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 in consciously deciding what, when, and why to buy.

Recent posts on Consumer Behavior

How Maslow Got Cool

By Lawrence R Samuel Ph.D. on November 14, 2017 in Boomers 3.0
Self-actualization has emerged as a common goal among more psychologically secure baby boomers, and it is something that will become even more prevalent in their third act of life.

Digital Goods Valued Less Than Their Physical Counterparts

By Alain Samson Ph.D. on November 14, 2017 in Consumed
New research shows how much consumers value digital vs physical media.

Old Marshmallow Experiment Illuminates Trump's Weaknesses

By Rebecca Coffey on November 13, 2017 in The Bejeezus Out of Me
What does research into "delay discounting" tell us about Trump's "Achilles heel?"

Five Mistakes We Make When Complaining

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on November 13, 2017 in The Squeaky Wheel
If you want to get results when you voice a complaint to a partner, friend or customer service, you need to avoid these five mistakes...

Is a Little Knowledge Really a Dangerous Thing?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on November 13, 2017 in Media Spotlight
While we may be impressed by people willing to make bold statements (especially at election time), the fact is that, more often than not, overconfidence can be a grave mistake

Why Undergo Cosmetic Surgery?

By Robert Burriss Ph.D. on November 13, 2017 in Attraction, Evolved
Two new studies investigate why women decide to undergo cosmetic surgery. How influential are partners and the culture we live in?

Are We Environmental Criminals?

Are we—are you—environmental criminals? And how do we feel about it?
unsplash/ericjamesward

Shrugging at Addiction

By Deborah King on November 06, 2017 in Mining the Headlines
Everyone knows someone affected by the opioid crisis in America. Are you doing anything about it?

Why Automating Retirement Savings May Not Be Enough

By Utpal Dholakia on November 06, 2017 in The Science Behind Behavior
Participants in automatic retirement savings plans are saving at rates far less than the recommended percentages.

Why We’re More Likely to Buy Frivolous Things on Our Mobile?

By Liraz Margalit Ph.D. on November 04, 2017 in Behind Online Behavior
When it comes to what we’re buying it also seems that the device really does matter.

Overcoming the Stressors and Anxiety of the Holiday Season

Blessed is the season, which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love. -- Hamilton Wright Mabie

4 Ways Spending Smarter Can Make You Happier

How do you create a budget that optimizes for happiness? Financial expert, Matt Goren, explains how to do it.

Sex and the iPhone

By Charles S. Jacobs on November 01, 2017 in Management Rewired
What do sex and iPhones have in common?

Why Do We Love (and Hate) Feeling Scared?

By Rob Henderson on October 30, 2017 in After Service
Why do we love feeling afraid, but also hate it? The paradox is simpler than you think.

What Should Managers Do With Profitable Unethical Customers?

The answer depends on whether the manager subscribes to a deontological or teleological ethical perspective.

The Thousand-Dollar iPhone. Wow.

By Steven Schlozman M.D. on October 21, 2017 in Grand Rounds
A thousand dollars for the iPhone? Pretty soon we're talking real money. What's a parent to do?

The State of Affairs

By Mark Matousek on October 20, 2017 in Ethical Wisdom
"An affair upsets the status quo by not only bringing the subject of sexuality to the forefront, but every other aspect of their relationship as well," says Esther Perel.

Propaganda that Masqueraded as Pharmaceutical Marketing

Looking back on the evolution of the current opioid epidemic, the marketing of opioids looks like profitable propaganda.

Gambling Sports Advertising

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on October 19, 2017 in In Excess
Sports gambling advertising is now commonplace, but there is little research on it. Two studies examine junk food, gender and alcohol in gambling ads.
By Nguyen Thanh Long (Flickr: So what do you want now?) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

I Want It Now!

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on October 10, 2017 in Science of Choice
The more we disregard our longer-term interests in favor of immediate gratification, the more likely that we will have a range of behavioral problems, including addiction.

Machiavellian Marketers

Bad marketing sometimes snares the gullible, but most of us are savvy enough to avoid cons such as “eat all you want and still lose weight!” It’s the good marketing that lures us.

Can Unethical Customer Behavior Benefit Others?

Lawful yet unethical behaviors of customers can have positive effects and it raises interesting questions.
EarlySense

The Second Most Exciting Method to Help You Get Pregnant

By John Nosta on October 03, 2017 in The Digital Self
Finally, science has made the tools for getting pregnant as unobtrusive as they are accurate!

What Makes a Good Addiction Treatment Program?

"How do I know if an addiction treatment program actually works?" Get beyond the advertising and go right to the science.

In Cyberspace, We Are All Open Books

By Susan Hooper on September 29, 2017 in Detours and Tangents
I miss the days when privacy could be protected with locked doors, locked filing cabinets, and maybe a bank safe deposit box. Cyberspace has made those protections obsolete.

What's the Latest with Online Dating?

By Donna Barstow on September 27, 2017 in Ink Blots Cartoons
Finally, someone is rating the raters! Which online dating sites are better than others? Don't be afraid to swipe right to read (and see) more.

How Long Does Public Empathy Last After a Natural Disaster?

By Utpal Dholakia on September 24, 2017 in The Science Behind Behavior
The empathy of bystanders peaks quickly, and within a few weeks, it has abated to baseline levels.

How Brands Addict Us

By Douglas Van Praet on September 24, 2017 in Unconscious Branding
Brands are built to let you down and leave you wanting more

52 Ways: Cultural Variations in Offering Food to Show Love

By Roni Beth Tower Ph.D., ABPP on September 17, 2017 in Life, Refracted
Cultures vary in attitudes and beliefs about the role of food in nourishing body, mind and soul. As we express love through feeding, we must remain mindful of those differences.
Pixabay

Rich People’s Problems

By Glenn C. Altschuler Ph.D. on September 11, 2017 in This Is America
As they address their lifestyles, affluent urban folks emphasize traditional values. They deal with discomfort about privilege by managing influential affect and not inequality.