Consumers across the globe cannot avoid mass consumption of advertisements and products. However, one cannot forget the repercussions of over spending and over consumption. This leads to an obsessive disorder-compulsive buying disorder. Compulsive buying is a form of compulsive consumption which showcases abnormal consumer behaviour. Compulsive buying is regarded as dark consumerism (Schiffman and Kanuk, 2000).
McElroy, Kleck, Pope, Smith, and Strakowski (1994) defined compulsive buying disorder as ” a mal adaptive preoccupation with buying or shopping, whether buying or shopping impulses or behavior, that either is experienced as irresistible, intrusive, and/or senseless or results in frequent buying of more than can be afforded or of items that are not needed, or shopping for longer periods of time than intended or causes marked distress, or is time-consuming, significantly interfere with social or occupational functioning, or results in financial problems ( for instance, bankrupt or debt)”. (p. 242)
As per scholars (O’Guinn and Faber 1989 p.155), compulsive buying is defined as an act of chronic, repetitive purchasing that became a response to primary negative event or feelings. It is said to provide a short-term gratification, however, that cause harm to individuals /others.
Boundy (2000) argues that compulsive spenders make use of shopping to meet the non-financial needs for self-esteem, personal potency and community. However, if one simply focuses on self-esteem and nothing else, one can never get enough or spend enough to feel god about oneself. Similarly, if one’s sense of power is based on distinguishable material goods, one will always crave more.
However, one cannot ignore the factor that compulsive buying disorder can also be considered as inherited. Parents that display compulsive buying disorder or patterns, children tend to follow the suit. Another aspect to notice is, many parents tend to over indulge their child in material things under term of reward, this creates a habit among children of rewarding oneself again and again and can later manifest into buying pattern of repetitive purchasing.
Consumerism continues to prevail among the society. A new process as emerged i.e. buying the product, using it, discarding the product, then purchasing more products. With over exposure of advertisements and consumption, many believe it to be the ticket to gratification and happiness. Boundy (2000), “For many compulsive spenders, money and material goods have replaced the church, community and family as the entity around which life is organized. The mall has become a temple to be visited almost daily, and shopping a comforting ritual”
What is the reason for customers to purchase or shop beyond their methods? Faber and his partners found that possessiveness was not a factor that drove consumers to compulsive buying. Their investigations demonstrated that purchasers’ self-sentiments and relational connections regularly set off their compulsive spending; for instance, a key inspiration for compulsive purchasing may well be to defeat negative feelings and attempt to feel better for a short period of time (Faber, 2000).
Dittmar and her partners (2000) contended that compulsive buyers tend to trust customer products, as they were a critical course toward progress, personality, and happiness than were customary shoppers. They likewise trusted that compulsive purchasers bought buyer merchandise, particularly garments and adornments, to support their mental self-view by drawing on the emblematic implications related with items to connect the holes between how they saw themselves (genuine self) and how they wished to be or to be seen (perfect self). They directed three back to back investigations to test their new social mental model of over the top purchasing. They found that rash and over the top purchasing could be anticipated specifically from a person’s self-disparities (between genuine self and perfect self) and materialistic qualities.
Millions of consumers especially in America are suffering or almost at the risk of compulsive buying. Faber and O’Guinn (1992) estimated that 8.1% of the general population could be classified as compulsive buyers or are at risk of becoming compulsive buyers. Using a more conservative criterion of a probability level of 0.95, the estimate will be 1.8% of the population or 18 individuals in a thousand. Other scholars have estimated that about 2% to 8% of the U.S. population is more vulnerable to compulsive buying disorder (for instance, Black, et al., 1998; Hirschman, 1992).
Advertising is one such medium, that helps in transmitting codes of consumer culture to the society. One of the oldest advertising strategy is associating the product with consumer’s ideal images (Snyder and De Bono, 1985). Traces of this strategy can be found among compulsive buyers and their attitude towards advertising, who focus on image rather than the benefits, such traits are less likely to found in Non-compulsive buyers (D’Astous and Bellmare, 1989). The scholars stated that American advertising industry has trained their consumers to solve problems with products. (Workman and Paper, 2010). However, as per Consumer credit counselling service and Debtors Anonymous, continuous encouragement of compulsive buying by marketing tactics (mainly advertising) can have a negative impact on consumers (De Graaf, Wann and Naylor, 2005). Advertising in Television is said to strengthen materialistic concept among individuals in society (Pollay, 1986).
