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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 28, 2012/ 14 Kislev 5773

The science behind the scramble for bargains

By Bonnie Williams




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Surely there are people who found Black Friday fun but we haven't talked to any of them yet. We have learned, though, that it wasn't a happy shopping day for several people around the country, including: — -- The couple shot in a dispute over a parking place in Tallahassee, Fla. The suspects, another man and woman, have been charged with attempted murder, according to the Associated Press, after the female suspect shot the couple after demanding "everything" in the female victim's purse.

-- The suspected shoplifter who died when employees and a contract security officer "subdued" him outside a Wal-Mart in Lithonia, Ga. A "physical altercation" took place, police say, when the man was followed outside. According to a Wal-Mart spokeswoman, "No amount of merchandise is worth someone's life."

True enough. In fact, she added, employees are told to avoid confrontations.

But the two employees, who have been suspended without pay, apparently thought putting themselves in danger was acceptable company policy as was beating the suspect. The security company for which the officer works no longer handles security for Wal-Mart, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

It's not just the big-box stores, of course, where shopping mania overcomes common sense and common courtesy.

But naturally those stores attract the largest number of shoppers.

And, sad to say, when everyone is scrambling in the "fun" of scoring bargains, it's not surprising that someone occasionally gets hurt -- or worse.

What do such events say about us, not just about our ability to disregard others in the quest for stuff, but about our inability to not behave like rabid animals in the process?

Nothing flattering, which can all too often be the case with human nature.

Researchers, including Jane Boyd Thomas, professor of marketing at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., say Black Friday shopping is less about bargains than the psychology of bargains.

According to a report by Huffington Post senior science editor David Freeman, Thomas said that stereotypes about women and shopping are especially true during holiday gift-buying trips.

Laura Brannon of Kansas State University goes deeper into the psyche to explain the allure of crowds and competition on Black Friday: Shoppers get caught up in the actions of others.

"If you have five people stand on a busy street corner and look up in the air, rest assured, most passersby will stop and look up as well because they'll assume there's something to look at," she told the Huffington reporter. Brannon says we all fall prey to "social proof," meaning that if other people are interested in something, we use that as evidence that it must be good and desired.

This year, Black Friday sales topped $1 billion, perhaps an indicator of consumer confidence or maybe just a hint that Americans love a bargain, even for something we didn't know we wanted until we saw 50 other people grabbing for it.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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Bonnie Calhoun Williams is editorial-page editor of the Anderson (S.C.) Independent Mail.


Previously:



11/01/12 Stop the presses: Kent quits



© 2012, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE

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