The accompanying infographic, The Psychology of Consumer Spending, provides a brief overview of consumer spending, with an emphasis on compulsive purchasing. The infographic is heavy on statistics: who buys too much, what they purchase, whether they pay by cash or card, and impulse buying statistics. While all that is interesting, what can we learn?

Psychology of Consumer Spending

The most interesting parts of the infographic may be the sections about the reasons for compulsive shopping and how our brains react to it. Psychologists think that compulsive buying results from a void in an individual’s life, perhaps stemming from childhood, or the need for approval or excitement or, the simplest explanation yet, a real lack of impulse control.

Reasons for Compulsive Shopping

Regardless of the reason(s), when we shop, we feel good. The reward part of our brain lights up, dopamine floods our system, and we are happy at least for a while. The problem comes when a person is truly “addicted” to shopping. That’s when the brain craves more shopping, just like a drug addict’s brain cries out for more opioids or alcohol. It is important to understand that a shopping high is only temporary and will not provide what you really need in the long run.

Continue reading to learn more about this interesting topic.

Graphic created by Illinois Lending.

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