Facets of Distress Tolerance As Predictors of Buying in Response to Self-Esteem Threats

Paul Rose, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, USA
Dan Segrist, Southern Illinois University Edwardville, USA
Introduction Many people use buying as a means of coping with emotionally-distressing events. One type of emotionally-distressing event that may be particularly likely to lead to buying is self-esteem threat. Buying can serve important identity-regulation functions (Dittmar, 2004) and an enormous social psychological literature suggests that threats to self-esteem lead to defensive responses (e.g., Tesser, 2001). In consumerist cultures in particular, “retail therapy” may be used to restore a desired identity following self-threat. One purpose of the present study is to identify who might be especially prone to buying in response to threatened self-esteem. Our focus was on individual differences in distress tolerance, a variable that has begun to attract attention in the addictions literature because of observations that some people use substances as a means of coping with negative emotions.
[ to cite ]:
Paul Rose and Dan Segrist (2011) ,"Facets of Distress Tolerance As Predictors of Buying in Response to Self-Esteem Threats", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 39, eds. Rohini Ahluwalia, Tanya L. Chartrand, and Rebecca K. Ratner, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 709-710.