Faber and o’guinn, 1988, argue that television viewing increases compulsive buying. On the contrary, moore (2009), Guo and Cai (2011) reveal that advertising has a more positive effect on CB and advertising exposure is more in compulsive buyers. The research tries to find the attitude towards advertising by consumers’ and the effect of advertising on both compulsive buyers and non-compulsive buyers. Existing literature about the effect of advertising on compulsive buying is not comprehensive. Also, effect of advertising on the relationships between personal factors and compulsive buying cannot be ignored.
3. Attitude towards advertising and compulsive buying
Scholars Bauer and Greyser (1968), argue that Consumers beliefs regarding advertising incorporates their beliefs regarding social and economic effects of advertising. On the contrary, Sandage and Leckenby (1980) argued that consumers attitude towards advertising is two-fold, one as a social institution and second as an instrument. This showcases 57% of variation in attitude towards advertising in general. (Muehling, 1987). A seven factor model explains the attitude towards advertising (Pollay and Mittal, 1993). The authors proposed and tested the 3 personal utility factor and 4 socio-economic factors. The scale went beyond the dimensions of attitude towards the instrument and institution of advertising, it also explored generalized and personalized attitudes towards the effect of advertising (socially and economically). Three personal utility factor is defined as role of advertisements in giving product information, social role and image (i.e. function of ads to give lifestyle imagery) and pleasure (i.e. function of ad to entertain the individuals). 4 social and economic factor mean the beneficial effect of advertising, effect of materialism, negative influence of advertising on social values and consequences of misleading consumers. Every single second of the day, consumers are exposed to millions of advertisements (Arens, Weigold ; Arens, 2007). The main aim of advertising for manufacturers, is to lure in the consumers and to stimulate, persuade them to buy products. However, it is difficult to change consumers perspective on advertising as positive force. Right from 1970s, numerous studies have accounts with more or less same conclusion that audiences attitude towards advertising is negative.(Alwitt ; Prabhaker, 1992; Mittal, 1994; Zanot, 1981), in contrary to a telephonic survey among 100 consumers (Shavitt, Lowrey ; Haefner, 1998), which established a consumers positive attitude towards advertising. For instance, an advertising campaign that is expensive and intensive in nature, is perceived as high product quality (Kirmani, 1990). However, it is said that advertising has the tendency of not directly increasing the willingness to pay, consumers would prefer to buy and pay for products that are advertised than the ones which are not (Haan ; Moraga-González, 2011). Various researchers have also accounted for a positive relationship between brand cognition and attitude towards advertisement. (Biehal, Stephens ; Curlo, 1992; Brown ; Stayman, 1992).In addition, it is argued that the brand attitude impacts the consumers’ intention to buy the brand (Brown & Stayman, 1992; Homer, 1990). Thus, one can draw out that consumer’s positive attitude towards advertisements can in turn influence consumer’s intention to buy the advertised goods.
However. The relationship between the attitude towards advertising and compulsive buying have been investigated in the past. (Kwak, Zinkhan and DeLorme, 2002). As per the authors and their perspective, compulsive buying should create a negate attitude towards advertising. Additionally, they postulated that the relationship was moderated through exposure of TV shows and TV commercials. Though it was positive in Korean sample but same cannot be said for U.S. samples. The results indicated that attitude towards advertising is negatively related to compulsive buying tendencies (Kwak et al. 2002), though one conceptualized to be a positive one.
