If you love using coupons or finding the best deal, you may have your parents to thank for that.

Jochen Sand, ThinkStock

According to Robert Schindler, a professor of marketing at Rutgers-Camden, bargain hunting could be a trait that's passed down from generation to generation.

Schindler, for years, has been researching how consumers respond to price, and in his paper, published in Psychology & Marketing, he made a correlation between parents and children and their desires to find the best bargain.

"Young people who really enjoy and get enthusiastic about discounts are very likely to have one or more parents who are like that too," Schindler said in a conversation with New Jersey 101.5 FM. "At least part of it is something that's learned through observation and through explicit teaching."

Schindler suggested that children who are as deal-prone as their parents spent more time with them while growing up.

And while past research has shown that a restrictive style of parenting is more effective in communicating values and lifestyles, Schindler said it's a more permissive parenting approach that paves the way for the bargain itch to spread from one generation to another.

"People who are into it -- it's a thrill for them," Schindler said. "It's a thrill for them; it's exciting. It's a source of pride. It's a source of pleasure and satisfaction."

To some extent, bargain hunting is a game, and when one wins that game, whether it be against a store or another shopper, there's a sense of enjoyment that comes with the victory.

"The satisfaction of it is very deep-seeded," Schindler said.