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

How We've Been Lulled Into Overeating

By Temma Ehrenfeld on December 07, 2016 in Open Gently
The phrase "Everything in moderation" enters our brains as "Go ahead, don't be stingy." We overestimate how much we can eat "moderately."

For a Greener Holiday Let’s Do Nothing

As we make our to-do list for the holidays, leave some time for doing nothing. Find a bit of quiet away from the frazzled shopping crowds and slow down. Be as green as you can.

Stop Losing Money Now!

By Gleb Tsipursky Ph.D. on December 03, 2016 in Intentional Insights
Are you losing money right now? Many people are, without knowing it. Find out if you are and how to stop doing so!

Establishing Your Retirement Number

By Michael F. Kay on December 01, 2016 in Financial Life Focus
"Look, I don't want to get all complicated. I just want to know how much we need in order to retire."

All I Want for Christmas Is a Pony

By Tracy P Alloway Ph.D. on November 30, 2016 in Keep It in Mind
Is impulsive buying and shopping stressing you out this holiday season?

Good Divorce Weekend: The No-Spending Spree

By Wendy Paris on November 29, 2016 in Splitopia
Not shopping for Black Friday deals, or Saturday or Sunday specials, made this holiday weekend special for my family.

Don’t Be Fooled on Giving Tuesday: Give Wisely!

By Gleb Tsipursky Ph.D. on November 29, 2016 in Intentional Insights
Some ineffective charities try to fool you by appealing to emotions. This article can help you make the best decisions in your giving!

Let’s Make America Toxic Again

To modest press notice, the ongoing Trump-Pence marketing site announced the offering of a special tree ornament touting its well-worn campaign slogan.

Changing Minds on Meat Eating

Effective animal advocacy is turning to empirical research for guidance.

In a Store and on the Phone: A Risky Mix?

By Linda Wasmer Andrews on November 23, 2016 in Minding the Body
Using your phone while shopping is sometimes (but not always) a recipe for buyer's remorse. Here's what you need to know before hitting the stores, based on a new study.

How Will You Feel After Thanksgiving and Black Friday?

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on November 23, 2016 in How To Do Life
Ways to avoid overeating and overspending.

Fake News, Echo Chambers & Filter Bubbles: A Survival Guide

By Joe Pierre M.D. on November 21, 2016 in Psych Unseen
Our beliefs and actions are increasingly influenced by our immersion into the internet. Is it time to unplug?

Financial Morbidity

By Michael F. Kay on November 17, 2016 in Financial Life Focus
The idea of financial morbidity is aimed clearly at those who possess an inability to deal with their financial lives to a degree that their financial security is put in jeopardy.

Why You Should Never Prepay for Any Product or Service

Marketers love it when consumers prepay, but it often has unintended consequences that harm consumers.

Why We Like Online Shopping, and Delayed Gratification

Need it, find it, buy it (and then wait for it in the mail) actually makes for an enjoyable experience, and the perfect return shopper, according to delayed gratification.

Creating Ads We'd Be Glad to See

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on November 13, 2016 in How To Do Life
An Up-and-Comer interview with Sandra Matz

Stealth Voters Facilitate Trump´s Poll Vault to Victory

By Wendy L. Patrick Ph.D. on November 10, 2016 in Why Bad Looks Good
How could polls be so wrong? Momentum drove math. Undercover Trump voters were quiet about their political views, and quietly cast their votes this week—for the Donald.

Why Don't We Save Enough for Our Retirement?

Uncertainty about “the Number,” competition from other goals, and misunderstanding growth are big obstacles.

Dueling Statistics: How Much of the Internet Is Porn?

By Michael Castleman M.A. on November 03, 2016 in All About Sex
Social conservatives say that the Internet is awash in porn. Academic researchers disagree. