Cultural and Social Aspects of Compulsive Buying

Compulsive purchasing is at the crossroads of several culturally charged concepts. Self-control is a crucial concept in classical social philosophy, and self-control standards and expectations are as culturally driven as anything else The researchers know. Societies define social control via their ideologies, norms, and structures. Self-control concepts are central to moral systems, laws, and religions. Regulating pleasure, acquisition, property, and money are important issues of society's institutions and have shaped much of core contemporary social theory. As a result, the researcher scan anticipates social influences to substantially influence compulsive purchasing.

Indeed, the conversation around compulsive shopping is liberally seasoned with clichés, snickers, moral warning tales, sin, notions of social justice, and assessments of (in) appropriacy. They take various shapes, but they all contain the belief that it is harmful to spend money obsessively, even if one has the means to do so. While the phrase "well, it is their money" is famous, it is frequently followed by the obligatory "but..." The next issue is usually concerning the moral failure associated with insufficient self-control. Much of our social perceptions of this disease are shaped by the fact that it involves money and material possessions and is practiced mainly by women.

Cultural Aspects of Compulsive Shopping

In autonomous cultures, mainly in Europe and the United States, people are encouraged to cultivate and express their preferences and interests. my feeling; being unique is important and meaningful. In root cultures, mainly located in East Asia, social order and respect for tradition are valued, and group identification, as are common goals, are essential. Such value differences influence people's behavior. Group-imposed norms are the primary driver of people in integrated societies, and people try to emphasize their connection to the group. People in more grounded societies are expected to maintain harmonious relationships and thus may be more motivated to repress their impulses.

This is not to say that impulsive tendencies do not exist: one study found that although Asian consumers have impulsive buying characteristics, they display less impulsive buying behavior. Gender roles, social expectations, and social norms in a country can also influence the prevalence of compulsive shopping. Changing social dynamics in emerging countries can create feelings of loneliness, alienation, and depression, leading to misperceptions and forced purchases as an escape solution for consumers of developed countries.

  • Cultural Awareness − Cultural influences can be obvious, but in some markets, they can be very subtle

  • Cultural Factors Culture Affects Consumer Behavior − youth orientation, era orientation, masculinity versus femininity, power distance index, individualism/collectivism, indulgence versus restraint, and uncertainty avoidance.

  • Beyond Cultural Factors − perceptions of a particular product or service can vary depending on how market culture influences purchasing behavior. A culture that forbids the consumption of products like alcohol or meat or a cultural preference for clothing style makes it easier to understand certain shopping habits. Cultural behaviors, such as household size or the role of women in household management, also influence who buys certain products or in what quantities.

However, other things are more subtle. Cultural factors such as time orientation (whether a culture tends to focus on the past, present, or future) influence elements of online shopping, such as trust and future social work. People's personalities vary, of course, and this diversity includes the extent to which an individual takes into account the specific influences of his or her culture. Indian consumers tend to be more family-oriented than Western consumers, but that does not mean there are not Indian consumers who do not make highly individualized purchasing decisions - or consumers. The West does not think collectively.

To some extent, culture comes naturally to people – what corresponds to their value systems and beliefs and what they see happening around them. Culture influences what feels suitable, standard, and desirable. Retailers asking consumers to go upstream make it harder for consumers to choose their services. It is best to make it easy for consumers to choose your product within their cultural comfort zone. One of the study's findings is that aging reduces the impulsive purchasing power of Asian consumers but does not affect the impulsiveness of Western consumers. Researchers have suggested that cultural factors such as risk-avoidance orientation influence consumers' impulsive buying behavior.

Cultural factors can manifest in unexpected ways. For example, a culture's time orientation tends to manifest in its tolerance of delays and inefficiencies and how people manage their time. Time-centered cultures of the past, such as India, were often very tolerant of excessive delays, such as trains being delayed for several hours. There are also several cultures, often small tribes, that live a traditional and relatively primitive way of life where time is not recognized as a concept.

The language these companies use tends to favor these attitudes towards time, which certainly impacts how it works. Understanding cultural factors like these can be critical to successfully understanding and interacting with customers in these markets. Cultural factors many moderate aspects of consumer impulsive purchasing behavior, including self-identity, normative influence, emotional suppression, and delay instant gratification.

Social Aspects of Compulsive Purchase

The researchers began examination of compulsive purchasing with the notion that compulsive shopping may have originated from watching TV shows and other media depictions of individuals with much lovely stuff and no financial problems. The researchers suspected that this perspective on the mediated world had led obsessive consumers to believe they deserved these goods.

Nevertheless, after witnessing only one self-help group and having an introductory chat with them, they discovered that compulsive buying was an entirely different phenomenon than the researchers had previously thought. These numerous years of labor were also a lesson on the need for long-term involvement in fieldwork. They were constantly faced with a blank stare and the query, "What does that have to do with this problem?" when they directly queried compulsive consumers about the role of advertising and media in this problem.

When asked to talk about an item they bought and truly enjoyed, compulsive purchasers typically could not think of anything or told us about something provided to them by someone else rather than something they bought. Listening to our informants quickly taught us that compulsive shopping is essentially about coping with aversive self-awareness and self-worth. It is about interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships, not about attachment to objects. Our first large-scale study discovered that ordinary consumers scored better on an item attachment measure than obsessive purchasers. Because of these findings, they rejected the notion that materialism leads to compulsive shopping.

Time Pressure

Time pressures limit attention to environmental factors. The more time consumers spend in a store, the more likely they will make impulsive purchases. Time pressure harms compulsive shopping as consumers may feel frustrated due to a lack of time to shop or browse simultaneously.

Environmental Factors

Compulsive buying behavior can be motivated by a consumer's exposure to environmental stimuli during their shopping. The sudden urgency to buy seems driven by visual confrontation with the product or environmental stimuli. Indeed, the buyer's interaction with the point of sale is a critical component of impulsive purchasing decisions. Likewise, the point-of-sale design can bring joy and excitement to store visitors. Different components of the environment directly impact the emotional state of the buyer.

Presence of Others

An experimental study has shown that the presence of others can increase the likelihood of compulsive purchases. However, the presence of peers increases the desired purchase, and the presence of family members increases the likelihood of a discount.

Perception of Crowd

Human crowding refers to the feeling of closure and restriction experienced by the high density of people, while spatial crowding refers to the feeling of restricted movement. Physical animals of the body due to the high spatial density. Several studies have demonstrated that when the environment restricts or interferes with an individual's activities, that individual perceives crowding. This concept implies that density describes a state of "emotional neutrality," while crowding is associated with a solid emotional connection. Thus, perceived clutter is believed to harm both compulsive purchase behavior and the emotional state of shoppers.

Social Media

There is a significant positive relationship between social media depth and financial society comparison, financial society comparison and materialism, and materialism and online purchases. In addition, studies show that comparative finance and materialism mediate the relationship between intensive social networking and compulsive online shopping.


Compulsive buying behavior in children relates to a family history of compulsive/addictive behaviors. It has also been shown to be associated with adolescents with eating disorders, alcohol consumption, smoking, and early sexual experiences. Research shows that students and young adults are particularly susceptible to compulsive shopping. A healthy childhood is often more uncomplicated, putting good communication and quality time with family and friends above attachment to the material world.

Updated on: 30-Mar-2023


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