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Normal or Nuts? Why American Shoppers Go Crazy for Black Friday Deals

Is Black Friday hysteria normal or nuts? Fox News contributor and psychiatrist, Dr. Keith Ablow, had an answer that may surprise some of you who stayed home and comfort others who took part in the mayhem. “Unfortunately, it’s normal” he said, “Because the combination of rarity and opportunity unleashes something in human beings that results in this stampede mentality.”

Dr. Ablow called what happens on the day after Thanksgiving to millions of Americans a “perfect storm.” Breaking down the factors, he said the combination of consumers who really need or want these things, with the fact

that it’s advertised as “in shorter supply” and at a lower price, it then becomes an intellectual and emotional perfect storm.

Retailers can curtail the crowds and sometimes violence that erupts by spanning out the deals to a couple of days or limiting the number of people in a store at once. However, Dr. Ablow says, “If a particular thing has captured the American imagination -- this day that we’re all going to become super-consumers, it’s tough to stem really the momentum of that kind of belief system.”

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