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Darren Dahl (Editor in Chief)Eileen FischerGita JoharVicki Morwitz

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Compulsive Buying: A Phenomenological Exploration

Thomas C. O'Guinn, Ronald J. Faber
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/209204 147-157 First published online: 1 September 1989

Abstract

Compulsive buying is framed within the larger category of compulsive consumption, and both quantitative and qualitative data are used to provide a phenomenological description. Results indicate people who buy compulsively are more likely to demonstrate compulsivity as a personality trait, have lower self-esteem, and are more prone to fantasy than more normal consumers. Their primary motivation appears to be the psychological benefits derived from the buying process itself rather than from the possession of purchased objects. Consequences of compulsive buying include extreme levels of debt, anxiety and frustration, the subjective sense of loss of control, and domestic dissension.

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