Those who love to shop are often painted as lonely souls, trying to fill a void by buying — and becoming even more isolated in the process.

Not always so, according to new Dutch research. The relationship of shopping and loneliness can go both ways — and the direction seems to have a lot to do with why you shop, according to researcher Rik Pieters, a professor of marketing at Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

Shoppers who could be described as “happy hedonists” may become less lonely, he found.

“It is not a good idea to shop to become happy or to own more than others, but shopping for the fun of shopping might actually be not a bad idea after all,” he said.

via ‘Retail Therapy’ Might Not Be So Bad After All –Doctors Lounge.