ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (5): 833-843.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2020.00833

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The effect of scarcity on individuals’ psychology and behavior: An explanation from a more integrated perspective

LEI Liang(), WANG Jingyu, LIU Wumei   

  1. School of Management, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2019-05-13 Online:2020-04-26 Published:2020-03-27
  • Contact: LEI Liang


Scarcity is a state due to dissatisfaction of individual desire and demand, which is resulted from real scarcity of resource or perceived scarcity of resource. As a universal phenomenon, scarcity plays an important role in individual emotion, perception and behavior. Tangible resource scarcity is represented by scarcity in food, product and capital, whereas intangible resource scarcity is represented by scarcity in time. Are there any similarities and differences in different kinds of scarcity? This question has not been addressed by past scarcity research. After combing theses, this paper found that tangible resource scarcity led to individual’s cherishing behavior, compensation behavior, and approaching behavior, whereas intangible resource scarcity only led to cherishing behavior and compensation behavior. Future research should focus on the boundary conditions under which scarcity would not affect individuals’ behavior, and the impact of time scarcity on individual psychology and behavior.

Key words: scarcity, tangible resource scarcity, intangible resource scarcity, perception, behavior

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