We’ve all probably experienced this eerie feeling a couple of times in our life. It usually occurs during those few seconds that it takes when you swipe your credit or debit card before the transaction is approved.
According to research recently conducted at the Harvard University Medical School approximately thirty to forty percent of the population under the age of forty suffer from some type of this condition at one time or another.
In a blind study conducted during the height of the recent recession researchers sent people out to make purchases using both types of cards. The subjects were unaware of the true nature of the study and were informed that it was being conducted to monitor system response times to a new type of card. Some of the cards had a sufficient balance in order to complete the transaction while others did not.
In either case the study revealed that the subjects anxiety level spiked during the time the card was swiped and the transaction was either approved or disapproved. This was especially true of subjects with below average credit ratings and younger males from all of the demographic groups that participated in the study.
Researchers noted that those affected experienced higher than average amounts of sweaty palms, increased heart rates, rising blood pressure and a tendency to sneak furtive looks at fellow customers as the transaction was being processed. About fifty percent of the participants were also overheard to be whispering “Please, please, please” to themselves during that same time.
For those subjects whose transactions were approved the symptoms vanished almost immediately. For those unfortunate enough to have their transaction declined due to insufficient funds and/or balance the symptoms escalated rapidly and now included a shortness of breath and a tendency to lie about recent payments or deposits being made to cover the purported shortfall. Follow up symptoms then included a rapid reddening of the facial features and sagging shoulders as the transaction was formally “rejected”.
What Can Be Done?
While there is no known “cure” for “Commerce Anxiety Disorder” (CAD) scientists are conducting more detailed studies involving the use of an experimental drug called “Donnabuyamuch ®” to determine if there any dangerous side effects and if it will relieve any of the symptoms described earlier. If all goes smoothly, they’re expecting approval from the FDA sometime in January of 2013.
In the meantime, they’re recommending that people with insufficient balances curb their spending habits to meet their immediate needs and to refrain from what is known in industry circles as “binge shopping”.
Respectfully submitted for LieQuest 2013