Attention, stargazers: People who believe they can change their fate are more likely to splurge after reading unfavorable zodiac predictions, according to a study published in the December 2013 Journal of Consumer Research.
In one experiment, researchers at Johns Hopkins University and the University of South Carolina found that participants who learned that they were going to have a bad day from a horoscope were more likely to opt to go to a party afterwards than clean their rooms — but only if they believed that fate could be altered.
“One explanation is, of course, that consumers who believe in malleable fate deliberately choose to indulge to improve their day and to make themselves feel better,” the authors wrote. “A second explanation…is consistent with the notion that assuming control over situations predicted by fate and constructing optimistic expectations for events to unfold are integral parts of beliefs in the changeability of one’s fate.”
The study suggests marketers can apply these findings by posting encouraging messages like “Life’s what you make it!” around “indulgent products” to draw in these particular consumers.
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