Do You Think That Money Can Buy Happiness? A Review of the Role of Mood, Materialism, Self, and Cognitions in Compulsive Buying

Abstract

Purpose of Review

Although not recognized as a discrete psychiatric disorder, compulsive buying (CB) is a widespread psychological problem characterized by a preoccupation with shopping and impulses to purchase that are experienced as irresistible and chronic, leading to distress and significant impairment.

Recent Findings

Social psychological frameworks for CB highlight the link between CB and materialistic value endorsement and individuals’ motives to compensate for a perceived deficiency in self-concept. Alternatively, cognitive frameworks for CB focus on the role of beliefs about possessions (e.g. perceiving goods as “essential” and “unique,” and buying opportunities as “occasions not to be missed”) in order to explain CB. Both models also strongly implicate the role of mood in CB phenomena.

Summary

Strong links have been found between materialism, mood, and CB. The relevance of self and cognitions to CB has also been supported, albeit fewer studies have examined such links.

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Correspondence to Richard Moulding.

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Richard Moulding, Annie Duong, Maja Nedeljkovic, and Michael Kyrios declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Shopping Addiction

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Moulding, R., Duong, A., Nedeljkovic, M. et al. Do You Think That Money Can Buy Happiness? A Review of the Role of Mood, Materialism, Self, and Cognitions in Compulsive Buying. Curr Addict Rep 4, 254–261 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40429-017-0154-y

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Keywords

  • Compulsive buying
  • Shopping addiction
  • Mood
  • Cognitions
  • Self
  • Materialism
  • Oniomania
  • Depression
  • Identity