A fascinating study done by relationship experts at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh sought to determine if romantic comedies influenced how we view love, sex, and marriage. They specifically examined 40 box office hits between 1995 and 2005, such as Runaway Bride, Notting Hill, You’ve Got Mail, Maid in Manhattan, and While You Were Sleeping. Have you seen any of them? If so, researchers were interested in how they might influence your expectations about love.
“We spend money we don’t have,” observed Woody Allen, “to buy things we don’t need, to impress people we don’t like.” Three years ago, an economics professor, an environmental watchdog, and an award-winning television producer set out to see if Allen’s humorous insight was true—do we Americans purchase things to feel better about ourselves and impress others? After carefully examining our frantic American lifestyle, they diagnosed us with a fictitious disease they creatively called affluenza.
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