Lonely And Non-Empathic People More Likely To Make Unethical Shopping Decisions

It turns out being lonely can actually affect what you buy in the store. Binghamton University researchers gave study participants an hour to complete math questions, and told them they’d be able to leave the session early if they reported answering enough of said questions. Some participants were placed in a setting where they had an opportunity to cheat and leave early by reported they completed more math questions than they actually could have, as some were intentionally unsolvable. Researchers found participants who were lonely and had low levels of empathy cheated more often to get out of the session early, while lonely people with high levels of empathy cheated far less. Lonely folks were determined to be more likely to “wardobe,” or buy an item, use it, and return it. Study leader  Jenny Jiao explains, “There are a lot of dark sides to loneliness. Past research has established that feeling lonely can make you have a lower evaluation of yourself or cause you to have lower self-esteem. It also can negatively influence your health, and impair your self-regulation and social skills. We wanted to see how it affects the ability to make moral decisions.”