Is America Obsessed with Shopping?


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Americans spend over $300 a month on impulse purchases, in other words, on desired purchases. A research article called Journal of Consumer Psychology in 2014 talks about how making impulse purchases makes an average American feel “happier”.

People who are addicted to shopping are called shopaholics. America’s shopping addiction started around a century ago. Some people have the Diderot Effect. The Diderot Effect is gaining a new possession and which leads to wanting to obtain more. A study shows how around 16-20 million people in America, which is around 5%-7% of the population of America, is addicted to shopping.

In the early 1900s, an average American woman had 9 different outfits and almost a century later, an average woman in the 2000s, had around 30 different outfits, which is one for every day of the month. Americans are not addicted to the fact that they are shopping and spending hundreds of dollars on things that they don’t need; they are addicted to the feeling they get when they obtain and possess new things. Prices on things such as food and clothing have increased so much from the last couple of years, which makes people spend more money.

Since the mid 1990s, online shopping has become a big thing. Now just going on your phone can mean spending money on things you really don’t need. In 2021, Americans spent around $871 billion on online shopping alone. This is a 14% increase from the year of 2020. After doing all of this research, in my opinion, I believe that Americans, including myself, are addicted to shopping.