Take the Test: Are You a Shopaholic?
If you plan to shop until you drop--but never do drop--you're a shopaholic. And if you doubt that, take a test developed by University of Illinois marketing professor Kent Monroe to find out if you have a problem.
It's one thing to shop. Occasionally, we all need new clothes, shoes and household items. But we don't need them every month or every week or every day. That is the difference between plain old shopping and compulsive buying. Compulsive buyers become preoccupied with purchasing and spend money over and over again regardless of need, reports LiveScience.com.
Answer each question on a scale of 1 to 7, where 1 is strongly disagree and 7 is strongly agree:
- My closet has unopened shopping bags in it.
- Others might consider me a "shopaholic."
- Much of my life centers around buying things.
- I buy things I don't need.
- I buy things I did not plan to buy.
- I consider myself an impulse purchaser.
If you score 25 points or higher, you are a compulsive buyer.
When Monroe administered this test to 550 staff members at the University of Illinois, 9 percent, most of whom were women, were deemed compulsive buyers. LiveScience.com reports that previous studies have shown that between 2 percent and 8 percent of the population are shopaholics. Other research has shown that men are just as addicted as women.
"We are living in a consumption-oriented society and have been spending ourselves into serious difficulty," Monroe told LiveScience senior writer Jeanna Bryner. "Compulsive buying is an addiction that can be harmful to the individual, families, relationships. It is not just something that only afflicts low-income people."
People who are compulsive buyers tend to be materialistic, have lower self-esteem and feel depressed, anxious and stressed. Although shopping makes them feel good, that feeling doesn't last.
The research findings were published in the Journal of Consumer Research.
--From the Editors at Netscape