Here’s why people are panic buying and stockpiling toilet paper to cope with coronavirus fears

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Photo: CNBC

Panic buying has been rife amid the global spread of the new coronavirus, with consumers around the world stockpiling goods like hand sanitizer, canned foods and toilet paper.

Psychologists spoke to CNBC to weigh in on why our brains push us to panic buy — even when authorities are assuring the public there’s no need to.

According to Paul Marsden, a consumer psychologist at the University of the Arts London, the short answer can be found in the psychology of “retail therapy” — where we buy to manage our emotional state.

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