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Impulsive and Compulsive Buying

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Abstract

Impulsive and compulsive buying are terms that are frequently confused for each other, but represent behaviors that differ greatly in their frequency, cause, outcome and severity. Impulsive buying is a more common and ordinary behavior. Almost everyone makes a purchase on impulse (without much deliberation) from time to time.Impulse buying is defined as a sudden and powerful urge in the consumer to buy immediately. It occurs when desire for a product or brand outweighs one's willpower to resist. Research on impulse buying focuses on characteristic of individuals that make them more or less likely to engage in impulse buying. These include mood states, personality characteristics, and situational factors such as proximity and depletion in resources needed for self-control.Compulsive buying, on the other hand, is a psychological disorder where one experiences an uncontrollable urge to buy. Failing to act on this urge creates increasing tension that can only dissipate with buying. Frequently, this urge is triggered by negative events or feelings. Ultimately, this behavior leads to extreme negative consequences for the individual. Many compulsive buyers never use the items they purchase. Thus, compulsive buying appears to be more about obtaining short-term relief from negative feelings than about a desire for specific goods.Keywords:impulsive/impulse;compulsive;excessive buying;mood;buying;shopping;consumer

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... Although conceptually related, these two forms of maladaptive consumption differ in terms of their origin and manifestation. Specifically, while compulsive consumption is considered to be a behavioral trait that is often beyond an individual's control (Hirschman 1992;Moschis 2007), impulsive buying is a behavior that is more situational in nature and often influenced by external events (Faber 2010;Rook and Fisher 1995). We selected these two behaviors due to their conceptual connection to stress (Hirschman 1992), their use in prior materialism research (Rindfleisch et al. 1997), and their relevance for marketing theory and practice (Faber 2010). ...
... Specifically, while compulsive consumption is considered to be a behavioral trait that is often beyond an individual's control (Hirschman 1992;Moschis 2007), impulsive buying is a behavior that is more situational in nature and often influenced by external events (Faber 2010;Rook and Fisher 1995). We selected these two behaviors due to their conceptual connection to stress (Hirschman 1992), their use in prior materialism research (Rindfleisch et al. 1997), and their relevance for marketing theory and practice (Faber 2010). Prior research indicates that PTS can lead to a variety of maladaptive behaviors such as alcohol abuse (Jakupcak et al. 2010), eating disorders (Holzer et al. 2008), and sleep disturbances (Harvey et al. 2003). ...
Article
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Our research explores the amplifying effect of materialism on the experience of traumatic stress and maladaptive consumption via both an Israeli field study and a U.S. national survey. Our field study assesses the moderating impact of materialism upon both traumatic stress and maladaptive consumption among participants from an Israeli town under terrorist attack vs. participants from an Israeli town not exposed to hostilities. Our survey examines the possible underlying processes behind these effects among a nationally representative sample of Americans. The Israeli study reveals that, when faced with a mortal threat such as a terrorist attack, highly materialistic individuals report higher levels of post-traumatic stress, compulsive consumption, and impulsive buying than their less materialistic counterparts. Our U.S. study suggests that these effects are likely due to the fact that materialistic individuals exhibit lower levels of self-esteem, which reduces their ability to cope with traumatic events. Thus, our results indicate that, in addition to its well-documented harmful direct effect on psychological well-being, materialism also exerts an indirect negative effect by making bad events even worse.
... Impulsive purchases happen to each consumer occasionally and should not always be defined as dysfunctional. Contrary to compulsive spending, impulsive behavior does not result in reducing the tension and does not aid directly in managing emotions; nevertheless, both phenomena are somehow linked (Faber, 2010). Suggested diagnostic criteria for compulsive shopping include being preoccupied with buying, intrusive impulses to buy, spending more than can be afforded, often on items not needed and useless, with a result of distress and interference in social, financial, occupational functioning, with episodes occurring not only during hypomania or mania (McElroy et al., 1994). ...
... A confirmatory factor analysis was performed using Mplus 6.11 (Muthén & Muthén, 1998-2010. Due to the strictly ordinal character of the response scale, the CFA models were tested using the weighted least square mean and variance adjusted (WLSMV) estimator. Missing data were handled with the expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm. ...
