Gender identity and material symbols: objects and decision considerations in impulse purchases

Dittmar, Helga, Beattie, Jane and Friese, Susanne (1995) Gender identity and material symbols: objects and decision considerations in impulse purchases. Journal of Economic Psychology, 16 (3). pp. 491-511. ISSN 0167-4870

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Abstract

We present a new model of impulse buying, based on a social constructionist theory, which addresses some of the short-comings of previous models from economics, consumer behaviour, and psychology. Our model predicts that products are impulsively bought to reflect self-identity. Thus gender, as a major social category, should influence both the products bought impulsively and the buying considerations used. We investigate these aspects of impulse buying in a mature student population through individual interviews employing a mixture of quantitative and open-ended measures. As predicted, men tend to impulsively buy instrumental and leisure items projecting independence and activity, while women tend to buy symbolic and self-expressive goods concerned with appearance and emotional aspects of self. Finally, we consider the implications of our findings, and discuss possible extensions of the research to the area of compulsive buying.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Helga Dittmar
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2017 08:38
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2017 08:38
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/66587
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