What is the psychology behind the hoarding?
The Corona-crisis has also changed the consumer behavior of many people, and so-called hamster purchases are a suddenly emerging phenomenon. What are the psychological reasons behind the seemingly irrational purchase decisions stuck, has studied a research team from the University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany, in a recent survey.
Many people tend in the course of the current of Corona-crisis hoarding toilet paper, pasta, flour and other everyday products. In a recent study, Professor Dr. André Marchand, and Junior Professor Dr. Martin Fritze and the PhD student Friederike Gobrecht, of the economic and Social science faculty of the University of have studied of Cologne, the changes in consumer behaviour and the reasons for this in more detail.
A strong increase in the demand for certain products
How the consumer has changed behavior, it is clear from the current data of the Federal Statistical office (Destatis), which show that the sales figures for selected products are increased in the last few weeks on an extremely high level. For example, the demand for soap was in the week of 16. up to the 22. March, “more than four Times as high as in the six previous months ( 337 percent), while the demand for toilet paper was more than three Times higher ( 211 per cent)”, the communication of the University of Cologne.
What people think about hoarding?
On the basis of a survey conducted with 250 randomly selected persons, the researchers have tried to go with the changes in the consumer behavior in times of the Coronavirus to the bottom of it. “There are many theoretically plausible reasons for the current hamster buying behavior. In our study, we wanted to find out what the consumers themselves about their possible own hamster purchase and the other people think,“ explains Professor Marchand.
Fears of the impact on the consumer behavior
The survey shows that buyers Fears to specify the inside and the buyer is currently most often as the reason for increased purchase behavior, report the researchers. However, only 21 percent of the Participants stated, for example, in the case of the toilet paper to have more toilet paper than usual bought. Here, a slight distortion could be compared to the reality, admits Professor Marchand.
“Since the so-called hamster buy society is not desirable and shows a lack of solidarity is perceived to be, could have prevented the shame of an honest answer,” said Marchand. However, such distortions with other, non-unique questions to other, socially desirable behaviour had been filtered out, as far as possible.
Concern for the availability
In the case of the Participants, the information, to have more than usual bought was the concern for the availability of the most commonly cited reason. This concern go back often to the memorable images of empty purchased shelves and the reports of hoarding in the media and social networks, explain the researchers. Who is then himself in front of empty shelves in the supermarket, I suppose this is also due to the surface, the toilet paper occupies usually particularly clear.
Hamster purchases are contagious
“As more and more people of the hamster can be purchases of other quasi-plug in, because you get the impression, better to buy now if possible more, before the products are out of stock,” explains Professor Marchand. Also, many people, the hamsters now have the lead, the fear of a closure of the supermarkets as a justification.
Herd instinct, and impotence
Furthermore, it was the General powerlessness in the current Situation of many hamster buyers and buyers as the reason for her shift in consumer behavior is called. The respondents do not tend itself to hoarding, see this as even a major cause for the Hamsters at other people. The hamster purchases would be above all an expression of helplessness in the Corona-crisis. The not-hamster the Participants suspect, the basis of the hamster purchases from the other Participating mainly in the herd instinct and rate this in order to be factually unfounded.
Rational reasons for hoarding?
The “hamster” of the also lead to the need for more security and control as the reason for the hoarding, but also other reasons such as additional purchases for relatives and friends. In addition, the durability of products such as toilet paper, as an Argument for the maintenance of stocks.
“More than half of the respondents hamster buyer reports and the buyer also stated that they have other products, such as noodles, canned goods and hygiene items are more than the usual bought,” the researchers continue. Only in the case of the expenditure on digital services there are no significant differences in the purchase were to determine behavior.
Further surveys are planned
The new study provides an exciting insight into the motivations of the hamster buyers in Germany and currently it is planned the survey to other countries, to learn more about cultural and regional differences, according to Professor Marchand. Subsequently, a publication of the collected results of the study to follow. (fp)