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Science Excuses Impulse Spending as a Survival Instinct

All that stuff you bought and never used? Not your fault

<a href="http://drielys.com">Driely S</a> for Racked
Driely S for Racked

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Why is it so hard to resist a good deal? It's not purely a lack of self-control. According to Ryan Howell, an associate professor of psychology at San Francisco State University, it's also a survival instinct. Howell tells the BBC that the impulse dates back to hunter/gatherer days when people had to grab what they wanted because they were unlikely to find the same thing again.

"If you see something that seems to be running in short supply, you're going to get it," Howell explains. So when you find a dress or shoes or a bag that's marked 70% off, the scarcity impulse creates a feeling that you have to seize the deal now or risk losing the item —at least at the lower price— forever.

See? It's not really your fault that your tiny apartment is filled with impulse buys.