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There is still a scarcity of studies showing the relative contribution of different personality characteristics differentiating various behavioral addictions within an integrated model. In comparison to other addictions, fairly little is known about the role of specific personality traits in compulsive shopping. In addition, few studies have investigated the unique contribution of shopping addiction in terms of explaining different facets of well-being above and beyond personality characteristics previously shown to be related to psychosocial functioning. The present study shows validation of the Bergen Shopping Addiction Scale (BSAS) and a tentative integrated model of potential shopping addiction personality risk factors. BSAS was administered to 1156 Polish students. In addition, demographic variables, and personality traits (Big Five), self-esteem, self-efficacy, perceived narcissism, loneliness, social anxiety, and well-being indicators were measured. BSAS had acceptable fit with the data and demonstrated good reliability. The investigated model showed that shopping addiction was related to higher extraversion, perceived narcissism, and social anxiety, and lower agreeableness and general self-efficacy. Woman and older participants scored higher on BSAS. Shopping addiction was further related to all facets of impaired well-being and explained worse general health, and decreased sleep quality above and beyond other variables in the model. The results support the notion that shopping addiction may have specific personality risk factors with low agreeableness as an outstanding characteristic. This has implications for the development of early prevention and intervention programs.
... Alguns fatores são relevantes na ocorrência de uma compra por impulso, nomeadamente, o ambiente de compra, o contexto sociocultural e os aspectos individuais do consumidor (Woodruffe-Burton, Eccles, & Elliott, 2002). Por conseguinte, a compra por impulso caracteriza-se por ser uma compra de decisão rápida na presença de estados emocionais intensos (Wood & Hayes, 2012), ocorrendo quando o desejo de comprar um produto ou marca supera a força de vontade do indivíduo para resistir (Faber, 2010). ...
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Os festivais de música assumem cada vez mais relevância na oferta de consumo experiencial, com impactos significativos a nível económico e social. O objetivo deste estudo foi compreender o que os portugueses pensam acerca das áreas VIP nos festivais de música e identificar que variáveis predizem a tendência para comprar por impulso bilhetes para a área VIP. O estudo recorreu ao método misto, aplicando tanto uma abordagem qualitativa, como quantitativa (método experimental e correlacional). Participaram no estudo 359 portugueses (278 mulheres e 81 homens), com idade média de 23.77 anos. Os resultados revelaram que são atribuídas mais características negativas do que positivas às áreas VIP, e que a aprovação do grupo de amigos leva os/as portugueses/as a comprar mais por impulso, sendo as emoções positivas mediadoras desta relação. Verificou-se, ainda, que a influência normativa e o consumo por estatuto estão associados à compra por impulso. Este estudo traz insights relevantes para a área de marketing, nomeadamente de marketing experiencial.
... .] reaction to an external trigger" (Chawla, 2020, p. 233). Compulsive buying is instead planned and intended to regulate emotions, mitigate anxiety or depression, or fade out negative sides of one's personality (Faber, 2010). ...
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Purpose Buying behavior has been significantly altered by technological developments as a result of the rise of the Internet. Online buying behavior is also inextricably linked to electronic payment systems, such as credit cards. This paper investigates how credit-card systems and online shopping increases compulsive buying of female and male consumers. Design/methodology/approach In the current study, the authors tested the influence of credit card possession and the role of Internet shopping on gender differences in compulsive buying in a representative German sample ( n = 1,038). Binary logistic regression analysis and moderator analysis were applied. Findings As predicted, Internet shopping increased compulsive buying, but the association was the same for females and males. Further, credit card possession moderated the effect of gender on compulsive buying, with females showing a higher proneness to compulsive buying. Originality/value This research, which is based on a representative population study, contributes to the understanding of the role of credit cards and the one of online shopping in developing compulsive buying patterns among female and male consumers.
