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29.05.2018 | Original Article | Ausgabe 3/2018

International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction 3/2018

How Compulsive Buying Is Influenced by Time Perspective—Cross-Cultural Evidence from Germany, Ukraine, and China

Zeitschrift:
International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction > Ausgabe 3/2018
Autoren:
Alexander Unger, Houchao Lyu, Philip G. Zimbardo

Abstract

Compulsive buying is an intensively studied phenomenon with different potential causes having been identified: materialistic values, personality deficiencies, factors of socialization, and the role of consumption culture. However, we challenge that these are the appropriate mechanisms for the underlying the responsible factors. Any new efficient approaches for therapeutic remedies will depend on identifying the most powerful psychological causes of compulsive buying. In the current study, time perspectives, measured by Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory—ZTPI (Zimbardo and Boyd 1999)—are tested to ascertain if they could be identified as essential factors of influence on buying behavior. It was hypothesized that a high Past-Negative, a high Present-Fatalistic, and a high Present Hedonistic Perspective will foster compulsive buying tendencies, measured by the German Compulsive Buying Scale (Raab et al. 2005), whereas a high Future and a high Past-Positive Perspective will inhibit such compulsive buying. The hypotheses were confirmed throughout three cultural settings (German, Ukrainian and a Chinese student-sample) for Past-Negative, Present-Fatalistic, and Present-Hedonistic. Some inconsistencies were found for Past Positive and Future. Mediation analysis revealed that deviation from a balanced time perspective (DBTP) mediates partly or completely the influence of the factor “country” on proneness for compulsive buying tendencies in two out of three cross-cultural comparisons. Binary logistical regressions further identified DBTP as the essential factor in explaining the differences between the three countries in percentages of those being identified at high risk for compulsive buying.

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