NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Why a "Partner In Crime" Helps You Indulge -- and Resist - Indulgences
Here's one mostly harmless way to know you have a "partner in crime":
The dessert menu crosses the table and without a word you and your friend, spouse or co-worker point to point to some indulgence and tell the server, "We'll have that -- and bring two spoons."
According to a study from the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management, a partner in crime can help you resist temptation as well as indulge in it.
It's all about trusting in that partner, with some relief you have a close contact that thinks and acts the way you do when faced with a "to-die-for" urge. That mindset may not work with big temptations such as buying a home or leaving a job for a new one, but it works wonders for smaller urges, study researchers say.
"We like moral support when the stakes are high, but we enjoy having a 'partner in crime' when the stakes are lower," says Kelly L. Haws, a business professor at the university and a lead contributor to the study.
The study, co-sponsored by Vanderbilt University and Texas A&M, used candy to test decision-making among "paired consumers." In most cases, study participants mirrored the decision made by one another, with most couples eating the same amount of candy, like true partners in crime.