Although existing research suggests that personality plays an important role in explaining compulsive buying behavior, there is still potential space to diagnose the theoretical mediational mechanisms underlying these effects or the extent to which these relationships vary across different consumer demographic groups. Indeed, the role of specific personality traits on hedonistic shopping experiences and compulsive buying still awaits an in-depth examination and clarification. Thus, the present research contributes to existing knowledge by: (1) examining hedonistic shopping experiences (HSE) as a mediating mechanism on compulsive buying (CB); and (2) investigating the role of gender as a moderating variable. Using a sample of 363 adults and data derived from the US market, we confirmed the role of hedonistic shopping experiences, a central trait, in mediating the effects of cardinal traits (i.e., neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, conscientiousness and agreeableness), on compulsive buying, a surface trait. Specifically, neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience exerted a more indirect and positive influence on compulsive buying, while conscientiousness and agreeableness showed a stronger direct and negative relationship with hedonistic shopping experiences and compulsive buying. In addition, neuroticism, extraversion, and openness to experience were a stronger driver of compulsive buying for women than for men, while conscientiousness and agreeableness jointly decreased the importance of hedonistic shopping experiences, and more strongly inhibited compulsive buying for women than for men. The research findings offer important theoretical, public policy and marketing implications.
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