... We maintain that materialism will have a direct effect on compulsive buying (e.g., Dittmar, 2005aDittmar, , 2005bMueller et al., 2011); but concurrently it will have a stronger indirect effect via hedonistic shopping values that, in turn, affect compulsive buying. Thus, we assume a mediational configuration stressing the similarity of materialists and compulsive buyers because they share comparable levels of emotional uplift when shopping (Babin et al., 1994;Faber, 2010;Faber & Christenson, 1996) that may momentarily reduce negative emotions (e.g., anxiety, sadness; Chang & Arkin, 2002;Vogt et al., 2014). The driving force to reduce such negative states likely pushes both materialists and compulsive buyers toward hedonistic shopping values. ...
Article
Although prior research has extensively focused on explaining the direct mechanisms of the materialism-compulsive buying relationship or stressed selected indirect variables such as consumers' social status, money attitudes, well-being, emotions and identity, little research has examined how materialism impacts compulsive buying via hedonistic shopping values in a former communist economy that has transitioned to a democratic economy. Thus, we examined the materialism-compulsive buying relationship in term of a mediational model that includes the theoretical construct of hedonistic shopping values. Additionally, the model's postulated relationships are explained from the perspective of gender differences, through the agency of moderated effects. Data for study were obtained from the Polish Household Survey resulting in a nationally representative sample (N = 1245). Results imply that materialism is related to compulsive buying, but the strongest effect occurs indirectly via hedonistic shopping values. Compulsive buyers appear to shop obsessively not only out of their materialistic orientations, but also out of hedonic joy, pleasure, and the 'emotional euphoria' they obtain during shopping. An in-depth examination between female and male consumers revealed group differences such that the tendency to compulsively buy, which assumed a joint influence of materialism and hedonistic shopping values, is stronger in women than men. Results of this study are discussed in terms of gender and cross-cultural differences and their theoretical and practical importance to understanding compulsive buying.
... Research on impulse buying focuses on a characteristic of individuals that make them more or less likely to engage in impulse buying. (Faber, 2010). These include mood states, personality characteristics, and situational factors such as proximity and depletion in resources needed for self-control. ...
Article
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Impulsive buying behavior is common and ordinary behavior that most people makes on purchasing from time to time. There are empirical studies that discussed the impulsive buying behavior of the customers. In Sri Lankan context as an emerging industry, most of the tourist follow impulsive buying behavior in the restaurants due to various reasons. Accordingly, paper investigates the concept of impulsive buying behavior and factors that influence to impulsive buying behavior in luxurious restaurants in Sri Lanka. Paper accomplishes research propositions in line with the empirical justifications encouraging future research priorities.
... Impulsive buying may boost up a consumer's self esteem but it is not necessary that this impulsive behavior should become compulsive buying behavior. Possible explanation can be extracted from the work of Faber, (2010) where he argued about the different nature and treatment of impulsive and compulsive buying behavior with respect to their antecedents. He argued that an impulsive purchaser uses (utilitarian or emotional usage) the product and a compulsive consumer mostly does not. ...
Article
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This research aimed at application and validation of core self evaluation (CSE) personality traits model in consumer impulsive & compulsive buying behavior in the context of fashion shopping. Two studies (study 1 & Study 2) with different populations were devised. In study 1, a causal relationship between CSE, impulsive and compulsive buying behavior was examined. Study 2 aimed to examine the causal relationship between CSE traits (self efficacy, self esteem, neuroticism and locus of control) and impulsive & compulsive buying behavior. Questionnaire adopted from literature was modified and administered to sample consumers in Islamabad. Structural equation models using AMOS 22 was analyzed utilizing maximum likelihood method.Results illustrated that consumers scoring high on CSE, were highly impulsive and compulsive. Impulsive buying behavior proved to be a significant predictor of compulsive buying behavior. Major contributions of this research included development