Retail therapy: A strategic effort to improve mood

A. Selin Atalay, Margaret Grace Meloy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

"Retail therapy" is often applied to the notion of trying to cheer oneself up through the purchase of self-treats. The negative moods that lead to retail therapy, however, have also been associated with greater impulsivity and a lack of behavioral control. Does this lead to mindless shopping when consumers are "down" and regret later? The current work documents that a bad mood does lead to greater purchase and consumption of unplanned treats for the self. However, it also provides evidence that the consumption of self-treats can be strategically motivated. Those individuals who do indulge can also exercise restraint if the goal of restraint also leads to improved mood. Finally, retail therapy has lasting positive impacts on mood. Feelings of regret and guilt are not associated with the unplanned purchases made to repair a bad mood. The implications of the research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)638-659
Number of pages22
JournalPsychology and Marketing
Volume28
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011

Fingerprint

Emotions
Therapeutics
Guilt
Ego
Impulsive Behavior
Mood
Retail
Therapy
Research
Purchase
Shopping
Repair
Exercise
Impulsivity

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Marketing

Cite this

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Retail therapy : A strategic effort to improve mood. / Atalay, A. Selin; Meloy, Margaret Grace.

In: Psychology and Marketing, Vol. 28, No. 6, 01.06.2011, p. 638-659.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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