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A new look at "compulsive buying": self-discrepancies and materialistic values as predictors of compulsive buying tendency
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 18:56 authored by Helga Dittmar
Compulsive buying is a widespread dysfunctional consumer behavior that is still not well understood, and existing clinical conceptualizations view it as a manifestation of other underlying psychiatric disorders. This article intends to improve understanding through developing and testing a new perspective on compulsive buying as identity-seeking behavior that is driven jointly by self-discrepancies and endorsement of materialistic values. It presents three studies-a qualitative exploration using shopping diaries, and two quantitative surveys-which provide convergent evidence that compulsive buying is characterized by the motivation to move closer to an "ideal self" through material goods. For women, who constitute the great majority of compulsive buyers, there was good support for the two-factor model in both middle and young adulthood. For young men, materialistic values, but not self-discrepancies, were a significant predictor. Conceptual and treatment implications are discussed.
JournalJournal of Social and Clinical Psychology
Department affiliated with
- Psychology Publications
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