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Citadel News Service

For Release
Nov. 3, 2004

 Faculty, student researchers investigate shopping habits

           What do psychology and finance have in common? An increasing number of people would answer, "quite a lot." In fact, emotion and psychological factors have been found to wield significant influence on our attitudes and actions concerning money.

           Awareness of the psychology of money received a boost in 2002 when the "father of behavioral economics," Daniel Kahneman, became the first psychologist to win the Nobel Prize in economics. Kahneman, a researcher and professor at Princeton University, and his colleague Amos Tversky began their groundbreaking research.

           Faculty and graduate student researchers in The Citadel's Department of Psychology are joining this innovative field of study by seeking to expand the knowledge of problem-buying behaviors. They are asking, "Do you like to shop? Sometimes more than you should? Or do you sometimes spend more than you can afford?" If so, these researchers would like to talk to you.

           Most research on problem-buying behaviors has been based upon relatively small academic samples. Researchers at The Citadel are conducting the first known community survey. The survey is the first in a series of planned studies on problem-buying behaviors. Findings from the survey study will be used to design and then evaluate multiple options for treating individuals with problem-buying behaviors.

           Volunteers for the initial study must be at least 18 years old and willing to complete a questionnaire on buying habits. The questionnaire is confidential and takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. Participants of this study may receive priority consideration for future studies on buying behaviors, including possible studies on the treatment of problem-buying behaviors.

           The study is being conducted by Dr. William G. Johnson, professor and director of The Citadel's Clinical Counseling program, and has been approved by The Citadel Institutional Review Board for Research Involving Human Subjects.

           For more information, contact Melissa at or call 843.953-7579.




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