We really should know better. Despite the neon-lit fact that we're in the depths of the credit crunch, official figures show that last month we splurged on shoes and clothes, spending about 9 per cent more than this time last year. Why is it so hard to restrain our retail urges? A new study helps to confirm that when we're shopping, our brains are not our own. We might think we are in control, but in fact the big levers are grabbed by our primitive drives.
Worse, the marketing industry has spent billions scientifically perfecting ways to hijack your hyper-emotional primordial circuits into buying stuff that your sensible higher brain knows you don't need or particularly want. The good news is that much of this research can be turned on its head - instead of bamboozling our brains into breaking the bank, we can kid our instincts into spending less. Here's how: