Current Addiction Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 246–253 | Cite as

Cue-Reactivity, Craving, and Decision Making in Buying Disorder: a Review of the Current Knowledge and Future Directions

  • Patrick Trotzke
  • Matthias Brand
  • Katrin Starcke
Shopping Addiction (A Müller and J Mitchell, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Shopping Addiction


Purpose of the Review

The current review summarizes the literature for buying disorder (BD) with a focus on addiction-relevant concepts such as craving, executive functions, and decision making.

Recent Findings

First, studies could demonstrate craving reactions in relationship to BD in both offline and online contexts. Decision-making studies demonstrated disadvantageous decision-making performance in individuals with BD when the outcomes and contingencies of the decision options are unknown (ambiguous risk). In contrast, unimpaired decision making was observed when outcomes and probabilities were explicitly provided (objective risk). Most studies reported normal executive functions in individuals with BD.


The findings emphasize the role of craving in the context of BD. Decision-making performance seems to be related to difficulties in emotional processing of negative consequences rather than to executive dysfunctions. The findings are discussed in the context of current models of addiction and decision making. We also suggest an integrative approach for a better understanding of the psychological processes underlying the phenomenon of BD and point out future research directions.


Pathological buying Compulsive buying Buying addiction Compulsive shopping Shopping addiction Buying disorder 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Patrick Trotzke and Dr. Matthias Brand declare that they have no conflicts of interest. Dr. Katrin Starcke declares a grant from the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG Grant Number STA 1196/2-3).

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

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


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Trotzke
    • 1
  • Matthias Brand
    • 1
    • 2
  • Katrin Starcke
    • 1
  1. 1.General Psychology: Cognition and Center for Behavioral Addiction Research (CeBAR)University of Duisburg-EssenDuisburgGermany
  2. 2.Erwin L. Hahn Institute for Magnetic Resonance ImagingEssenGermany

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