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The Psychological Causes of Panic Buying Following a Health Crisis

1
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798, Singapore
2
Ocean College, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
3
School of Economics and Management, Chang’An University, Xi’an 710064, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3513; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103513
Received: 20 April 2020 / Revised: 9 May 2020 / Accepted: 15 May 2020 / Published: 18 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Mental Health)
Attributed to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, panic buying is now a frequent occurrence in many countries, leading to stockouts and supply chain disruptions. Consequently, it has received much attention from academics and the retail industry. The aim of this study is to review, identify, and synthesise the psychological causes of panic buying, which is a relatively new and unexplored area in consumer behaviour research. A systematic review of the related literature is conducted. The review suggests that panic buying is influenced by (1) individuals’ perception of the threat of the health crisis and scarcity of products; (2) fear of the unknown, which is caused by negative emotions and uncertainty; (3) coping behaviour, which views panic buying as a venue to relieve anxiety and regain control over the crisis; and (4) social psychological factors, which account for the influence of the social network of an individual. This study contributes to the literature by consolidating the scarce and scattered research on the causes of panic buying, drawing greater theoretical insights into each cause and also offers some implications for health professionals, policy makers, and retailers on implementing appropriate policies and strategies to manage panic buying. Recommendations for future research are also provided. View Full-Text
Keywords: panic buying; purchasing behaviour; health crisis; determinants; COVID-19 panic buying; purchasing behaviour; health crisis; determinants; COVID-19
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yuen, K.F.; Wang, X.; Ma, F.; Li, K.X. The Psychological Causes of Panic Buying Following a Health Crisis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 3513. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103513

AMA Style

Yuen KF, Wang X, Ma F, Li KX. The Psychological Causes of Panic Buying Following a Health Crisis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(10):3513. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103513

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yuen, Kum F.; Wang, Xueqin; Ma, Fei; Li, Kevin X. 2020. "The Psychological Causes of Panic Buying Following a Health Crisis" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 10: 3513. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103513

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