Why are people panic-buying and hoarding bulk items?

Coronavirus

There're psychological explanations for why many people are panic-buying and loading up on specific bulk items during the virus pandemic

(FOX NEWS) — Scared shoppers are continuing to strip store shelves during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

But why are so many people stocking up on certain supplies in such a hurry?

Medical experts talking to insider.com are breaking down some of the theories.

Behaviorist, Doctor Ali Fenwick, says people start loading up their carts because their brain switches from a rational state to survival mode.

Unknown situations can scare people into getting more than they actually need.

Fenwick says the “scarcity effect” also comes into play.

Once people notice fewer of a specific item on the shelves they assign a higher value to that item, and believe they may need it before it completely runs out.

Experts say “herd mentality” may also cause you to feel unprepared for not getting the same items other people are purchasing.

But in the end, panic buying helps people feel in control.

Many people have not lived through shelter in place rulings, Fenwick says when you buy what you think you’ll need, it can help you feel more prepared for what’s to come.

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