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Can we identify compulsive buyers based on their personality? An application of the Personality Adjective Check List

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Abstract:

Compulsive buying (CB) - an uncontrolled urge to buy unneeded products - though not yet officially recognised as a mental disorder, causes significant impairments in financial, legal, social and occupational areas of functioning of an affected person. The goal of the current research was twofold: first, to investigate the link between CB and looking at more specific personality traits than the Big Five model, and second to determine whether compulsive buying tendency in a general consumer sample is indicative of potential personality problems. To this end the Personality Adjective Check List (PACL, Strack, 1991) was chosen to measure personality traits in consumers, an instrument with strong theoretical underpinnings based on Millon's evolutionary model of personality that differentiates and links healthy and abnormal character on a continuum (Millon, 1969). The results of hierarchical multiple regressions showed that dependence on self rather than others in maximising pleasure and minimising pain (independence) or uncertainty about how to derive the most pleasure (ambivalence) can make consumers more vulnerable to buy compulsively. Confident, Forceful and Sensitive personality styles were positively related to CB whereas Respectful related to CB negatively.

Keywords: COMPULSIVE BUYING; MALADAPTIVE CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR; PERSONALITY; PERSONALITY ADJECTIVE CHECK LIST; UNCONTROLLED BUYING

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/147539212X13469450373038

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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