Emotional stability associated with increased holiday shopping habits

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Over the holiday season, spending habits are much higher among shoppers with more emotional stability, a study found.

The findings appeared in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

The results were attained by a team of researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, who evaluated 2,133 holiday shoppers and any correlation between the Big 5 personality traits, openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

According to Sarah Weston, the study’s lead author, “The sharp increase in consumption over the holiday season has important economic implications, yet the psychology underlying this phenomenon has received limited attention.”

“Here, we evaluate the role of individual differences in holiday spending patterns. Using 2 million transactions across 2,133 individuals, we investigate the relationship between the Big 5 personality traits on spending at Christmas.”

At the conclusion of the study, it was evident that shoppers who exhibited more emotional stability made more purchases over the holidays. Low neuroticism and openness and high conscientiousness were correlated with more spending habits over the holidays compared to their counterparts.

“Zero-order correlations suggest holiday spending is associated with conscientiousness, neuroticism, and extraversion,” Weston concluded.

“These results improve our understanding of how different personality traits predict how people respond to the environmental demands of the holiday season and have broader implications for how personality relates to consumer behavior.”