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What brings you pleasure? The role of desire within the development of compulsive purchasing

Justine M Rapp, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This paper seeks to put forth two major contributions into marketing scholarship: (1) the role of desire within the development of compulsivity from impulsive consumptions, and (2) an assessment of compulsivity measurement scales. A mixed method design provides for both statistical and qualitative support for both contributions, for a deeper and replicated account of consumer behavior within the marketplace. First, we develop a possible path for the development of compulsivity, explaining impulsivity as an antecedent with consumer shopping desire as the driving factor. With this, we introduce the variable Consumer Shopping Desire as a quantified construct related to Belk et al.'s (2003) conceptualization of consumer desire. Further, analysis is provided in seeking the differences in compulsivity measurement through an analysis of both the Faber and O'Guinn (1992) and Ridgway et al. (2008) compulsivity scales. Qualitative in-depth interviews illustrate leniency within the latter scale, as some individuals deemed compulsive fail to exhibit behaviors characteristic of compulsivity within the literature. We conclude with possible directions for the marketing community addressing the fundamental need in identifying at-risk consumers before they proceed to develop compulsive behaviors within the marketplace.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Rapp, Justine M, "What brings you pleasure? The role of desire within the development of compulsive purchasing" (2012). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3546812.