The Urge to Splurge. (2004, February). Chain Store Age, 80(2), 64-65. Retrieved September 20, 2010, from ABI/INFORM Global.
Julie Fitzmaurice. (2008). Splurge purchases and materialism. The Journal of Consumer Marketing, 25(6), 332-338. Retrieved September 22, 2010, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 1564041421).
This article by Leo Shapiro explores the results of an experiment used to study consumer behavior. It found that nearly 1/3 of all consumers buy impulsively, with the median price splurge of $30. This is a useful article because it helps quantify the number of consumers that impulsively buy, which he finds to be a significantly large number. His work is then applied to how the market should advertise their products to maximize profits. A few other findings in the study conclude that men with children in the household are more likely to impulse buy. This article helps me understand the demographic of the consumer, but fails to address the psychology behind these purchases. This article would be useful in providing a foundation for understanding consumer attitudes when they are faced in a purchasing dilemma. I can use this article as a basis for conducting a research paper on consumer behavior with a specific focus on impulsive buying.
Given that my first article was short, “Splurge Purchase and Materialism” provided empirical evidence regarding the psychology behind impulse buying. The basic premise of this journal was to explore two types of consumers which the author defined as high and low-materialism. This article does a great job of delving deeper into the psychology of the consumer.
Those participants involved in the study defined splurge purchases as an item “you probably want, and don't need, and you still get it” (Fitzmaurice). This article reaffirmed what I had originally thought about impulsive buying. It revealed that the high-materialism consumer believed that material goods helped define success and were self-affirmed by their splurge purchases. When compared to low materialism consumers, the high were not any more satisfied with their income, standard of living and their life as a whole. This does not surprise me because it would seem that these high-materialism consumers are trying to compensate for the lack of substance in their lives by purchasing material items.
This article concisely and comprehensively details a research study that allows the consumer to self-evaluate their feelings after a splurge. Again, not surprisingly those that splurged were more likely to buy items that they could wear or display on themselves, and were more likely to make known to others that the product was “expensive.” However after the purchase it was the same high-material customers that reported feelings of guilt and irresponsibility, yet still continued the same behavior even while knowing the negative consequences. I would utilize this article in a research paper and it would help provide experimental data into furthering my findings on consumer behavior.