What Is Consumer Behavior?

Consumer behavior is a hotbed of psychological research as it ties together issues of communication (advertising and marketing), identity (you are what you buy), social status, decision-making, and mental and physical health. Corporations use findings about consumer behavior to determine how best to market products. You can put the information to use to consciously decide what, when, and why to buy.

Recent posts on Consumer Behavior

Choosing Dogs that can Breathe

By Zazie Todd Ph.D. on February 18, 2018 in Fellow Creatures
Why are breeds such as Bulldogs, French Bulldogs and Pugs so popular despite health issues due to short faces? Appearance and emotion influence people's choices.

The Wisdom of Crowds

What can we really glean from social media? A new study suggests our comments on Twitter can go a long way.

I Am Woman, Hear Me Crunch

By Renee Engeln Ph.D. on February 09, 2018 in Beauty Sick
We don’t need quieter junk food. We need a complete revision of our relationships with food and our bodies.

You Can't Cheat an Honest Person. Or Can You?

Greed makes you gullible -- unless, of course, you are that way already.

When High Prices Attract Consumers and Low Prices Repel Them

By Utpal Dholakia on February 05, 2018 in The Science Behind Behavior
Price has informational value that equates high price with high quality, and low price with questionable quality.

Building a Company Culture Through Food

By Nick Hobson Ph.D. on February 04, 2018 in Ritual and the Brain
Fast paced organizations are skipping shared meal times for efficiency sake. It's a hit on work culture.

The Motivation Behind Mission-Driven Brands

By Jeffrey Davis M.A. on January 23, 2018 in Tracking Wonder
Mission-centered brands are improving their bottom line, gaining a more genuine community loyalty, shifting our attitude about what branding is, and improving employee retention.

The Handwriting on the Wall: Menu Labeling

Menu labeling—the posting of calories in restaurants in an attempt to decrease obesity and overweight in the population—has been controversial. Does it achieve its goal?

7 Money Tips for Smart People

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on January 17, 2018 in How To Do Life
Advanced but simple tactics for spending and for investing.
New York Daily News

The Coolest Monkey in the Jungle: Children, Pain, and Shame

By Paula L. White M.A. on January 10, 2018 in Shape Parenting
Worried about the impact of negative stereotypes on your child? These three concrete strategies can help.
By August Macke - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=829473

10 Reasons Why People Spend Too Much

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on January 10, 2018 in Science of Choice
When we learn how and why we are vulnerable, we can develop practices that can help us improve our financial well-being.
CCO Commons

Here's a Way Around New Year's Resolutions

By Diana Raab PhD on January 09, 2018 in The Empowerment Diary
Many people make New Year's resolutions and find that in a short period of time that they are broken. A better idea might be to make New Year's intentions.

Saving the Planet Feels Good

Can positive emotions help save the environment? New research suggests that a warm-glow from engaging in virtuous moral behaviors can encourage green behavior.

The Big Split

By Sarah C. Newcomb Ph.D. on January 08, 2018 in Loaded
Here’s what you need to know about the psychology of money when it comes to splitting up.

Constructing Modern Selves 1: Dangers of the Class System

How do less wealthy people maintain a worthy self-concept in a class-based society, a place where people are encouraged to think of themselves as equal to anyone else?

"Touch Me There," Said the Robot

Are we physiologically activated when touching robots' bodies? Research begins to sketch out how we respond to humanoid robots.

People Evaluate You Differently Than You Think They Do

By Art Markman Ph.D. on January 05, 2018 in Ulterior Motives
There are many situations in which you have to decide how to present information about yourself that other people will evaluate. What information should you provide?

The Invention of Hyperlinks

By Gary Klein Ph.D. on January 04, 2018 in Seeing What Others Don't
Hyperlinks are critical for using our smartphones, using touchscreens, navigating the internet. Yet we take them for granted. How did they get invented?

Is the Culture of Me Killing Democracy?

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on January 01, 2018 in Jacob's Staff
The "me-first" attitude only begets more selfishness and divisiveness. What is a constructive, positive way to fight for our rights? Millennials may have an answer.

The Antioxidant Myth

By Georgia Ede MD on December 30, 2017 in Diagnosis: Diet
Don't be fooled by the hype—save your money and your health by getting the facts you need to outsmart the antioxidant hucksters.
Duncan McNeil/Flickr, used under CC license.

Four Reasons Why Potential Patients Do Not Seek Treatment

By Michael S. Scheeringa M.D. on December 27, 2017 in Stress Relief
It is common to blame individuals for not seeking professional help, but it is likely not their fault. Mental health providers are more to blame for being poor at marketing.

The Joy of Living “Tiny”

By Susan Biali M.D. on December 21, 2017 in Prescriptions for Life
"Tiny" homes and small urban spaces have surged in popularity, in response to limited affordability and availability of housing. Who knew they'd be so much fun?

Can You Outsource Your Anxiety?

By Goal Auzeen Saedi Ph.D. on December 21, 2017 in Millennial Media
Are days flying by while work keeps piling up? It is easy to feel anxious as the days feel shorter and our to-do lists longer. It is no wonder outsourcing is gaining popularity.

Is the Fascination of Blockchain Illusion or Truth?

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on December 21, 2017 in Jacob's Staff
Technology vs Reality. Illusion vs Dreams. Promises and Stories. What is most important in driving how we respond?

4 Rules for Simple Holiday Gift-Giving

By Goal Auzeen Saedi Ph.D. on December 20, 2017 in Millennial Media
Stressed about picking out the perfect present? Read on for a few simple rules to make holiday gift-giving a breeze.

Why We Can (Sometimes) Hate Music

By Kimberly Sena Moore Ph.D. on December 20, 2017 in Your Musical Self
Is it possible to grow to hate a song? Here are a few ideas to keep your holiday favorites feeling merry.
Google Images

Giver, Receiver, Gift

By Kate Levinson Ph.D. on December 19, 2017 in Emotional Currency
The year-end pressure to buy gifts for family and friends, and to donate, is on. How do you feel about giving and receiving?

Bad Humans! 2017 Sees Record Increase in Carbon Emissions

Give the gift of climate science this year. It's free and full of surprises. This offer is only good for a short time on this planet.
By Fiona ellis-chadwick (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

10 Factors That Influence Your Purchase Decisions

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on December 09, 2017 in Science of Choice
Consumers are powerfully influenced by their emotions and environmental cues, as well as by how options are presented to them.

Shadow Careers: Stuck, or Smart?

By Katharine Brooks Ed.D. on December 08, 2017 in Career Transitions
It’s easy to assume all individuals who are not actively pursuing their artistic visions or passions are living shadow careers. And that’s just not true.