COVID-Stress and Compensatory Consumption among the U.S. Consumers

Swagata Chakraborty, Amrut Sadachar


Based on the cognitive dissonance theory and compensatory consumer behavior model, we tested a conceptual model on compensatory consumption during the Covid pandemic by conducting an online survey (n = 490) with the U.S. national population. Analyzing the data with structural equation modeling, we found that COVID-stress positively influenced panic buying and therapeutic shopping but did not influence need-based buying. Need-based buying negatively influenced panic buying and therapeutic shopping. MANCOVA test revealed that when both COVID-stress and perceived financial insecurity are high, panic buying, and therapeutic shopping are higher as compared to when COVID-stress and perceived financial insecurity are low. Based on the findings of our study, we suggest that therapeutic shopping and panic buying could be strategies for coping with COVID-stress.

Keywords: COVID-stress, compensatory consumption, panic buying, therapeutic shopping, need-based buying, financial insecurity

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