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 deciding what, when, and why to buy.

Recent posts on Consumer Behavior

Big Data Is Nudging You

By Alain Samson Ph.D. on August 30, 2016 in Consumed
Slow to hit the purchase button? Here’s how you may be nudged to buy.

Commandeering Cuteness for Commercialism

By Douglas Van Praet on August 27, 2016 in Unconscious Branding
There is a good reason why cute and cuddly baby animals are tugging at your heart and pulling on your purse strings.

Why We Should Stop Avoiding the Word "Patient" in Psychiatry

Calling psychiatric patients "consumer" and "client" is misguided.

Seduced by Abandon

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on August 22, 2016 in A Swim in Denial
"Throwing caution to the winds" can be exhilarating or dangerous. In politics the idea manipulates us in wild ways.

An Easy Tip for Overeaters

By Susan McQuillan M.S., RDN on August 22, 2016 in Cravings
Are you trying to eat less or at least eat better? It's all in your timing.

Should We Treat Business School Students Like Customers?

University professors and administrators should be customer-oriented, but we should not treat students like customers.

Trump´s Tweets and Twitter Psychology: You Talkin´ to Me?

Twitter is both public and personal. Facilitating interaction between political candidates and prospective voters creates synthetic intimacy which can translate into votes.

Medical Mistakes Make It Dangerous to Go to a Hospital

By Allen J Frances M.D. on August 18, 2016 in Saving Normal
Medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the US. Hospitals compete for patients by trying to be the fanciest hotel—not the safest and best place to get care.

Who Deserves the Right to Choose Green?

By Michele Wick Ph.D. on August 16, 2016 in Anthropocene Mind
People who earned their income, as opposed to receiving welfare, were deemed more deserving of the right to spend extra cash to cool the planet.

How We Color Our Lives With the Emotions We Desire

By Marianna Pogosyan Ph.D. on August 15, 2016 in Between Cultures
"Ideal affect" offers insights into the complexities of our emotional worlds, our preferences and our behaviors.

Serendipity: A Store, a Movie and a Coincidence

A movie has replaced the original definition of serendipity.

In Politics, a Closed Mouth Gathers No Foot—or Free Press

Donald Trump is media accessible. Yet for positive press, the key is to appeal to the voting public through the likability and trustworthiness of the reporter, not the candidate.

On a Cup of Coffee

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 13, 2016 in How To Do Life
Gratitude as an anti-sadness "medication."

Is Financial Nudging of American Consumers Backfiring?

Data from Vanguard’s “How America Saves 2016” report raises three red flags.

Trump vs. Clinton and Media Coverage: Do Men Come First?

In politics, research reveals a gender bias, perhaps unintentional, in covering men more than women. But not always. And more coverage does not always translate into more votes.

Should You Replace Your Car?

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 03, 2016 in How To Do Life
An internal debate that may help you gain clarity.
Ranveig -- creative commons

The Four Evolutionary Roots of Pokémon Go

By Thomas Hills Ph.D. on August 02, 2016 in Statistical Life
Pokémon Go is a craze, but crazes often have reasons that make them so crazy. In the case of Pokemon Go, these reasons are millions of years old.

Election by Association: Showcasing Successful Surrogates

Clinton cashes in on convention psychology. From endorsements to the selection of convention speakers, indirect image management is a significant part of a political campaign.

Free-Range Psychology

Just as the heath care field is moving towards personalized medicine, free-range psychology is well positioned to be the wave of the future.

Did the GOP Unconventional Convention Change Your Vote?

In politics, the impact of an initial positive impression endures—even in the face of subsequent negative attacks. The GOP convention may particularly impact partisan voters.

The Marketing of Mindfulness

Mindfulness for mind-blowing sex?

When It Comes to Your Money

By Michael F. Kay on July 20, 2016 in Financial Life Focus
"More than 30 people burned in Tony Robbins' hot-coals walk" Associated Press headline June 24, 2016

Status Is the Enemy of Contentment

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 19, 2016 in How To Do Life
Are you paying too big a price for prestige?

Clear Thinking About Decluttering: 8 Insights

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on July 13, 2016 in Creating in Flow
Like diet books, books about how to clean out our clutter are always popular. What's the fascination, and why can't we "just do it" once and for all?

Stuart Smalley Was Wrong

By Sarah C. Newcomb Ph.D. on July 12, 2016 in Loaded
Can affirmations help you avoid over-spending? The right way to affirm yourself for better self-control.

Does It Matter Whether You Pay With Cash Or A Credit Card?

Research shows that pain of spending affects shopper behavior.

Heaviness in the Heart

I recently helped care for a patient recovering from a cardiac arrest. It turned out that part of his problem may have been due to an old spray can.

A Lesson in Consumer Affairs Every Company Needs to Read

By Donna Flagg on July 07, 2016 in Office Diaries
What not to do when responding to customer inquiries.

Taming Blame and Shame

By Michael F. Kay on July 06, 2016 in Financial Life Focus
What could be more destructive to your financial success and happiness than wallowing in blame and shame?

Standing Out in a Crowd by Marketing Yourself

How do you make sure that you stand out from everyone else? The answer often comes down to marketing.