of a new theoretical model of impulsive and compulsive buying behavior based on personality traits. CSE traits were adopted from work place environment and tested in consumer impulsive and compulsive behavior for the first time. Significant positive relationship between self efficacy and impulsive & compulsive behavior was established. Research implications and future directions are provided in the end. Introduction Compulsive buying behavior research in marketing and consumer behavior started with the work of Faber, O' Guinn & Krych (1987). Compulsive buying is characterized by repetitive, time consuming, excessive and uncontrolled buying (Faber &O'Guinn, 1992). Numerous factors influencing consumer's compulsive buying can be categorize into two broad categories i.e. external (environmental) influences and internal (Psychological) influences (Aboujaoude, 2013). Psychological influences include personality of a consumer and various researchers considered personality traits to be of prime importance in compulsive buying behavior (Amos, Holmes & Keneson, 2014; Black, 2010) because these traits are reasonably constant over time (Mowen & Spears, 1999). A lot of personality related factors like low self esteem, high depression; high stress, high anxiety, high emotional instability and materialism were associated with compulsive buying behavior (Davenport, Houston & Griffith, 2012). The net effects of these traits have no theoretical linkages with each other. Mowen and Spears, (1999) for the first time employed a personality trait model (Five Factor Model of personality traits) to predict compulsive buying behavior whose traits had theoretical linkages. Big Five Model (neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, openness to experience and conscientiousness) had significant insights for consumer impulsive and compulsive buying behavior. A relatively new broad personality trait termed as core self-evaluation (CSE) is found to be a sound predictor of individual's behavior apart from traits in Big-Five personality model (Judge, Heller & Klinger, 2008). CSE (includes personality traits: locus of control, self esteem, neuroticism and self efficacy) is equipped with trait like self-efficacy that was not present in the Big Five model and possesses the ability to better describe personality in broader way. Mowen and Spears (1999) also failed to establish the structure of Big Five Model in their study on compulsive buying behavior (p. 421). So we consider it worthwhile to take up CSE from work and organizational environment (like Mowen and Spears (1999) did with Big Five model) and bring it into compulsive buying behavior. Impulsive and compulsive behaviors are categorized as irrational buying behaviors (Penman & McNeill, 2008). These irrational behaviors, especially compulsive buying behaviors are also considered negative or problematic behaviors due to their damaging consequences (LaRose, 2001). Impulsive buying is an unintentional behavior that involves prompt decision making and propensity of acquiring the product immediately (Rook & Gardner, 1993). Compulsive buying behavior has been studied through impulsive tendencies, impulsiveness,
... A principal diferença entre as duas formas de compra é que a compra por compulsão se refere ao comportamento de compra e a compra por impulso diz respeito ao produto a ser adquirido (Faber & O´Guinn, 2008;Karsaklian, 2004). Contudo, vários estudos mostram uma estreita relação entre os dois tipos de compra (Eren, Eroğlu & Hacioglu, 2012;Faber, 2010;Shahjehan, Qureshi, Zeb & Saifullah, 2012;Sun, Wu & Youn, 2004). Na literatura encontramos diversos termos quando se fala da compra por impulso. ...
Thesis
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Resumo A adolescência é um período de crise onde o consumo desempenha um papel importante na construção da identidade pessoal. Contudo, apesar da vasta investigação sobre o comportamento de consumo, poucos estudos foram realizados com adolescentes sobre a compra por impulso. Assim, os estudos conduzidos sobre a compra por impulso no Brasil e em Portugal são raros, e nenhum foi feito com o público adolescente. A nossa investigação tem como objectivo estudar a compra por impulso nos adolescentes, e visa, nomeadamente, a: (1) Identificar as representações dos adolescentes sobre o acto de comprar; (2) Examinar a influência do sexo de pertença e do contexto socioeconómico em diferentes variáveis geralmente associadas à compra por impulso; (3) Identificar os factores que têm relação com o impulso nas compras; e (4) Testar um modelo explicativo para o impulso nas compras. É composta por dois estudos. O Estudo 1 foi realizado no Brasil com 272 alunos da escola privada (129 rapazes e 143 raparigas) e com 210 alunos da escola pública (84 rapazes e 126 raparigas). O Estudo 2 foi realizado em Portugal com 238 alunos de uma escola pública (117 rapazes e 