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Open Access Publications from the University of California

When Is a New Scale not a New Scale? The Case of the Bergen Shopping Addiction Scale and the Compulsive Online Shopping Scale

  • Author(s): Griffiths, MD
  • Andreassen, CS
  • Pallesen, S
  • Bilder, RM
  • Torsheim, T
  • Aboujaoude, E
  • et al.

Manchiraju et al. (International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 1-15, 2016) published the Compulsive Online Shopping Scale (COSS) in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction (IJMHA). To develop their measure of compulsive online shopping, Manchiraju and colleagues adapted items from the seven-item Bergen Shopping Addiction Scale (BSAS) and its' original 28-item item pool. Manchiraju et al. did not add or remove any of the original seven items, and did not substantially change the content of any of the 28 items on which the BSAS was based. They simply added the word "online" to each existing item. Given that the BSAS was specifically developed to take into account the different ways in which people now shop and to include both online and offline shopping, there does not seem to be a good rationale for developing an online version of the BSAS. It is argued that the COSS is not really an adaptation of the BSAS but an almost identical instrument based on the original 28-item pool.

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