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Effects of mood state on impulsivity in pathological buying

By Jennifer Nicolai, Stefaniá Darancó and Morten Moshagen


Pathological buying is characterized by irrepressible buying behaviour and its negative consequences. A possible mechanism contributing to its development and maintenance is that buying episodes act as a maladaptive strategy to cope with negative emotions. Accordingly, pathological buying has been repeatedly associated with impulsivity, in particular with the tendency to experience strong reactions under negative affect. Relying on an experimental mood induction procedure, the present study tested in a sample of 100 individuals (a) whether individuals with pathological buying symptoms respond more impulsively in the Go/No-Go Task (as a measure of the behavioural inhibition aspect of impulsivity) and (b) whether this association is more pronounced in a negative mood. While controlling for comorbidities, the results show that pathological buying is associated with faster responses and a larger number of commission errors. Moreover, a significant interaction indicated that the association between pathological buying and performance the Go/No-Go Task was stronger in the negative mood condition. The present study thus shows that pathological buying is associated with deficits in the behavioural inhibition component of impulsivity. These deficits are most pronounced when mood is negative; in turn, this provides an explanation for the occurrence of excessive buying episodes following negative affect

Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2016
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Provided by: Enlighten
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