Consumer anxiety refers to the theory that personal consumption can sometimes provoke anxiety for an individual because of the perception that others will judge his or her consumption choices negatively. The existence of consumer anxiety is premised on the concern that one's publicly visible and personally identifiable consumer practices, such as styles of dress, adornment, hairstyles, or living spaces, are open to judgment by others. While the theory rests on processes of judgment or evaluation in the context of individual and group interactions, it also unites the visual, aesthetic, and moral dimensions of social life. The possibility of consumer anxiety is also a reflection of larger scale, background, cultural processes.

From a theoretical perspective, the essence of the theory is that in consumer societies, the proliferation ...

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