If you are an emotionally stable person you are more likely to splurge on a holiday while people who are nervous and have a lower stress-threshold (higher neuroticism) spend less, finds an interesting study.
The research suggests that personality traits are related to more specific spending behaviours, which should in turn impact the broad outcomes like long term financial goals.
“We’ve known for a while that personality is related to what we call ‘broad outcomes:’ how much money you make or how happy you are or how long you live,” said Sara Weston from the Northwestern University.
“But we know less about why personality is related to those things.”
The study, appearing in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, also revealed that those with more artistic interests and more active imaginations, those higher in openness, spend less during the holiday season while those low in openness spend more.
In addition, those who are more conscientious spend more, and those who are less conscientious spend less.
For the study, the team aggregated more than 2 million individual transactions from 2,133 participants’ bank accounts, and compared the relationship between the five big personality traits OCEAN — openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism — and spending over the Christmas season.
The researchers emphasise that personality is only one small part of consumer behaviour, especially at the individual level. From household size to income and many other factors, there are numerous influences at the individual shopping level.
This research, however, provides a road map of how combining large scale information with personality can provide a “big picture” view of consumer habits.
“By providing objective measures of both annual and holiday spending, the data allow for a truly ecological study of the relationship between personality traits and consumer behaviour,” the researchers noted.