Ira J. Jager

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Frank A. Fatzinger

Second Advisor

Dr. Richard Schmidt

Third Advisor

Dr. Bradley Huitema

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access



The term "impulse buying behavior" evokes different connotations to different researchers. It is for this reason that it is difficult to formulate a universal definition for all research in the field. Engel, Kollat, and Blackwell (1968) list some of the definitions given to impulse purchasing by those who have done research in this field:

(1) "An impulse purchase is an unplanned spur of the moment decision to purchase a product."

(2) "An impulse purchase is a logical and efficient way of making purchase decisions since by waiting until one is in the store to finalize purchase intentions, a more comprehensive and realistic evaluation of purchase alternatives can often be made."

(3) "There is no such thing as an impulse purchase. Rather, there are four types of unplanned purchases: (1) Pure impulse is a novelty or escape type purchase which breaks a normal buying pattern; (2) Reminder impulse occurs when a shopper sees an item or recalls an advertisement or other information and remembers that the stock at home is low or exhausted; (3) Suggestion impulse purchasing occurs when a shopper sees a product for the first time and visualizes a need for it; and (4) Planned impulse purchasing takes place when the shopper makes specific decisions on the basis of price specials, coupon offers and the like."

(4) "Shoppers are questioned upon entering the store as to what they plan to purchase and records are made of what they do in fact purchase. Those items purchased but not mentioned during the first interview are impulse purchases."

(5) "Impulse purchasing is the difference in purchases between a sample of customers reporting actual purchases (exposed to in-store stimuli) and another sample of customers reporting what they anticipated buying while sitting in their living rooms (not exposed to in-store stimuli)."

(6) "Impulse purchasing is the difference in a store•s sales volume during weeks in which a holiday occurred with the week immediately following during which a holiday did not occur."

Included in

Psychology Commons