Social Comparison Theory (Festinger,1954) establishes that individuals have fundamental drive to examine own opinion and abilities by means of comparison with others. The comparison can either be upwards or downwards. The upwards comparison encompasses with better others which result in negative self-evaluations; the downward comparisons encompasses with worse others resulting in self-enhancement. As the advertising content is full of idealized images, continuous exposure to advertisements lead to comparison in negative manner and injects a need to purchase and consume advertised products (Lee et al., 2000; O’Guinn ; Faber, 1989). In a similar fashion, positive attitude towards advertisements reinforces the need to possess advertised products (Brown ; Stayman, 1992), one can not help but draw conclusions that even a positive attitude towards advertisements can increase compulsive buying. However, one cannot ignore that basic underlying reasons that can help identify compulsive buyers (irrespective of attitude towards advertisements) are low self-esteem (d’Astous, 1990; Hanley & Wilhelm, 1992), have depression (Ergin, 2010; Sneath, Lacey & Kennett-Hensel, 2009) and are high on materialism (Dittmar, 2005; Rose, 2007; Johnson & Attmann, 2009).
As per Shavitt et al.(1989), Individuals attitude towards advertisements inturn help in influencing consumers exposure and attention to advertisements. For instance, Speck and Elliott (1997) and Cho (2004) exhibited that buyers’ negative states of mind towards advertisements can result in promotion evasion, characterized as “all actions by media users that differentially reduce their exposure to advertisement content” (Speck and Elliott, 1997). As promotion shirking decreases the probability of being gone up against with glorified pictures from advertisements, which could result in a negative examination and expanded need to get the publicized material products among compulsive purchasers (O’Guinn and Faber, 1989).
4. Materialistic values and compulsive buying
The key merit of 21st century shoppers culture is materialistic, and disguise of materialistic qualities as one’s close to home objectives drives people to a more prominent duty to purchasing and having material products. In view of both presence of mind and expert opinions, an individual with profoundly materialistic qualities trusts that the obtaining of material products is the only aim of life, it is the prime marker of accomplishment, happiness and self-definition (Richins, 2004). One cannot avoid to take into assumption that if compulsive buying aids in upliftment of one’s mood and improve one’s identity, then, chances of having a distinguished relationship between compulsive buying and materialism are high.
One reason to expect such an affiliation is the likeness in corresponds. At the point when materialistic qualities are unequivocally held and supersede different qualities, they have hindering relates: low confidence, disappointment with one’s life, low abstract prosperity (SWB) and poor psychosocial modification (e.g. Burroughs & Rindfleisch, 2002; Kasser & Kanner, 2004). Low self-esteem has been repeatedly being linked to compulsive buying (D’Astous, 1990; Faber ; O’Guinn, 1992), along with it the negative effects, in addition with psychiatric symptomatology, i.e. Impulse control disorder, Obsessive compulsive disorder or substance abuse (McElroy et al., 1994; Schlosser et al., 1994).
Utilizing Belk’s (1985) three materialistic identity characteristics, Faber and O’Guinn revealed that compulsive purchasers were more desirous and non-liberal as compared to another sample, however not more possessive, which they translated as a sign that compulsive purchasers have no lopsidedly solid enthusiasm for the responsibility for products. Although, Belk’s trait measure completely ignores the dimensions measurements distinguished as vital to materialistic qualities, for instance, convictions in material belonging as a focal all-consuming purpose, markers of individual achievement, and a vital course to a superior and more joyous self. Another trait that may as well be found in individuals i.e. possessiveness, simply being attached to a particular, already possessed, product, however, it doesn’t judge the desire to obtain, continuously, new, more and better products. In reality, a connection between compulsive purchasing and compulsive storing was recorded, suggesting that the securing and psychological elements of belonging be viewed as focal parts of compulsive purchasing ( Frost, Steketee, & Williams, 2002).
However, a relationship between compulsive buying and materialistic value have been showcased among young adults, wherein family structure was described by parental partition (Rindfleisch, Burroughs, & Denton, 1997), which has been deciphered as the result of their endeavor to manage insecurity through an attention on material merchandise. Compulsive purchasers demonstrate a more grounded responsibility to money as emblematic of intensity and picture (Hanley & Wilhelm, 1992), especially if the individuals are heavy credit card users (Roberts & Jones, 2001). Consumers with high materialistic needs are more in favour of overspending and borrowing money (Watson, 2003). These individuals in addition have identity and emotional buying motives: These consumers purchase products simply for regulating one’s mood and feel closer to the ideal-identity (Dittmar et al., 2004).
