خویشتن بینی - آیا آن در کیف است؟مقایسه کیفی بین مصرف کنندگان "عادی" و "بیش از حد"
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|26587||2000||34 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Economic Psychology, Volume 21, Issue 2, April 2000, Pages 109–142
An in-depth thematic analysis is presented of 32 interviews, which examined commonsense definitions of impulsive and planned buying, characteristics of typical impulse buy episodes, motivations for impulsive buying, issues of self-image and self-presentation, and regret. Ten interviews each were conducted with “ordinary” men and women consumers, and a further 10 with women classified as “excessive shoppers” (more commonly referred to as “compulsive buyers”). Two male excessive consumers were also interviewed. Distinctive patterns emerged for each different shopper group. Findings show that impulse buying, regret and other concepts have complex meanings beyond those that can be measured easily in survey research, and that the level of sophistication and reflexivity about one’s shopping behaviour is far greater in excessive shoppers. On the basis of the gender differences found, it is proposed that self and shopping are more closely linked for women than for men.
Impulsive and excessive buying has been of theoretical and practical significance to economics, consumer research and psychology. It is likely that this behaviour has increased over the last two decades, as a consequence of linked economic and social changes in advanced Western economies, such as dramatic increases in personal disposable incomes and credit facilities. Alongside these developments in “modern” consumer spending, there are important shifts in the psychological, social and cultural significance of buying consumer goods. The traditional economic and consumer behaviour models assume a “rational”, discerning, thoughtful consumer, who gathers information strategically and buys goods according to functional cost–benefit considerations. However, this view has been challenged, particularly in the context of widening consumer choices. Consumer goods can and do function as material symbols of who a person is and who they would like to be. A focus on buying provisions to satisfy the physical needs of oneself and one's family has shifted towards using consumer goods as a modern means of acquiring and expressing a sense of self-identity (e.g., Dittmar, 1992), regulating emotions (e.g., Elliott, 1994) or gaining social status (e.g., McCracken, 1990). This shift is captured by the stereotype of modern consumerism “I shop therefore I am”. Buying goods in order to bolster one’s self-image is probably a motivation that plays some role in most buying behaviour, but it might be particularly important when people engage in non-planned “spur of the moment” purchases. Such impulsive buys, without careful deliberation and prior intent, may well be regretted later. Although most people experience the occasional lapse of judgement in purchasing, in an extreme form it can result in excessive buying behaviour. Empirical studies on “shopping addiction” or “compulsive buying” have been carried out recently in the United States Hanley and Wilhelm, 1992 and O'Guinn and Faber, 1989, Canada (Valence, d'Astous & Fortier, 1988), Germany (Scherhorn, Reisch & Raab, 1990), Belgium (Vlerick, 1998), and the UK (Elliott, 1994). All suggest that such extreme buying is on the increase, affecting an estimated 2–5% of adults in developed Western economies. These estimates imply that, for instance, possibly more than ten million adults in the US could be affected, and up to half a million in the UK. This affliction can leave sufferers severely distressed and financially crippled. The term “excessive” buying used in this paper seems preferable to “compulsive buying” or “shopping addiction” because it avoids in-built assumptions about control or positive/negative aspects in the shopping activity. In this paper, we present an in-depth interview study which provides a qualitative exploration of impulsive buying and a comparison between ordinary and excessive shoppers. Its main aims are to examine and extend qualitatively issues which arise either from the previous research literature or from the findings of the other studies in a recent multi-method project on impulsive and excessive buying, of which the interviews reported formed a part.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
These qualitative findings validate, complement and extend the quantitative results of the project in a number of ways. With respect to respondents’ own definitions and experiences, impulse buying is seen as clearly distinct from planned buying, and they are each governed by different motivations: impulse buying is defined in psychological terms, as opposed to the cost-benefit approach which characterises accounts of planned purchasing. This finding is important because it validates the approach taken in other studies of the project, where respondents were asked to report aspects of their shopping behaviour separately for impulse buying versus planned buying. In terms of the second research question, concerning the prevalence and meanings of regret, the findings show that regret is complex: it is experienced in a multi-dimensional