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Nguyen Van Anh, EPhD-3. COVID 19 uncertainties to impulsive buying behavior: the roles of mindfulness and afterlife belief

COVID‑19 uncertainties to impulsive buying behavior: the roles of mindfulness and afterlife belief

Hung Vu Nguyen1  · Anh Van Nguyen2  · Ha Le Hai Dinh1

Current Psychology


Accepted: 25 August 2023

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2023


This study develops a theoretical model to explain the impacts of uncertainty events such as Covid-19 pandemic on consumers’ distress and the resulting impulsive buying behavior. Diferent from the extant perspective, two types of uncertainties are theorized to impact on distress diferently. Moreover, two key moderators which are culture- and religiousness-related including mindfulness and afterlife belief are examined on the process toward the impulsive buying behavior. This can be considered as an important answer to the call by scholars to understand the roles of cultural and religious beliefs in defning consumer behaviors. A data sample of 410 consumers in Vietnam collected provides support for the hypotheses. Thus, our study contributes to the current literature related to the cultural and religious view on consumer behavior. Practical implications are also discussed. Finally, recommendations for further research are provided.

Keywords Covid-19 pandemic · Self-uncertainty · Social-uncertainty · Distress · Mindfulness · Afterlife belief · Impulsive buying behavior.

Introduction While the covid-19 pandemic has been maturing, uncertainties continued to increase for individuals (Rutter et al., 2020). As of 31st May 2022, more than 592 million cases have been confrmed and six million people lost their lives because of Covid-19 (Hopkins, 2022). Others alive have been facing with the negative experience of the pandemic confnement and absolute turmoil of work and life (Alcover et al., 2020; Boyraz et al., 2020; Yiwen & Hahn, 2021). Thus, the pandemic unexpected disruption may provide a particular set of conditions in which people were losing their beliefs about their capabilities and goals (Ritchie et al., 2021). Until now, people faced with challenges in making sense of the tragedy and divisiveness after the pandemic (Pyszczynski et al., 2021). The extant literature seemed to converge that such uncertainties among consumers might be associated with negative psychological symptoms such as distress (Kofman et al., 2020; Marzo, 2021) which in turn result in coping consumption behaviors such as impulsive buying (Delorme et al., 2004; Weiss et al., 2012). In fact, the impulsive buying was reported as a common behavior in the COVID-19 pandemic period in diferent countries (Iyer et al., 2020; Li et al., 2020; Naeem, 2020). However, the links from uncertainties to distress and then to impulsive buying have not always been supported empirically. In fact, it was reported that people might even enjoy the uncertainty because they had time then for other activities or start new relationships (e.g.: Kruglanski et al., 2021). Thus, not all kinds of uncertainties might lead to distress. Moreover, empirical evidence also confrmed that psychology distress might not always result in impulsive buying behavior (e.g.: Wang et al., 2021). Such inconclusive evidence for the links then requires further theoretical explanations.