How the fear of missing out drives young consumers to make impulse purchases
: an experimental study on (over-)spending

  • Alma Elise Pauline Tippmann (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) refers to the anxiety that others are doing or in possession of more or something better. It leads to adverse effects on general well-being, particularly among younger generations. A frequently observed coping mechanism is impulsive purchasing, which often leads to overspending beyond consumers personal financial resources. This study empirically examines the effect by the means of an online experiment. It further assesses individual characteristics that heighten vulnerability to FOMO-induced spending and investigates consumers' willingness to exceed imposed budget constraints. The statistical results reveal that FOMO significantly increases impulse purchase likelihood, even under financial budget constraints. The phenomenon is further found to relate to the individual factors Loneliness, Lack of self-control, and Current money management stress. The findings highlight the need for awareness among young consumers, with potential implications for future long-term studies to conduct more profound investigations on this complex social phenomenon.
Date of Award24 Jan 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorDaniel Fernandes (Supervisor)


  • FOMO
  • Impulse purchasing
  • Overspending
  • Experiment
  • Money management stress


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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