A General Attitude towards Shopping and Its Link with Basic Human Values in the UK
Prior literature about shopping has focused mostly on specific aspects such as on attitudes towards specific products or shopping practices. A General Shopping Attitude (GSA), capturing how much an individual is attracted by shopping in general, has rarely been explored. In an online questionnaire study conducted in the UK, here we developed and validated a self-report scale to assess GSA. Moreover, adopting Schwartz’s theory of values as framework, we explored the relationship between GSA and general value orientations. We observed that people valuing more Self-enhancement versus Self-transcendence (i.e., valuing the own social status and wellbeing versus the wellbeing of others and of the environment) reported more positive GSA. This fits with theories proposing that, in consumer societies, shopping is appealing because it allows one to achieve social status. Contrary to perspectives claiming that shopping is appealing because it enables expressing creativity and freedom, a negative relation between GSA and Self-direction (i.e., a tendency to value freedom and creativity) emerged. Rather, this observation fits with proposals viewing the appeal of shopping in its ability to enable one to conform to a reference group’s standards. These findings shed light on general value orientations underlying the appeal of shopping.