMSB) and HEC Montréal shows that, for people with certain world views, thoughts of can actually trigger the buying impulse.

In a study recently published in The Journal of Consumer Affairs, marketing professors Michel Laroche and Marcelo Nepomuceno…

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