Submitted By jabarnes
Words: 2445
Pages: 10

What is the extent to which an individual’s trait impulsivity is associated with their tendency to engage in impulse buying?

HPS 307 Personality
Deakin University
Word Count: 2051

The purpose of this research is to build upon the fundamental understanding of impulsivity and impulse buying. Specifically, the association between the four facets of impulsivity and cognitive and affective buying tendencies were examined. It was expected that the four facets of impulsivity would share associations to both cognitive and affective impulse buying tendencies. One hundred and seventy four Deakin undergraduate university students (44 male, 130 female) aged between 18-63 years (M = 27.4, SD = 9.31) completed an online questionnaire administered by the teaching staff. The Impulse Buying Tendency Scale (Verplanken & Herabadi, 2001) was used to measure cognitive and affective impulse buying using a 5 point Likert scale ( 1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree). The UUPS Impulse Behaviour Scale (Whiteside & Lynam, 2001) was used to measure trait impulsivity for premeditation, urgency, sensation seeking and perseverance using a 6 point Likert scale ( 1 = strongly disagree, 6 = strongly agree). Results indicated impulse buying (cognitive) shared a negative association to premeditation, perseverance and a positive association to urgency. Impulse buying (affective) reported a positive association to urgency. The results provide evidence to support the association between some facets of trait impulsivity and impulse buying. However, Implications discussed indicate the need for future research to continue to develop the understanding into the complexity of personality, trait variables and possible individual differences in more detail.

Impulse buying is an unplanned decision to buy a product or service, made just prior to a purchase. An individual who frequently purchases is referred to as an impulse buyer. Whilst in some instances low levels of impulse buying might provide enjoyment, it may develop into to a more frequent and chronic paradigm of impulse buying. It is important to understand that the repercussions of chronic impulse buying identify a range of negative impacts upon the individual. In acknowledgement of this, there is developing literature endeavouring to understand the determinants underlying the nature of this behaviour. Research by has confirmed that impulse buying is somewhat personality constructed. Silvera, Lavack and Kropp (2008) examined the associations between chronic impulse buying tendencies and psychological constructs, including, subjective well-being, positive and negative affect (emotional states), vulnerability to social influence and self-esteem. Impulse buying tendencies were measured using a cognitive facet, associated to a lack of planning to purchase, and an effective facet, associated to feelings of excitement and overpowering urges to buy. Their results illustrated the cognitive facet of impulse buying (lack of planning to purchase) shared a negatively linked association with subjective wellbeing. Suggesting that when an individual does not spend sufficient time planning to purchase a personal feeling of health and happiness is reduced. The affective facet impulse buying (feelings of excitement and an urge to buy), was found to be associated to negative affect and social influence. Moreover, Verplanken and Herabaldi (2001) also suggest that impulse buying is associated with differences in individual personality constructs measures, including the Big Five (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism). More specifically cognitive and affective facets of impulse buying tendency were each found to be associated to extraversion. The cognitive facet was inversely related to facets such as conscientiousness, while the affective facet was related to facets such as lack autonomy, confirming the predicted association between trait impulsivity and