Gerald Marzorati, the assistant managing editor for new media and strategic initiatives at the New York Times, said something out loud during a recent panel discussion that everyone knows, but no one really wants to admit: using a credit card separates you from how much you’re really spending, and subscribers seem blissfully unaware of subscription hikes.
In the last few decades, Americans use credit (or debit) cards for more and more of our everyday spending. We’re also, collectively, becoming more and more obese. A group of researchers wondered: is there a correlation here? They conducted four experiments looking at what types of food people purchase when using a credit card, and what they purchase when using cash. They published their findings in the Journal of Consumer Research. The result is not surprising: people are more likely to buy junk food, on impulse, when paying with plastic.