This Latin Honors thesis describes an in-depth analysis of compulsive buying behavior.
Compulsive Buying Disorder (CBD) is characterized by a preoccupation with shopping
and spending money that causes distress and anxiety to individuals. The disorder can
be found in 5.8 percent of the United States population, equating to about 19 million
individuals (Black, 2012). While there is still research being done to fully define all of its
symptoms, CBD has been linked to obsessive-compulsive disorders, anxiety disorders,
and mood disorders (Black, 2012). Many factors are associated with the cause of CBD,
including advertising techniques, loyalty programs, and other means of reinforcing
compulsive shopping behavior (Rick, 2013). This research addresses the content of
what is being said on the Internet regarding CBD, including specifically the information
that is available for those with CBD. Five key search terms were utilized in a
netnographic study, which analyzed the resulting common key themes, categories, and
sub-categories observed in each search. The research shows that while there is
information available on the Internet for those with CBD, some of what is being said
about “shopaholics” is trivialized and misunderstood. The study concludes that
information is available to those who know what to search for, but much of this
information is repetitive and not relatable. More research should be done to examine
how current trends in society, from social media to increased technology to the
economy, affect individuals with CBD.
Compulsive Buying in American Culture: An Analysis of Contemporary Online Discourse.
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