Taken along, these findings support the central proposal within the current article that the intensity of individuals’ endorsement of materialistic values is also a major predictor of compulsive shopping for, as a result of it might channel them towards shopping for trade goods as a compensation strategy after they feel sad regarding themselves, and in search of a higher self (Dittmar, 2001). This is in correlation with the clinical findings i.e. compulsive buyers can overcome or try to overcome with unpleasant frame of mind and low self-esteem through product purchase (Kyrios, Frost, & Steketee, 2004, p. 256).
Moreover, if it’s the case that a materialistic principle is on the rise, significantly among youngsters, then it’s going to be that materialism might account for age variations in compulsive shopping. Annual surveys of quite two hundred,000 U.S.A. students demonstrate a dramatic increase within the importance connected to money goals, a very important element of materialism (cf. Myers, 2000). The extent of students who detailed that it was ‘vital or fundamental’ that they turn out to be ‘exceptionally fortunate financially’ relatively multiplied from 39% of every 1970 to 74% out of 1998. An ongoing US review recognized an elevated spotlight on materialism in 9-to 14-year-olds (Goldberg, Gorn, Peracchio, & Bamossy, 2003), in addition 3 books were published which parallelly discussed the effects of commercialization among adolescents and children (Lindstrom, 2004; Linn, 2004; Schor, 2004). However, if one assumes that materialism is more prominent in younger people, then, at that point this esteem support could be a mediator of age contrasts in compulsive purchasing.
5. Sales promotion and Compulsive Buying
A significant proportion of firm’s marketing communication efforts come from various types of promotional tools such as coupons, premiums, rebates, samples, free gift etc. The aim of sales promotion is dual in nature, one, Give a positive effect on customer assessments and second, most importantly, trigger buying conduct (D’Astous and Jacob, 2002). Schindler (1989) gives his recommendations that promotions pertaining to price seems to uplift consumers shopper feelings, that is also described as an ego-expressive side of a value ensuing from the joy of obtaining a great deal. Consumers are filled with pride once, they feel they have purchased the product at a lower price. Prior analysis has additionally supported the thought that feelings of being a sensible and thrifty shopper area unit represented as a big outcome of responding to a value promotion (Babakus, Tat and Cunningham, 1988). Marketers, exploitate advertisements as external stimuli, may evoke sensible shopper feelings indicating however smart it’s to avoid wasting such a lot cash by exploitation value promotions might provoke the needs to own those feelings and can probably increase shopper response to such offers (Schindler, 1989).
Different examinations over the globe set up that individuals who have a higher propensity to purchase impulsively are more inclined to advancements and will probably utilize online deals promotions (Vicdan, Chapa ; De los Santos, 2007). Deals are accentuated in publicizing and deals advancements to initiate uneasiness in a person. The anxiety is regularly activated by the restricting time and stock information. This tension has been found to trigger compulsive purchasing in shoppers (Mcbride, 1980; Valence et al., 1988). Compulsive purchasers are frequently searching for a deal, which is characterized as a decent deal. The outcome of getting a decent deal in compulsive purchasing is the sentiment of pride, bliss and objective accomplishment. In any case, on the off chance that they don’t figure out how to discover a deal, they feel frustrated, dismal and unsuccessful (Saraneva & saaksjarvi, 2008). There is right around an accord in the writing that deal inclination prompts more compulsive purchasing.
As per author Larose and Eastin (2002), presentation to web based business locales could debilitate self control that makes customers visit web based business destinations all the more every now and again and make more online buys, which additionally cheapens compelling self-direction. Researches that were conducted in offline environment revealed that mass media does stimulate compulsive buying (Rook, 1987; Scherhorn et al., 1990). Consumers are when exposed to advertisements in a traditional marketplace, it stimulates irrepressible the urge to shop (Kwak, Zinkhan and Dominick, 2002). Television viewing has a positive link with compulsive purchasing (Faber and O’Guinn, 1988; Roberts, 1998). Hence, from the literature gathered in traditional marketplace, one can postulate that the frequent exposure to web based sales promotions is said to have different implications for buyers online that are with compulsive purchasing tendencies. Various forms and bulk of sales promotions (including free gifts, price-offs, premiums, coupons, contests, lottery, refunds or rebates) stimulate individuals with various buying habits to come back to web based sites and buy even more products (Clow and Baack, 2004). As per the cultivation theory (Gerbner, Gross, Morgan, Signorielli and Shanahan, 2002), the more individuals attend broad communications’ depiction of the world, the more probable they are to acknowledge this portrayal as convincing. The amount of exposure to such media is appreciably related to extended aspirations to be materialistic (Richins, 1987), which is positively linked to compulsive buying (Mowen and Spears, 1999).
