1 Department of Marketing, Copenhagen Business School2 unknown
Compulsive buying disorder (CBD) is noted by an obsession with shopping and a chronic, repetitive purchasing behavior with adverse consequences for the sufferer and their social surroundings. While CBD is often classified as an impulse control disorder (ICD), little is still known about the actual psychological and physiological mechanisms underlying the phenomenon. By comparing subjects with CBD to a control group, we find that CBD is not associated with lower performance on executive function or emotional responses. Rather, an observed increase in willingness to pay (WTP) specifically for fashion products was associated with a stronger emotional response in CBD subjects, while no relationship between emotions and WTP could be observed in healthy controls. This suggests that CBD, instead of being tentatively classified as an ICD, should rather be understood as a behavioral addiction. By this token, products of interest (e.g. fashion items) produce bottom-up emotional responses that skews the decision-making process, leading CBD sufferers to make bad purchase decisions.