by Jade Jehle, Creative Director & Blogger

Whether it’s a bad or a good day, end of season or clearance sales, it seems like there’s always a way to justify spending money. Beyond the rewarding feeling of spoiling ourselves, it seems like many of us are over-doing it, looking for every possible opportunity to shop.

Although I never buy anything at regular price, I still shouldn’t be buying something I don’t need just because it’s a good deal…! (Ugh, Jade)

The Bergen Shopping Addiction Scale was developed by a group of researchers from the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Bergen (UiB) in Norway. It includes relevant methods of measurement for your addiction level to shopping! This new method is now recognized worldwide for it’s diagnostic criteria.

The major causes of excessive shopping nowadays are the web, social media, credit cards accessibility and advanced marketing techniques.

Who is mainly targeted? Research shows excessive shopping concerns primarily women, usually around adolescence and emerging adulthood, and typically decreases with age. As you know, teens and young adults are easier to influence and often more open: “this has been hypothesized to reflect maturational changes in frontal cortical and subcortical mono-aminergic systems, making adolescents and young adults more vulnerable than older individuals to develop and maintain addictions” (C. S. Andreassen, 2015).

These subjects tend to have some or several of the following key personality traits:

  • Extroverted, social individuals with a desire to please or express a social status,
  • Neurotic, often anxious, self-conscious or depressive people attempting to reduce their negative feelings.

In all related shopping addiction studies, a positive correlation was found between shopping and extroversion. In fact, extroverts do typically need more stimulation than introverts, also in line with studies describing the common link between all addictions and extroversion.
Plus, there is a so-called “rub-off” effect from high status purchased items that could impact our will to shop. The outcomes of this effect can be popularity, in-group “likes” and compliments, omnipotent feelings during the purchases, special attention given to the individual from the retail personnel.

Test it yourself: The Bergen Shopping Addiction Scale

The seven basic criteria used to determine shopping addictions are the below questions to answer with: (0) Completely disagree, (1) Disagree, (2) Neither disagree nor agree, (3) Agree, or (4) Completely agree.
☐You think about shopping/buying things all the time.
☐You shop/buy things in order to change your mood.
☐You shop/buy so much that it negatively affects your daily obligations (e.g., school and work).
☐You feel you have to shop/buy more and more to obtain the same satisfaction as before.
☐You have decided to shop/buy less, but have not been able to do so. You feel bad if you for some reason are prevented from shopping/buying things.
☐You shop/buy so much that it has impaired your well-being.

If you have scored 3 or 4 on a minimum of four of the seven items above, welcome to the club… 🙂 Just kidding! Well… It would be nice to put my credit card under a compulsive buying protection, or reduce my limit?! Hmmm…