Drawing on the theoretical foundation of obsessive‐compulsive spectrum disorder, this article develops an expanded conceptualization and new measure of consumers’ proclivity to buy compulsively. Compulsive buying is defined as a consumer’s tendency to be preoccupied with buying that is revealed through repetitive buying and a lack of impulse control over buying. This measure includes dimensions of both obsessive‐compulsive and impulse‐control disorders. By measuring income‐dependent items or consequences of compulsive buying separately from the compulsive‐buying scale, we develop a measure that has a strong theoretical foundation, well‐documented psychometric properties, and an ability to be applied to general consumer populations.

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Copyright © 2008 The University of Chicago Press. This article first appeared in Journal of Consumer Research 35, no. 4 (December 2008): 622-39. doi:10.1086/591108.

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