Alleviating Anxiety through Shopping: Roles of a Sense of Control and an Approach/Avoidance Motivation
Retail therapy is a strategic and conscious attempt to repair negative mood through shopping and purchasing. Despite its prevalence, there are very few empirical studies on this topic and there is no strong conceptual model to explain the underlying psychological and behavioral processes of therapeutic shopping behavior. Furthermore, few studies have examined individual differences in shopping approaches and outcomes in this context. This study proposes theoretical links among anxiety, a therapeutic shopping motive, shopping values, and a sense of control and to predict a moderating role of an approach/ avoidance motivation in the therapeutic shopping process. A proposed model can be empirically tested in a field setting to validate the theoretical linkages and provide practical implications for retailers and marketers to develop more fine-tuned strategies to help different types of shoppers achieve their therapeutic shopping goals.