The Impact of Self-Regulation on Over-Indebtedness Amid the Pandemic

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Understanding the psychological factors dictating consumer spending and borrowing behavior is of utmost importance, as it interferes with one's subjective well-being and overall life satisfaction. Prior research suggests that regulatory focus guides consumers’ decision making when it comes to personal finances management, but the research on whether it impacts indebtedness propensity is rather scant. This study aims to test how key debt-related variables (risk, impulsivity, provider trust, locus of control) impact indebtedness in the context of COVID-19. The final sample of 498 Portuguese consumers shows that the participants have an internal locus of control when it comes to financial hardship; a locus of control positively impacted by the trustworthiness. The article concludes with a discussion of theoretical implications for researchers investigating the impact of personality on debt perception, as well as practical implications discussing how to prevent indebtedness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the European Marketing Academy, 50th
PublisherEuropean Marketing Academy (EMAC)
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021
Event50th European Marketing Academy (EMAC) Annual Conference - ESIC Business & Marketing School, Mdrid, Spain
Duration: 25 May 202128 May 2021
Conference number: 50th


Conference50th European Marketing Academy (EMAC) Annual Conference
Abbreviated titleEMAC 2021
Internet address


  • Consumer behaviour
  • impulsivity
  • Over-indebtedness
  • Regulatory-focus


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