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Advances in Psychological Science    2014, Vol. 22 Issue (9) : 1513-1520     DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2014.01513
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Consumption as Psychological Compensation: A Review of Compensatory Consumption
ZHENG Xiaoying; PENG Siqing
(Guanghua School of Management, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China)
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Abstract  

Compensatory consumption refers to the consumption behavior which aims at coping with psychological deficit or threat. A core theme of consumer behavior research is that people consume product or service not only for its functionality, but also for its signaling value. As an important self concept management strategy, consumption is often used to address self threat symbolically. Compensatory mechanism can help in understanding various irrational consumer behaviors. Self esteem threat, lack of control and lack of belong are the three major motivating forces which drive compensatory consumption. Future research can further address the following questions: 1) distinguish different types of compensatory consumption behavior, 2) evaluate the effectiveness of consumption as self repair tool, 3) explore alternative compensation means other than consumption, and investigate the relation between consumption compensation and other compensations, 4) look into the characteristics and mechanism of compensatory consumption within Chinese socio-cultural context.

Keywords compensation      compensatory consumption      self concept      self threat     
Corresponding Authors: ZHENG Xiaoying, E-mail: zhengxiaoyingpku@gmail.com   
Issue Date: 15 September 2014
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ZHENG Xiaoying,PENG Siqing. Consumption as Psychological Compensation: A Review of Compensatory Consumption[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2014, 22(9): 1513-1520.
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http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlkxjz/EN/10.3724/SP.J.1042.2014.01513     OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlkxjz/EN/Y2014/V22/I9/1513
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