121 raparigas). O contexto socioeconómico considerado no Brasil foi a classe social, e em Portugal, a percepção da crise económica. Foram estudados seis grupos de variáveis: (I) características sociodemográficas e recursos financeiros (sexo, fratria, religião, rendimento familiar e mesada/salário); (II) práticas sociais e hábitos online (visitas a centros comerciais, acesso à internet, uso dos media sociais e compras online); (III) consciência financeira (posse de cartão de crédito, e atitudes em relação ao dinheiro); (IV) variáveis psicológicas (prazer nas compras, importância atribuída à marca, percepção da importância atribuída à marca pelos outros, circulação na loja, hábito de ver publicidade e satisfação com a vida); (V) variáveis de influência grupal (influência dos pares nas compras, tendência a gastar mais na presença de amigos, e identificação com o grupo de amigos), (VI) valores (bem-estar social, pessoal e profissional, hedonistas, materialistas e religiosos e materialismo nas compras). Os resultados mostram que no Brasil as representações da compra se traduzem por classes de palavras relacionadas com os produtos ligados ao sexo de pertença dos adolescentes, ao ambiente de consumo, e aos aspectos afectivos e cognitivos da actividade de compra. O sexo e a escola de pertença influenciam a satisfação com a vida, a importância atribuída à marca, o prazer nas compras e o hábito de ver publicidade. Encontraram-se correlações positivas moderadas entre a compra por impulso e o prazer nas compras e o materialismo nas compras, e correlações fracas com a importância atribuída à marca e a tendência a gastar mais na presença de amigos. O materialismo nas compras desempenha um papel mediador entre o prazer nas compras e o impulso nas compras. Em Portugal, as representações traduzem-se por classes de palavras semelhantes e outras relacionadas com a crise económica. O sexo de pertença e a percepção da crise influenciam a tendência ao impulso nas compras, o prazer nas compras, a importância atribuída à marca, e os valores de bem-estar social, pessoal e profissional. A análise das correlações e o modelo de mediação corroboram os resultados encontrados no Estudo 1. Uma comparação entre os dois países mostra que os brasileiros são mais impulsivos na compra, atribuem mais importância à marca, e tendem a gastar mais na presença de amigos. Résumé L’adolescence est une période de crise où la consommation joue un rôle important dans la construction de l’identité personnelle. Cependant, malgré le vaste courant de recherche sur le comportement de consommation, peu d’études ont été menées avec des adolescents sur l’achat impulsif. Ainsi, les études conduites sur l’achat impulsif au Brésil et au Portugal sont rares et aucune n’a été réalisée avec un public adolescent. Notre recherche a pour objectif d’étudier l’achat impulsif chez les adolescents et vise notamment à: (1) Identifier les représentations des adolescents sur l’acte d’acheter; (2) Examiner l’influence du sexe d’appartenance et du contexte socio-économique sur différentes variables généralement associées à l’achat impulsif; (3) Identifier les facteurs qui sont en relation avec l’achat d’impulsion; et (4) Tester un modèle explicatif de l’achat impulsif. Elle est composée par deux études. L’Étude 1 a été réalisée au Brésil avec 272 élèves d’une école privée (129 garçons et 143 filles) et 210 élèves d’une école publique (84 garçons et 126 filles). L’Étude 2 a été réalisée au Portugal avec 238 élèves d’une école publique (117 garçons et 121 filles). Le contexte socio-économique considéré au Brésil a été la classe sociale et au Portugal la perception de la crise économique. Nous avons étudié six groupes de variables: (I) caractéristiques sociodémographiques et ressources financières (sexe, fratrie, religion, revenu familial et argent de poche/salaire); (II) pratiques sociales et habitudes online (visites aux centres commerciaux, accès à internet, usage des media sociaux et achats online); (III) conscience financière (possession d’un carton de crédit et attitudes en relation à l’argent); (IV) variables psychologiques (plaisir d’acheter, importance attribuée à la marque, perception de l’importance attribuée à la marque par les autres, circulation dans le magasin, habitude de regarder la publicité et satisfaction dans la vie); (V) variables d’influence groupale (influence des pairs sur les achats, tendance à dépenser davantage en présence d’amis, et identification avec le groupe d’amis); (VI) valeurs (bien-être social, personnel et professionnel, valeurs hédonistes, matérialistes et religieuses et matérialisme dans les achats). Les résultats montrent qu’au Brésil les représentations de l’achat se traduisent par des classes de mots en relation avec des produits liés au sexe d’appartenance des adolescents, l’ambiance de la consommation, et les aspects affectifs et cognitifs de l’activité d’achat. Le