ANN ARBOR, MICH (WXYZ) - If you can't afford that big, beautiful, luxury car, don't feel bad about it.
You may not really know the difference anyway.
According to a recent study by the University of Michigan, when you're driving, you're not really paying attention to what kind of car you're driving. Rather, you're more likely to be concerned with your daily routine.
University of Michigan professor of marketing at Ross School of Business Norbert Schwarz says, "When drivers focus on their car while driving, a luxury car is indeed more fun than an economy car. But most of the time, the driver's mind is preoccupied with the mundane issues of daily life and the car makes little difference."
The study that Schwarz did with Peking University professor Jing Xu, takes a look at why it seems that those who drive the more luxurious car think it gives them more happiness, but they would feel just as good in a more frugal car.
The research team found that the car was key when they surveyed drivers and their attention was just on the car. But, the kind of car made no impact in how they felt about driving.
Professor Schwarz adds, "During the test drive of a new car, our attention is focused on the car, and the more luxurious it is, the better we feel while driving it. This experience is real, visceral and compelling. What we miss, however, is one simple thing---once we have owned the car for a few weeks, it no longer captures all of our attention and other things will be on our minds while driving. As soon as that happens, we would feel just as well driving a cheaper alternative."
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