A Field Research to Identify Psychological Factors Influencing the Debt Repayment Behavior in Turkey

Mehtap Özşahin, Senay Yürür, Erman Coşkun


This research aims to exploratively search relevant psychological determinants for debt repayment behavior. In this regard, the research question is: Which psychological factors affect the debt repayment behavior? Some research in literature argue that the socio-economic factors alone may not be sufficient to explain debt and repayment behavior, and some other factors should be also utilized. This study will focus on psychological factors consisting of personality and attitudes. To the our best knowledge, in Turkey there is very limited amount of research conducted in this area and as one of the highest individual credit using countries it is essential to use psychological factors in credit risk evaluation processes. Thus, this research, examines effects of personality characteristics and attitude on debt repayment behavior in the context of Turkish culture, and is expected to fill a gap and to contribute to both national and international literatures. The study utilizes qualitative research methodology to explore psychological determinants and their effects on debt repayment behavior. In depth interview research methodology has been used to explore the personality characteristics and attitude influencing debt repayment behavior.  The research findings revealed that, the responsibility, long term orientation, sanction fear, sense of collectivism, rational decision making and risk aversion are main characteristics of regular payers, while external locus of control, irresponsibility, short term orientation,  irrational decision making, emotional imbalance are common characteristics of irregular payers. So, according to findings, , conscientious, time orientation, sanction fear, sense of collectivism, locus of control and decision making style can be enlisted as primary personal and attitudinal factors explaining the repayment behavior.


Debt repayment; personality; attitude; psychological factors; qualitative method

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/emaj.2018.156


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