Session 4: What is Shopping? What Are We Really Shopping For?
In this final session we explore shopping as search and discovery, not necessarily related to buying or having. We stretch out the landscape of shopping beyond goods and services, into experiences and ideas and look at research that suggests that when we choose experiences over things, we’re significantly happier. We close by revisiting the idea of authentic underlying needs propelling the shopping impulse and finding a way to meet those needs in ways that enhance, rather than erode life.
Readings (click on title to access):
a. “Compulsive Buying: Cultural Contributors and Consequences” by April Benson, Helga Dittmar, and Reeta Wolfsohn in Impulse Control Disorders, edited by Elias Aboujaoude and Lorrin Koran, Cambridge, 2010, p. 23-33.
b. “Conclusion: What Are We Shopping For?” by April Benson in I Shop, Therefore I Am: Compulsive Buying and the Search for Self, edited by April Lane Benson, Aronson, 2000, p. 497-513.
c. “To Buy or Not to Buy” by April Benson in The Psychotherapy Networker, March-April, 2009, p. 1-11.
d. “To Do or To Have? That Is the Question” by Leaf Van Boven and Thomas Gilovich, in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2003, Vol. 85, No. 6, 1193-1202.
e. Audio File