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Apr 11, 2017 09:14 AM EDT

It is common that people accidentally damage their phones, such as dropping it or flushing it in the toilet. Recent research, however, found out that these accidents are not accidental at all but an excuse for phone owners to buy the newly launched phone they've seen in the market.

A research made at the Columbia Business School revealed that the buzz created by a new product launch makes people more careless about their phones. This also means that when a new phone is launched in the market, there are more reports of people damaging their phones accidentally.

Silvia Belleza, an assistant professor in marketing at the Columbia Business School and one of the authors of the study, said that people have the tendency to be careless when they see an even more appealing product than the one they already have.

The study was conducted because the authors wanted to know whether people are careless by accident or on purpose to justify buying new things. This phenomenon is not only limited to cellphones but in other things as well.

For the research, Bellezza and her teammates analyzed the database of a lost and found website. Using that data, the researchers found out that when there is an available upgrade, people will less likely track down their phones.

Aside from that, they also conducted a test where they divided the participants into two groups and each was given a mug. One group, however, were told that there was a better upgrade in case their mugs get damaged. After that , they were tasked to play Jenga and place their mugs on top of the tower.

The researchers observed that those who knew there was an upgrade played more recklessly than those who had no idea of an upgrade.

Bellezza said that when people buy something, they subconsciously program themselves to keep the product for as long as it works perfectly. They also feel guilty every time they entertained the idea of buying something new when the ones they have are still working perfectly. Therefore, they 'accidentally' damaged their phones to have a good reason to buy the new product.

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