Impulsive and excessive buying behaviour

Dittmar, Helga, Beattie, Jane and Friese, Susanne (1998) Impulsive and excessive buying behaviour. In: Taylor-Gooby, Peter (ed.) Choice and public policy: the limits to welfare markets. Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 123-144. ISBN 9780333678206

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Interlinked social and economic changes in Britain, particularly over the last two decades, have changed the climate in which individuals make consumer choices. Higher disposable incomes, coupled with an easier availability of consumer credit, mean wider choices for a greater number of individuals. An important theme of the ‘Economic Beliefs and Behaviour’ programme is to highlight in diverse domains that the process of choice is more complex than the operation of purely ‘rational’ (in a traditional economic sense) considerations on clear pre-existing preferences. The research reported in this chapter relates to this theme by addressing the claim that widening consumer choices mean that buying behaviour has assumed a greater personal significance in individuals’ lives. Through an examination of buying behaviour and buying motivations we attempt to show that choices about consumer durables are influenced by particular non-functional aspects of goods. Specifically, consumer goods also have symbolic meanings on which people can and do draw in constructing and expressing a sense of self and identity. Buying goods in order to bolster one’s self-image is probably a motivation that plays some role for all buying behaviour, but may be particularly important when people engage in unplanned ‘spur of the moment’ purchases.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
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Depositing User: Helga Dittmar
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2017 09:13
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2017 09:13
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