Customer Behavior: Self-Image Purchases

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 Buyer Habit: Self-Image Purchases Essay

Journal of Economic Psychology 21 (2000) 109±142

www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

Self-image ± is it in the bag? A qualitative evaluation

between ``ordinary'' and ``excessive'' consumers

Helga Dittmar 5., John Drury

Sociology and Social Mindset Subject Group, Arts Building E, School of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BNI 9SN, East Sussex, UK

Received 25 September 1998; recognized 10 Sept 1999

Fuzy

An specific thematic evaluation is offered of 32 interviews, which will examined commonsense de®nitions of impulsive and planned obtaining, characteristics of typical behavioral instinct buy symptoms, motivations pertaining to impulsive ordering, issues of self-image and self-presentation, and regret. 10 interviews each were done with ``ordinary'' men and women buyers, and another 10 with women classi®ed as ``excessive shoppers'' (more commonly referred to as ``compulsive buyers''). Two man excessive buyers were also interviewed. Distinctive patterns emerged for each di€erent buyer group. Findings show that impulse ordering, regret and other concepts have got complex connotations beyond those that can be measured easily in survey exploration, and that the amount of sophistication and re¯exivity regarding oneÕs buying behaviour can be far greater in excessive shoppers. On the basis of the gender di€erences found, it is proposed that self and shopping will be more closely associated for women than for men. Ó 2000 Elsevier Science M. V. Almost all rights reserved.

PsycINFO classi®cation: 11480

JEL classi®cation: D120; J160

5. Corresponding

publisher. Tel.: +44-(0)1273-606755; fax: +44-(0)1273-673563.

E-mail treat: h. e. [email protected] ac. uk (H. Dittmar).

0167-4870/00/$ - find front subject Ó 2150 Elsevier Research B. Versus. All rights reserved. PII: S zero 1 6 7 - 4 almost eight 7 zero ( on the lookout for 9 ) 0 zero 0 3 9 - 2

110

H. Dittmar, J. Drury / Log of Financial Psychology 21 (2000) 109±142

Keywords: Consumer behavior; Searching; Compulsive ordering; Self-image; Sexuality; Thematic examination

1 . Intro

Impulsive and excessive obtaining has been of theoretical and practical signi®cance to economics, consumer research and psychology. It is likely that this behaviour has grown over the last two decades, as a consequence of linked economic and social within advanced American economies, including dramatic boosts in personal disposable incomes and credit facilities. Along with these innovations in ``modern'' consumer spending, there are significant shifts inside the psychological, interpersonal and ethnical signi®cance of purchasing consumer merchandise. The traditional economic and consumer behaviour types assume a ``rational'', critical, thoughtful buyer, who collects information strategically and purchases goods relating to useful cost±bene®t things to consider. However , this view has been challenged, particularly in the context of widening consumer choices.

Consumer goods can and do function as material symbols of who one is and who also they would like to be. A focus on buying provisions to satisfy the physical needs of one self and one's family features shifted toward using consumer goods being a modern method of acquiring and expressing a sense of selfidentity (e. g., Dittmar, 1992), controlling emotions (e. g., Elliott, 1994) or gaining social status (e. g., McCracken, 1990). This kind of shift is definitely captured by the stereotype of recent consumerism ``I shop i really am''. Obtaining goods in order to bolster oneÕs self-image might be a inspiration that performs some function in most ordering behaviour, but it really might be particularly important when folks engage in non-planned ``spur from the moment'' acquisitions. Such impulsive buys, devoid of careful deliberation and previous intent, could well be regretted after. Although most people experience the periodic lapse of judgement in purchasing, in an extreme contact form it can result in excessive shopping for behaviour. Scientific studies in ``shopping addiction'' or ``compulsive buying'' have already been carried out just lately in the United States (Hanley & Wilhelm, 1992; O'Guinn & Faber, 1989), Canada (Valence,...

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