A prominent aspect one needs to see is that in order to understand the effect of different types of media and different advertising tools which is targeted on different consumers, one needs to know a basic gist of media exposure (Roberts and Foehr, 2004).
Empirical studies has been dedicated to expertise the connection among proneness to income advertising gives and client usage behaviour, in particular the factors that encourage purchasers who’re coupon are prone to use coupons (Bawa and Shoemaker, 1987; Levedahl, 1988) and sales promotions in common (Huff and Alden, 1998; Ndubisi and Moi, 2006).
Furthermore, exposure to marketing stimuli will increase the frequency of purchase conduct, frequency of response to income promotions (for instance, number of coupons redeemed) and the quantity of income spent on advertised products (Burton, Lichtenstein and Netemeyer, 1999). In web based environment, consumers buying behaviour is stimulated by sales promotion offers (Clow and Baack, 2004). For instance, lewis, singh and fay (2006) made use of a database from a web based retailer, which was found that free ship delivery promotions greatly increase order incidence. Overall, the literature regarding the behaviours of shoppers within the traditional marketplace indicates that the thrill of locating a decent deal can doubtless lead shoppers to shop for more (Morris, 1987; Rose, 1988). Therefore, status to advertisements can cause customers to expertise feelings of pleasure of finding a deal or a promotion as a results of being exposed to such stimuli, which can eventually trigger their compelling urge to use these promotional tools and to shop for a lot of. Consequently, through extending the literature to the web surroundings, it’s hypothesized that shopper disposition to advertisements can increase their on-line advertisement usage, that successively can increase consumers’ online-shopping incidence.
6. Media use, status consumption and compulsive buying
Popular forms of media, especially commercial television, constantly showcase the images, values, and lifestyles of the rich and beautiful people so as to the heavy users of media, predominately the heavy viewers of television, have internalized media portrayals of the world, developed an inflated sense of wealthy society, raised their aspirations and expected standards of living (O’Guinn & Shrum, 1997; Shrum et al., 1991). In 1978, Fox and Philliber established that television viewing contributed to viewers’ perception of a materialistic society, hence, heavy viewers overestimated the number of people who own a luxury car or belonging to a country club, and purchasing a build-in swimming pool. Shrum et al. (1991) showcased that heavy viewers of television were more likely to overestimate the number of millionaires in the United States. As per Carlson (1993) viewing news programs and situational comedies was related to viewers’ perception of affluence.
Past studies have given ample hard evidence that television programs and television commercials often portray a world dominated by attractive, glamorous, and wealthy characters that take part in exciting adventures within luxurious and affluent settings. In television programs on its own, about 45% of the characters hold comparable jobs (Greenberg, 1980). Similarly, as per Hajjar (1997) middle- class and professional-class characters were over-represented in television commercials. The world portrayed by television commercials is even more affluent than the world portrayed by television programs. For instance, Allan and Coltrane (1996) found that almost two-thirds of all advertising characters with jobs were either professionals or managers. These images and stories have provided audiences with detailed descriptions of artificial and exaggerated lifestyles and instructions to follow these lifestyles (Belk & Pollay, 1985). O’Guinn and Shrum (1997) also said that television commonly used consumption symbols as a means of visual shorthand and what television characters had and the activities in which they participated marked their social status with an economy of explanatory dialogue.
Such media portrayals lead overpowering customers of predominant media to connect having a place of excess things with monetary prosperity, regard, and power. In this way, they will likely advance toward getting to be status-pursuing clients who purchase exorbitant and discernible things and organizations to remain mindful of the wealth lifestyles in prevailing media
There has also been evidence found that shows a direct relationship between media use and status consumption. For example, Wei and Pan’s (1999) survey in the two largest cities in China showed that younger, better-educated, and financially better-off Chinese citizens were most likely to bear three stable consumerist value orientations: conspicuous consumption, aspiration for self-actualization, and worship of Western lifestyles. They also found that media exposure played a significant role in the development of Chinese consumer values because holding these values was positively related to frequent reading of consumer magazines and frequent exposure to outdoor advertisements.
