On SAGE Insight: The Effect of Deals and Moods on Compulsive Buying

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All of us have witnessed impulsive buying tendencies especially for products, such as ice creams, street foods and artificial jewelry. However, when buying becomes an addiction and starts resulting into a pathological condition, it is termed as compulsive buying. The study is an attempt to establish the relationship between deals and moods on the compulsive buying behavior.

Compulsive behaviors refer to behaviors that are against the conscious will of an individual driven by irresistible urge, leading to harmful effects on the individual (American Psychiatric Association, 1985). There are two criteria that must be satisfied for classifying a behavior as compulsive. The behavior must be repetitive and it must be problematic for an individual.

Consumers often engage in compulsive buying driven by moods and resultant lack of self-control. It is found that compulsive buyers reported negative moods as the most common antecedent of compulsive buying, which in turn provided temporary relief from negative moods. Contrary to this, positive moods are also found to precede compulsive buying among ordinary consumers with high impulse buying tendencies. However, there is agreeableness in majority of the literature that negative moods are expected to increase compulsive buying in consumers.


The present study is an attempt to establish the relationship between deals and moods on the compulsive buying behaviour. A total of 172 subjects responded to the structured questionnaire conducted mainly through online methods. Established scales of moods, compulsive buying, etc. were validated before use in measuring these constructs. Contrary to the established Western literature, young Indian consumers were not found to be affected by moods either directly or indirectly. There was neither any main nor interaction effect of moods on compulsive buying. However, deals had a significant main effect, meaning more deals lead to more compulsive buying. This finding is in line with even national brands offering seasonal and festival sales. The effect of demographic variables including gender was also non-significant. This again is a departure from the existing literature which states females to be more compulsive buyers when compared with their male counterparts. Managerial implication in targeting student population is to promote deals without differentiating customers further on demographic profiles.

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Article details
S.K. Pandey
The Effect of Deals and Moods on Compulsive Buying: A Study on Young Indian Consumers
Global Business Review April 2016 17: 438-449, first published on March 8, 2016 doi:10.1177/0972150915619821





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