Emotion regulation can be costly. A study on the effects of emotion regulation strategies on impulsive purchases in consumers

  • Published April 27, 2016
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    Volume 12 2016, Issue #1 , pp. 41-49
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    1 articles

In retail, emotion-fueled impulse purchases constitute a large part of everyday consumer purchases. Thus, emotion regulation training could benefit consumers to help to control their impulsive buying. Yet, emotion regulation strategies are not unequivocally associated with positive effects. Since research investigating emotion regulation in consumer contexts is scarce, the goal of this study is to examine whether emotion regulation training could be a valuable tool for consumers to help to limit impulse spending.
Customers at a local supermarket were recruited and randomly assigned to three groups: re-appraisal (n = 50), suppression (n = 50) and neutral (n = 50). The results show that re-appraisal does not differ affect impulse purchasing whilst the suppression group made significantly more impulse purchases and spent more compared to the neutral group. Yet, trait re-appraisal was associated with reduced impulsive purchasing in consumers with higher levels of negative emotions. The findings confirm that suppression appears a maladaptive form of emotion regulation and suggest that re-appraisal training could be a valuable tool for consumers, particularly for consumers with high levels of negative affect

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