There is additionally some empirical proof to support the affiliation of commercial media and compulsive-buying tendencies. For example, d’Astous, Maltais and Roberge’s (1990) survey of 394 French-Canadian adolescents aged 13-19 years found that their estimates of tv viewing hours per day were absolutely related with their compulsive-buying tendencies, Kwak, Zinkhan and Dominick (2002) tried to demonstrate the vital result of tv advertising on viewers’ compulsive- shopping for tendencies by examining the anodyne role of compulsive-buying tendencies within the cultivation effects of tv shows and tv advertising in each the us and South Korea. It was discovered that South Korean customers who had higher enthusiastic purchasing propensities will probably have view of a materialistic culture by TV promoting than others. It is reasonable that a materialistic-culture recognition from watchers with high urgent purchasing propensities may alleviate their mental parts of buying conduct, which, thusly, makes them keep on participating in the obtaining in light of the fact that their materialistic view got from TV may defend such unusual purchasing behaviors. In this sense, it demonstrated that South Korean TV content contributed in some approaches to compulsive purchasers’ uncontrollable buy drives.
7. State of Mind and Compulsive Buying
Negative or undesirable frame of mind have shown to precede compulsive buying episodes and short-term improvements in frame of mind are reported to follow these experiences (Christensonet al., 1994; Faber & Christenson et al, 1996; Faber, O’ Guinn ;Raymond, 1987; Valence, d’Astous &Frontier, 1988). The perspective that compulsive buying is indulged into as a mood regulation mechanism to transform the negative aspect into more positive one has found support in many studies. Dittmar, Long & Bond (2007) have termed it as “self-medication hypothesis” and is found to be consistent across the majority of studies (Kellet S., Bolton, J.V, 2009; Gailliot, M. , Zell, A. and Baumeister, R. ,2014; Donnelly, Ksendzova, Howel, 2013). Compulsive consumptions, such as binge eating, are found to be often preceded by distressed state of minds such as sadness, melancholy etc (Yanovski, 1993). Correspondingly, Miltenberger et al. (2003) established that negative moods are the most common antecedent of compulsive buying among various compulsive buyers. Compulsive buying in turn provides them with temporary relief from negative frame of mind. In contrast to other findings, It is said that a positive state of mind can also help as a factor to trigger compulsive buying, this is limited not only to compulsive buyers but buyers with high impulsive tendencies as well (Rook & Gardner, 1993). Despite, such a variety of research, majority of the literature agrees on the aspect of negative frame of mind leading to larger consequences of compulsive buying.
8. Mental Disorders: Stress, Anxiety and Depression
Mental disorders, especially stress, anxiety and depression are said to be primary predictors for compulsive buying in various researches. The feeling that people have when they are under pressure is known as stress. There are various methods adopted by individuals to combat stress and buying is one such method. Various studies established a posititve relation between stress and compulsive buying tendency (DeSarbo and Edwards, 1996; Ridgway et al., 2008; Sohn and Choi, 2012). As per American Psychological Association , anxiety is said to be identified by feeling of worry, tension and physical changes. Few studies showcased that compulsive buyers tend to have a higher anxiety level as compared to non-compulsive buyers (Valence, et al., 1988; Edwards, 1993; Roberts and Jones, 2001). There are different elements that cause anxiety, and once an individual is induced with feeling of anxiety, it triggers a spontaneous action, which the consumer tries to reduce (Valence et al., 1988). As per Collins dictionary, Depression is identifies by extreme gloom, inability to concentrate and feelings of inadequacy.
