Public Release: 

Can shopping behavior indicate personality type?

Kent State University

The holiday season is the busiest shopping time of the year. In fact, more than 147 million shoppers hit the stores on Black Friday weekend this year according to a survey by the National Retail Federation. And annually during this time, economists pay close attention to the shopping trends.

One such economist, Dr. Paul Albanese, Kent State University associate professor of marketing and author of The Personality Continuum and Consumer Behavior, has taken it a step further. In his current research, Albanese examined shopping behavior and classified it into four levels of personality development: Normal, neurotic, primitive and psychotic.

"Normal consumers spend less than they earn and save for future purchases they cannot afford in the future, while neurotic shoppers spend an excessive amount of time shopping, often not buying anything," says Albanese. In addition, he found that compulsive shoppers usually fall within the primitive personality type, while psychotic personalities go overboard in spending, usually resulting in serious financial and legal problems.

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Albanese can be reached at palbanes@kent.edu.

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