Science Daily reports that waiting may actually help you become more patient, which may come in handy when it comes to making financial decisions.Professor Ayelet Fishbach from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business conducted a series of trials in the US, mainland China, and Hong Kong.

The participants were invited to sign up for an online study, which entitled them to join one of two lotteries. One would give them a chance to win $50 earlier, while the other would give them a chance to win $55 after waiting for a couple more days. They were divided into three groups: the first group would receive $50 in three days or $55 in 23 days; the second would have $50 in 30 days or $55 in 50 days; and the last had the same conditions as the second, but were asked to wait for 27 days before picking which option they would choose.

Researchers found that only 31 percent of the participants in the first group wanted to wait for the larger reward. However, the number rose to 56 percent in the second group. The third group, which had been asked to wait the longest, had 86 percent of their participants choose the larger reward.

“When people wait, it makes the place a higher value on what they’re waiting for, and that higher value makes them more patient,” Fishbach explains. “They see more value in what they are waiting for because of a process psychologists call ‘self-perception’–we learn what we want and prefer by assessing our own behavior, much the same way we learn about others by observing how they behave.”

So the next time you see an expensive dress, think about waiting a bit for it to go on sale. Not only will you get a greater deal out of it, you’ll also practice self-control and make better financial decisions along the way.

(Photo by Ofer Deshe via Flickr Creative Commons)

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