Psychologist advises public against impulsive buying

L -Sports psychologist, Launee Richards R- Clinical psychologist, Regina Apparicio
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By Carlena Knight

Antiguans and Barbudans are being urged to take heed of timely advice to avoid being caught in the snare of impulsive buying.

According to clinical psychologist Regina Apparicio, online businesses are reportedly showing increase in profits despite the global pandemic. This, she said is because of impulsive buying which is used as a type of therapy by many people.

“What we are seeing happening, persons are turning to the internet a lot and with that use, there comes the whole notion or approach of utilising retail as a form of therapy. I know some persons traditionally would do things like window-shopping but with the internet being so widely available, just by the click of the mouse you are able to purchase an item on Amazon. With that ease of accessibility then there are some issues that can come up in terms of persons going overboard,” she said.

An impulse purchase or impulse buying is an unplanned decision to buy a product or service, made just before a purchase. This action can be caused by several factors the main ones being anxiety and social influences.

Apparicio added that unconsciously, our interests and the marketing of these products draw us in as well. Because of this and the ongoing stress caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the psychologist is cautioning the public as it could become a driving force for impulsive buying.

“Persons end up buying items that they don’t even need because of retail supplier ads and discounts. You end up buying items you don’t really need because you think you are getting a bargain and it can be problematic in the long run especially because of our current financial situation. Persons I would have to say have to be very mindful of how it is that they are spending. It isn’t a bad thing if you are able to control it but if it is that you are really out of reach and consistently buying items you don’t need without consideration for what the consequences may be, then definitely I would say that it’s a challenge,” she said.

Personal assessment, according to Apparicio, will be required for persons to be able to manage this disorder.  She is advising persons to not only question what the true reason behind is purchasing the item whether for personal gain or because of social influence, anxiety or to fill a void in life but to also assess if it a good financial decision.

“What persons can do is begin to ask yourself questions. Even before you click that mouse to fulfill the purchase because the good thing about Amazon, there are processes that you have to go through so it is very important for persons to ask themselves ‘hey, do I really need this right now’, and if it is you are able to justify the need, then I would say go through with it but if it is you cannot justify it that means you need to take a second and third look at it. You can even sleep on it because sometimes the feeling does pass,” the clinical psychologist said.

She advised that if after individuals try these measures and are not successful, they should seek help through social support, or even from a medical professional like herself. She can be reached at 770-1802.

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