sexe et l’école d’appartenance influencent la satisfaction dans la vie, l’importance attribuée à la marque, le plaisir d’acheter et l’habitude de regarder la publicité. Il existe des corrélations positives modérées entre l’achat impulsif et le plaisir d’acheter ainsi que le matérialisme dans les achats, et des corrélations faibles avec l’importance attribuée à la marque et la tendance à dépenser davantage en présence d’amis. Le matérialisme dans les achats joue un rôle médiateur entre le plaisir à acheter et l’achat impulsif. Au Portugal, les représentations se traduisent par des classes mots similaires et d’autres associées avec la crise économique. Le sexe d’appartenance et la perception de la crise influencent la tendance à l’achat impulsif, le plaisir d’acheter, l’importance attribuée à la marque et les valeurs de bien-être social, personnel et professionnel. L’analyse des corrélations et le modèle de médiation corroborent les résultats obtenus dans l’Étude 1. Une comparaison entre les deux pays montre que les brésiliens sont plus impulsifs dans leurs achats, attribuent plus d’importance à la marque et tendent à dépenser plus en présence d’amis. Abstract Adolescence is a period of crisis where consumption plays an important role in the construction of personal identity. However, despite extensive research on consumer behavior, few studies have been conducted with adolescents about impulse buying. Thus, studies conducted on impulse buying in Brazil and Portugal are rare, and none has been done with teenagers. Our research aims at studying impulse buying in adolescents and is designed namely to: (1) Identify adolescents' representations about the act of buying, (2) Examine the influence of sex belongingness and socio-economic context on different variables generally associated with impulse buying; (3) Identify the factors that are related to impulse buying, and (4) Test an explanatory model for impulse buying. It consists of two studies. Study 1 was conducted in Brazil with 272 private school pupils (129 boys and 143 girls) and 210 public school pupils (84 boys and 126 girls). Study 2 was conducted in Portugal with 238 pupils from a public school (117 boys and 121 girls). The socio-economic context considered in Brazil was social class, and in Portugal, the perception of the economic crisis. We studied six groups of variables: (I) socio-demographic data and financial resources (sex, siblings, religion, family income and pocket money/salary), (II) social practices and online habits (visits of shopping centers, internet access, use of social media and online shopping), (III) financial awareness (possession of a credit card, and attitudes toward money), (IV) psychological variables (pleasure in buying, importance attributed to the brand, perception of the importance attributed to the brand by others, in-store browsing, habit of viewing advertising and life satisfaction), (V) variables of group influence (peer influence on purchases, tendency to spend more in the presence of friends, and identification with the group of friends), (VI) values (social, personal and professional well-being, hedonistic, materialistic and religious as well as materialism in purchases). Results show that in Brazil the representations of purchase are translated into classes of words related to products linked to adolescents’ sex belongingness, the environment of consumption, and the cognitive and affective aspects of purchasing. Sex and school belongingness influence life satisfaction, the importance attributed to the brand, the pleasure in buying and habits of viewing advertising. We found moderate positive correlations between impulse buying and pleasure in buying and materialism in purchases, and weak correlations with the importance attributed to the brand and the tendency to spend more in the presence of friends. Materialism in purchases plays a mediating role between pleasure in buying and impulse buying. In Portugal, the representations translate into similar classes of words and other classes related to the economic crisis. Sex belongingness and the perception of crisis influence the tendency to impulse buying, pleasure in buying, the importance attributed to the brand, and values of social, personal and professional well-being. The correlation analysis and the mediation model corroborate the results found in Study 1. A comparison between the two countries shows that Brazilians are more impulsive in buying, attribute more importance to the brand, and tend to spend more in the presence of friends.
... What marketers must keep in mind is that there is a dynamic engagement going on in the mind of the consumer between "rational buying" and "emotional buying" that can influence satisfaction outcome through compulsive and impulsive behaviors (Faber, 2010). It is important to note that the virtual world is a hybrid in between goods and services. ...
