Shocking Research Reveals: Pics of Happy Couples Do Not Inspire Singles to Shop (Take Note Advertisers)

Pick up a magazine. Any magazine. Flip through the ads. How many of them show the smug smiles of perfect looking couples lost in the sappy gaze of each other's eyes?

Ugh. Lots.

Don't worry—you're not the only one blasting Adele every time this image scorches your eyes. New research shows that (most) single people fall in personal pits of despair whenever exposed to images of happy couples. Though pop culture would have you believe that the anecdote for feeling lonely in a world of smug marrieds is to eat Girl Scout cookies by the ton while shopping, science says that's not true.

Here's what consumer psychologist Lisa Cavanaugh has to say:

It is commonly assumed that when people lack valued relationships, they will feel lonely or sad and indulge more, through shopping or eating. My theory and findings based on deservingness suggest a very different pattern of behavior: Individuals choose in ways consistent with their perceptions of deservingness.

This means that if you feel you aren't worthy of an awesome relationship, you also think that cute Forever 21 dress (which is totes affordable) is out of your league as well. How depressing is that? It's circular and can only end in misery.

On the bright side, Cavanaugh recommends that advertisers try a new marketing scheme. Needless to say, our consumer-driven capitalistic society won't stand for maudlin coupley pics blasting the advertising world. Fewer cutesy couple pics means more chocolate and clothes for you—can't go wrong!

Image: see what she's not doing? Shopping. Courtesy of Wikimedia

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