way where, simultaneously, certain aspects of an impulse buy are regretted (e.g., money spent), while others are not (e.g., actual item bought). Although we would not want to privilege lay accounts over social scientific definitions, the multiple meanings of regret reported do not sit easily with a (traditional) one-dimensional micro-economic concept of “time-inconsistent preferences”. Thirdly, there appear to be some consistent patterns which characterise typical impulse buying episodes. They focus on appearance and identity-related goods, and internal motivations (such as mood repair) feature more strongly than situational factors (sales, bargains). Credit facilities appear to increase and accelerate impulse buying, particularly for excessive women buyers for whom this resource gets out of control. Finally, in support of the social psychological model that underpins this study, the actual goods bought are seen as or even more important than the shopping experience itself. Moreover, shoppers gave spontaneous, unprompted accounts of the link between shopping and self, with a focus on self-image. In the sense that this analysis of lay accounts of consumption behaviour fits broadly with conclusions derived from quantitative studies (e.g. Dittmar et al., 1996; Dittmar & Beattie, 1998), the different types of methodology converge or ‘triangulate’ (Denzin, 1989) to support the social psychological model of shopping behaviour described in the introduction. Notwithstanding the general themes identified, there were systematic differences between the various shopper groups. Two of these deserve highlighting. In terms of sophistication, elaboration and reflexivity, women shoppers’ accounts were richer than those of the men, particularly for excessive women buyers. In some senses this may not be surprising, given that we contacted the excessive women buyers mainly through a self-help organisation, which means that, first, they had to acknowledge that they had a problem and, second, decide to ask for help. This step was most likely preceded by reflections about the woman’s motivation for excessive buying, the meaning and function of buying, the situations which trigger it, and so on. It also has to be noted that some of them were receiving some form of counselling or therapeutic support, which means that they were engaged in an active process of communicating about and understanding their buying behaviour. Although heterogeneous, men’s accounts overall were less thoughtful and elaborated, and this fits well with our claim that shopping seems to play a much more psychologically and emotionally encompassing role for women than men. For men, it appears that self-repair strategies other than shopping are more socially sanctioned and culturally available. This may explain in part why our model predicts women’s tendency towards excessive buying, but not men’s. It might be argued that the gender differences identified here are a function of different ways of talking rather than different ways of construing shopping. The recent tradition of discursive psychology alerts us to the danger of treating talk simply as an unmediated expression of ‘inner’ desires, motivations, and feelings (e.g., Edwards & Potter, 1992). Indeed, research on gender differences in talk notes that women’s conversation may be more ‘psychological’ and personal than that of men (e.g., Johnstone, 1993 and Tannen, 1990). However, while the present findings cannot in themselves constitute unambiguous evidence for gender differences in construal of self and shopping behaviour, they are consistent with both previous ‘behavioural’ evidence from the present project (e.g., Dittmar et al., 1996) and existing reviews (e.g., Lunt & Livingstone, 1992) which all suggest that consumption patterns are gendered and therefore that shopping is more likely to be a psychological issue for women than for men. In other words, it is not just words. As Tannen (1994) points out, it is a misconception to see any analysis of gender differences in talk or behaviour as implying that such differences are fixed by nature. Our gender explanation should therefore not be misunderstood as an essentialist account of differences between male and female consumers.7 Rather, we are putting forward the argument that shopping is likely to remain gendered in the way described only as long as cultural norms and social representations (e.g., Moscovici, 1988) continue to frame shopping as closely linked to women’s social, personal and gender identities. In addition, there may also be social constraints which may make shopping self-completion a more likely compensation strategy for women than men, who might have better opportunities for engaging in different activities, such as excessive sports or going out for a drink with their “mates”. For instance, primary carers and homemakers – who are still predominantly women – are usually able to bring their children along on shopping trips, but not on excursions to the gym. However, with changes in the occupational and domestic roles of women and men, and the recent, increasing emphasis on appearance, body image and consumption of goods also for men (e.g., Dittmar & Morse, 1997), it is seems likely that excessive buying will become more common in men.