Article
The purpose of this paper is to identify antecedents contributing to consumer dissatisfaction in a virtual setting. The purpose is not to contravene existing work but rather extend the existing work on consumer dissatisfaction to virtual setting. While much of the literature till date focuses on consumer satisfaction in online buying, there are only a handful of papers describing consumer satisfaction in virtual purchases. This paper attempts to identify the antecedents contributing to consumer dissatisfaction in a virtual setting as an update to the existing antecedents on consumer dissatisfaction. While some of the antecedents are common in a virtual setting and real world, other antecedents may not be such as intangibility of the product purchase. The paper concludes with a discussion associated with launching new brands through virtual platforms and its impact on consumer dissatisfaction.
... Specifically, while compulsive consumption is considered to be a behavioral trait that is often beyond an individual's control (Hirschman 1992; Moschis 2007), impulsive buying is a behavior that is more situational in nature and often influenced by external events (Faber 2010; Rook and Fisher 1995). We selected these two behaviors due to their conceptual connection to stress (Hirschman 1992), their use in prior materialism research (Rindfleisch et al. 1997 ), and their relevance for marketing theory and practice (Faber 2010). Prior research indicates that PTS can lead to a variety of maladaptive behaviors such as alcohol abuse (Jakupcak et al. 2010), eating disorders (Holzer et al. 2008 ), and sleep disturbances (Harvey et al. 2003). ...
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Our research explores the amplifying effect of materialism on the experience of traumatic stress and maladaptive consumption via both an Israeli field study and a U.S. national survey. Our field study assesses the moderating impact of materialism upon both traumatic stress and maladaptive consumption among participants from an Israeli town under terrorist attack vs. participants from an Israeli town not exposed to hostilities. Our survey examines the possible underlying processes behind these effects among a nationally representative sample of Americans. The Israeli study reveals that, when faced with a mortal threat such as a terrorist attack, highly materialistic individuals report higher levels of post-traumatic stress, compulsive consumption, and impulsive buying than their less materialistic counterparts. Our U.S. study suggests that these effects are likely due to the fact that materialistic individuals exhibit lower levels of self-esteem, which reduces their ability to cope with traumatic events. Thus, our results indicate that, in addition to its well-documented harmful direct effect on psychological well-being, materialism also exerts an indirect negative effect by making bad events even worse.
Chapter
This chapter presents a brief exposition of consumer decision making. It begins by emphasizing the two major forces that frame consumer decisions, namely, the goals humans strive to attain in the marketplace and the resources they have to exchange for goods and services that achieve those goals. Decision-making describes how consumers make their choices. A variety of theories explains these choice procedures. The starting point is a purely rational model (homo economicus) that optimizes the exchange of resources for goods. Alternatives to this model include bounded rationality and the heuristics and biases approach. Some models emphasize the roles of emotion in consumer decision making, while others view decision making as a biological phenomenon or a stimulus/response phenomenon. Overall, one must conclude that no single model or theory accounts for all consumer decision making, and that there must be some truth in each of them. The chapter concludes with speculations regarding the future of decision-making.
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Compulsive buying (uncontrolled urges to buy, with resulting significant adverse consequences) has been estimated to affect from 1.8% to 16% of the adult U.S. population. To the authors' knowledge, no study has used a large general population sample to estimate its prevalence. The authors conducted a random sample, national household telephone survey in the spring and summer of 2004 and interviewed 2,513 adults. The interviews addressed buying attitudes and behaviors, their consequences, and the respondents' financial and demographic data. The authors used a clinically validated screening instrument, the Compulsive Buying Scale, to classify respondents as either compulsive buyers or not. The rate of response was 56.3%, which compares favorably with rates in federal national health surveys. The cooperation rate was 97.6%. Respondents included a higher percentage of women and people ages 55 and older than the U.S. adult population. The estimated point prevalence of compulsive buying among respondents was 5.8% (by gender: 6.0% for women, 5.5% for men). The gender-adjusted prevalence rate was 5.8%. Compared with other respondents, compulsive buyers were younger, and a greater proportion reported incomes under 50,000 US dollars. They exhibited more maladaptive responses on most consumer behavior measures and were more than four times less likely to pay off credit card balances in full. A study using clinically valid interviews is needed to evaluate these results. The emotional and functional toll of compulsive buying and the frequency of comorbid psychiatric disorders suggests that studies of treatments and social interventions are warranted.
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