In consumer-research news, academic researchers have found that purchasing a massage brings more satisfaction than buying products.

But then, we already knew that, right? Perhaps this report can be spun in massage marketing materials, to help confused clients know where their money is best spent.

A new report out of Cornell University shows that consumers found that satisfaction with “experiential purchases”—from massages to family vacations—starts high and increases over time. In contrast, spending money on material things feels good at first, but actually makes people less happy in the end.

This is according to researchers Thomas Gilovich, Cornell University professor of psychology, and Travis J. Carter, Cornell Ph.D. ’10.

“When it comes to material things, Gilovich and Carter found shoppers often second-guess their original buying decisions, comparing what they bought to other people’s purchases or to better deals they missed,” according to a Cornell press release.

“But buying experiences provides greater satisfaction as time goes on, in part because of selective memory and because a consumer’s experience is highly subjective, making it much harder to make negative comparisons. Consumers also find it easier to decide on experiences, spending money on the first option that meets a set of expectations rather than painstakingly comparing all options.”

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