Various studies established that compulsive buyers are more affected by depression (Krueger, 1988; Christenson, Faber, Swann, Raymond, 1994; Schlosser, Black, Repertinger, Freet, 1994; Lejoyeux, Hourtané and Adés, 1995; Faber and Christenson, 1996; Black, Repertinger, Gaffner, Gabel, 1998; Frost, Steketee and Williams, 2002; Dittmar, Long, Bond, 2007; Billieux, Rochat, Rebetez, Linden, 2008; Sneath, Lacey, Kenneth-Hensel, 2009, Ergin, 2010; Sohn and Choi, 2012). The three major motives for compulsive consumption are stress, anxiety and depression (Workman and paper, 2010). Wu (2006) indicates stress and anxiety; Kellett and Bolton (2009) indicate depression and anxiety as the causes of CB. In customer culture, buyers’ high pressure, tension and gloom level may make compulsive purchasing all together break from these negative emotions. Advertisements help the consumers in up liftment of mood, and sets an image of happiness once the product is acquired. Hence, compulsive buyers end up shopping to negate themselves from unpleasant feelings.
9. Gender and compulsive buying
Gender has been one of the ongoing debates on compulsive buying. As per scholars O’Guinn and Faber (1989); Kraepelin (1915), in compulsive buying index, majority of them are females, but in the result was questioned, when boundy (1993), found the evidence complete opposite. Gender seems to be one of the most important variable to get a deeper understanding of compulsive buying, as per Roberts (1989), a study was conducted in US among students, it was found that females largely outnumbered males in phenomena. However, researchers (Ditmmar, 2005; Neuner, Raab and Reisch 2005), negate the gender imbalance in compulsive consumption, as per them, females are more susceptible of their compulsive buying problem as compared to males. Another dimension of research showcases absence of gender imbalance but focus on experience of compulsive buying among genders. (Boundy, 1993; Campbell, 1997). However, original diagnostic of females are more compulsive buyers as compared to males is taken into account, this is done due to limitation of credible research in Indian context.
Up to 30 research studies found that women are disproportionally affected by compulsive buying. Studies that take into account individuals as compulsive buyers, females percentage ranges from 74% (Hanley and Wilhelm,1992) to 93% (Black, Repertinger, Gaffney, &Gabel, 1998). As per scherhon, Reisch and Raab, (1990), females have scored higher on compulsive buying scale than males. However, a survey showcased late twenties females scored slightly higher than males (Magee,1994). Hence, females are more susceptible to compulsive buying, however, no gender difference could be found among adolescents.
There are few researches that showcase that females are stronger psychologically motivated to buy. Two aspects, i.e., emotional and identity related dimensions are more prominent for females than males (Babin, Darden and Griffen, 1994; Dittmar, Long, Meekm 2004). Ladies have a more positive attitude towards, shopping, social interactions and browsing, these are associated with term, ‘leisure frame’, unlike men who negate and are associated with ‘work frame’, their main goal is to finish the task at hand with least input of time and effort (Campbell,2000).
However, the type of product being shopped at hand can reverse the general tendency, for instance, shopping for computer equipment or tools, it doesn’t change the result that for females shopping is a emotional, symbolic and psychological for women in comparison to males. (Dittmar and Drury, 2000). However, it is wrong to assume that there is a link established between female gender identity and shopping as it would result in compulsive buying to be inordinate and tip more towards females than male, Or maybe, purchasing conduct is probably going to remain gendered in the way portrayed just as long as social standards and shared portrayals keep on surrounding shopping as firmly connected to ladies’ social, individual, and sexual orientation characters, and as long as ladies – still’s identity the greater part of home-creators and essential carers for kids – have less open doors than men for other psychological remuneration methodologies. In the end, women are more prone to compulsive buying than men, one can question the advertising strategies generated as per the gender ratio and the belief of genders on the same.
10. Age and compulsive buying
No research that focuses on the relationship between compulsive buying and age, however, there have been instances that propose, younger people are more affected by compulsive buying tendencies. Hence, today, compulsive buying (CB) is not only a concern in terms of rise in individuals being affected by it, but also affecting a section of consumers i.e. young consumers. Firstly, the larger number of studies which compare compulsive buyers with ordinary buyers reported that the average age of compulsive buyers is lower by between 8–11 years in France (Lejoyeux et al., 1997), Germany (Scherhorn et al., 1990), and the US (Hanley ; Wilhelm, 1992; O’Guinn & Faber, 1989), however, few studies found a small (Lejoyeux, Haberman, Solomon, & Ade ?s, 1999) or no age differences (Black et al., 1998; DeSarbo & Edwards, 1996). Additionally, an EU project identified 46% of Scottish (16- to 18-year-olds) as showing possible early tendencies towards compulsive buying, as they feel they are unable to resist advertising stimuli and had a lack of control over their spending habits (Garce ?s Prieto, 2002).
