Why do people stockpile? 人們為什麼要搶購囤貨?

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詞彙:panic buying 搶購,恐慌購買

Have you ever watched one of the many TV shows set during the apocalypse – a dystopian future where life as we know it is over and people are only focussed on survival? If it’s not zombies, it’s viruses or natural disasters. One thing that seems to be a quintessential part of these series is survivors searching for food and resources. Is that why people stockpile food when things go bad?

What is stockpiling? Quite simply it’s when people accumulate a substantial number of goods, for example food or water. According to psychologist Judy Rosenberg, stockpiling perishable goods like eggs and milk is a positive sign that people believe a crisis will be over soon. When people stockpile tinned goods, it can be a sign that people fear that the crisis will endure.

But why do we do it? Consumer psychologist Paul Marsden puts it down to three factors that relate to retail therapy. Firstly, 『autonomy』 – the idea the people feel the need to be in control. Secondly, 『relatedness』 – panic shopping helps people to feel connected to the community or other shoppers who are doing the same.

Lastly, 『competence』 – people want to feel like they are 『smart shoppers’ and doing the right thing. Sander Van der Lindon, an assistant professor of social psychology at Cambridge University, said that a phenomenon known as 『fear contagion』 can take hold. People’s decision making is hampered when stressed, so they follow the actions of other people. If they are panic buying, you will too.

So, can you stop people from stockpiling? Well, supermarkets can ration the amount of products consumers purchase, and governments can try to reassure people that there is no need to panic. However, it seems that it goes against our basic psychology to try and stop people from panic buying.

So, the next time a virus, natural disaster or zombie apocalypse starts, remember that panic buying is probably a given, thanks to our need for retail therapy to manage our emotional state.

詞彙表

apocalypse 大災難
dystopian 反烏托邦的
survival 生存,存活
quintessential 最典型的
survivor 能在困境中生存的人
accumulate 積攢
substantial 大量的
perishable 易變質的,易腐壞的
crisis 危機
tinned goods 罐頭食品
endure 持續
retail therapy 購物療法
autonomy 自主
relatedness 關聯性
competence 能力
phenomenon 現象
fear contagion 恐懼蔓延
hampered 受阻礙的,受限制的
ration 定量,配給量
a given (定將發生的)假定事實

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What sort of goods do consumers tend to stockpile when they think the crisis will be over quickly?

2. What can cause people’s decision making to be restricted?

3. What is a typical element of TV series set during the apocalypse?

4. What does retail therapy help to control?

5. Why is relatedness mentioned?

2. 選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. You need to be more independent and _______.

autonomy                   autonomous                    autumn                    autonomously

2. He always tries to _______ my style.

hampers                     hampering                       hampered                hamper

3. This disease seems to be quite _______.

contagious                 contagiously                     contagion                 contain

4. _______ often happens during times of war.

Rationing                   Ration                              Rationed                  Rational

5. You need to clean! A lot of dust has _______.

accumulated              accumulation                   accumulating            accumulate

答案

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。  

1. What sort of goods do consumers tend to stockpile when they think the crisis will be over quickly?
Perishable goods like eggs and milk.

2. What can cause people’s decision making to be restricted?
Stress.

3. What is a typical element of TV series set in the apocalypse?
Survivors searching for food and resources.

4. What does retail therapy help to control?
It helps to manage your emotional state.

5. Why is relatedness mentioned?
Because people want to feel like part of the community, doing the same things as other people.

2. 選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. You need to be more independent and autonomous.

2. He always tries to hamper my style.

3. This disease seems to be quite contagious!

4. Rationing often happens during times of war.

5. You need to clean! A lot of dust has accumulated!