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Impulse Purchases and Overspending: The Role of Shopping Orientations and Consumer Information Processing


The present project addresses the problem of uncontrolled purchasing and overspending from the perspective of consumer psychology. The project has two main research objectives: (1) advancing knowledge on the mechanisms that underlie impulse purchasing and (2) providing techniques and strategies to consumers to control their purchasing behaviour. The project addresses the interplay between motivational orientations and information processing. This will be achieved by integrating research on shopping orientations with research on mindsets. Step 1 will examine differences in attention and cognitive procedures between consumers with a hedonic shopping orientation and consumers with a utilitarian shopping orientation, and how these differences contribute to impulse purchasing. Step 2 examines whether features of the environment activate different mindsets. Furthermore, the step addresses how the interplay between activated mindsets and shopping orientations influence consumers’ evaluations of products and propensities to make impulse purchases. Step 3 will develop self-control strategies that are tailored to the differences in information processing between consumers with a hedonic and a utilitarian shopping orientations. This will be informed by the findings from Steps 1 and 2. Moreover, a workshop will be developed to teach these strategies to consumers. Thereby, the project aims to enhance consumers’ competencies to control their purchasing behaviour and thus to refrain from overspending. The research questions will be examined in a set of laboratory experiments that include eye tracking to measure attention. The strategies to control purchasing behaviour will also be tested in a field experiment. The research contributes to advancing sustainable consumption and consumer welfare in the EU. The project gives the applicant the opportunity to establish a research programme on consumers’ shopping behaviour and to strengthen his position in European consumer psychology.

Call for proposal

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Universitatsring 1
1010 Wien

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Ostösterreich Wien Wien
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Arnd Florack (Prof.)
EU contribution
No data