There is a possibility that the trend is short-lived in juvenile lives, so that they could review their developmental needs to either explore consumer activities or to establish an independent, adult identity, be it through through material goods (if available). However, there is chance of them reflecting cohort effects, and research showcases links between first, overspending and compulsive buying, second, increasing debt levels in younger people on the other. Even though there are multiple causes for overspending, a social scientific analysis documents reveals that there is increase in both overspending and compulsive buying during the last two decades simultanoulsly (Lee & Mysyk, 2004), to support more of research, a UK-based interview study with 36 households in severe debt revealed that 20% fitted a compulsive buying profile (Elliott, 2005). Simultaneously, younger generation have showcased stronger pro-debt attitudes (Lea & Webley, 1995), in addition to higher levels of debt. In UK specifically, personal debt is increasing by £1 million every 4 minutes and over 60% of insolvency cases involve people under age of 30 (Credit Action, 2005); As in case of US, bankruptcy judges believe that overwhelming credit card debt is often afflicted among young consumers (Newsletter of the Federal Courts, 2004).
Combining these findings and arguments together, it is therefore found that younger respondents are more prone to compulsive buying than older respondents, which makes it important to sample across a wide age range, including adolescents and does advertising effect more on younger generation (i.e. as per Indian demographics) than older generation. Also, this raises a question on the relationship between materialistic values and age difference mostly identified in north America and Europe (e.g. Kasser & Kanner, 2004).
Plenty of study has covered compulsive buying behaviour in developed economies, however, the subject has received minimalistic attention in the developing nations especially India. As per Horvath, C., Adiguzel, F., & van Herk, H. (2013) have pointed out this gap. As per their words,
“Although several studies focused on understanding of compulsive buying in developed countries, this phenomenon remains understudied in other parts of the world. This is rather surprising since there is an increasing interest in understanding shopping behaviour of consumers in emergent markets due to the growing importance of these markets”.
A parallel-like conclusion has also been drawn in another recent study on the literature review of compulsive buying by Gupta (2013). In her section on future directions, she writes:
” Future research should go beyond the current discussions and take up more research on compulsive buying which in the past and present has been especially studied as an issue behaviour in the Western world and, fully developed economies to emerging markets around the world. With the increase in unregulated growth of consumption in emerging markets, mostly in Brazil, Russia, India and China and aggressive marketing tactics practiced by consumer marketers, it is vital for researchers to study compulsive consumption in the emerging developing economies. With substantial increase in purchasing power in emerging markets, it is possible that compulsive buying or other forms of addictive consumption might be in a nascent stage in these societies. If research uncovers an emergent form of such problem behaviours, then, early intervention through awareness, education and protection might save vulnerable populations from the harmful impact of addictive consumption “.
Although most of the research to understand this phenomenon has been carried out in the Western, developed societies, Neuner et al. (2005) believe that whenever consumers are exposed to western consumerism, there are high chances of triggering compulsive buying trait. However, only one notable study on Indian students’ compulsive buying could be traced in the literature which put the percentage of students suffering from it at 15 per cent (Rao, 2013). However, literature on impulsive buying, a similar phenomenon, is present extensively (Dash, Dash ; Mahapatra, 2013; Kalla ;Arora, 2011; Mohan, Sivakumaran ; sharma, 2009, 2013). Our study focuses to bridge the gap in the literature by studying the compulsive buying phenomenon and its antecedents in the Indian context. Along, with it whether advertising acts as a major external triggering factor of compulsive consumption among non-compulsive buyers at large. The results can throw light on the compulsive buying phenomenon in developing countries and can help marketers develop better strategies in these markets. The result can also shed light giving suggestions and recommendations on reduction of over-consumption from advertisers and consumers perspective.