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Are You a Shopaholic?

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The lives of some people are focused on shopping. They repeatedly make purchases regardless of need or cost. Some of these people buy things on impulse. Some of these people have closets with unopened purchases. Some of these people have accumulated huge amounts of credit card debt. If this sounds like you, then you may be a shopaholic.

A recent test revealed that 9% of people are shopaholics. Another similar test showed a slightly smaller percentage of 6%. This new data concludes an increase in the number of shopaholics from fifteen years ago. The data also concludes that men are just as prone to the shopping urge as women. The test consisted of six statements which people answered on a 7-point scale, from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Some statements included:

  • Much of my life centers around buying things.
  • I buy things I didn't plan to buy.
  • Others might consider me a shopaholic.

Compulsive buying obviously leads to financial problems such as an empty bank account and maxed out credit cards. Yet these unneeded and unwanted purchases may be the sign of more serious problems, namely depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. In addition, relationships and family harmony also deteriorate because of arguments over the purchases. Shopaholics may then hide the things they have bought, as well as the accompanying costs, and thus add to the strain. It's a problem that affects people of all income brackets.Researchers suggest that shopaholics felt better when they were shopping, even when they realized the harm it caused.

Preview some of the lesson material:

Warm Up: Do you agree or disagree? Why?

  1. I love to go shopping.
  2. I often buy things that I don't really need.
  3. I often buy things that I didn't plan to buy.
  4. My friends would consider me a shopaholic.
  5. I have recently made a large purchase.

True or False?: Guess (before the article) or answer (after the article) whether the sentence is true or false. If false, correct the sentence.

  1. According to the article, shopaholics are people obsessed with shopping.
  2. Less people suffer from compulsive buying than in the past.
  3. According to the article, more women than man are shopaholics.
  4. Shopaholics may also suffer from anxiety and low self-esteem.
  5. Both rich people and poor people suffer from compulsive buying.

post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!

  1. Based on the information in the article, would you consider yourself a shopaholic? Why/not?
  2. Based on the information in the article, do you know anyone who might be a shopaholic? Why/not?
  3. Do you agree that women and men suffer from the problem equally? Why/not?
  4. Do you agree that anxiety and low self-esteem cause compulsive buying? Why/not?
  5. What solutions are there for people who are shopaholics? How can they be helped?

Google Search: Type "shopaholic" into Google. Look at the websites, and/or read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or write an essay about your findings.

Download the lesson:



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