Covid-19 Panic Buying Behaviour Of Tightwad Spendthrift Consumers: A Longitudinal Study

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Ms. Nimmy Lovely George, Dr. Rakesh Krishnan M


Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in December 2019, the worldwide economy has been severely impacted. Not only did it trigger massive global health and economic crisis, it also triggered uncommon human habits, such as panic buying across the globe. Panic buying occurs when emotions like anxiety, fear, and feelings of bewilderment hinder behaviour, causing consumers to buy more products than usual. The study intends to examine the longitudinal influence of panic buying behaviour among the individual difference of consumers (spendthrifts, tightwads and unconflicted consumers) in India during the first wave and second wave of Covid 19. This study attempts to demonstrate how the spending behaviour of individual consumers is influenced by panic buying behaviour. This longitudinal study surveyed the population twice - during the first wave (April-May 2020) and the second wave (April-May 2021) of the Covid 19 outbreak, surveying demographics (gender, age, marital status, income, occupation and location), panic buying behaviour and individual differences of consumers (spendthrifts, tightwads and unconflicted consumers). The study used the panic buying scale introduced by Lins & Aquino (2020) and the individual difference scale created by Rick et al., (2008) to collect data on the panic buying behaviour and individual differences of respondents. The result of the study showed panic buying behaviour among all categories of consumers and the spendthrift consumers showed the highest level of panic buying behaviour. The negative psychological emotion of pain of paying differentiate the consumers into three categories namely, tightwad consumers, unconflicted consumers and spendthrift consumers. The panic buying behaviour created negative emotions of fear and anxiety which decreased the psychological emotions of the pain of paying. Due to the panic buying triggered by the pandemic, consumers who have a greater level of pain of paying (i.e., tightwad consumers) reported a decline in their level of pain.

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