A new test determines whether your need to shop makes you a shopaholic. Take a deep breath ...
The test makes it clear that there's a significant difference between shopping and the kind of over-the-top purchasing that can wreak havoc on a person's life. People who become preoccupied with buying stuff and repeatedly spend money on items -- regardless of need -- are commonly referred to as shopaholics. Scientists call it compulsive buying.
The new test was administered along with a survey that revealed that nearly 9% of a sample of 550 university staff members, mostly women, would be considered compulsive buyers. Past studies had put the incidence of compulsive buying somewhere between 2% and 8%, and more recently, at nearly 6%. Other research has found men are just as addicted to shopping as women.
The new test includes six statements, which individuals give answers based on a seven-point scale, from strongly disagree to strongly agree. Respondents who score 25 or higher would be considered compulsive buyers:
My closet has unopened shopping bags in it.
Others might consider me a "shopaholic."
Much of my life centers around buying things.
I buy things I don't need.
I buy things I did not plan to buy.
I consider myself an impulse purchaser.
Missing from this list of statements: I had to have it. It made my butt look smaller.
In our opinion, that's always a reason to shop!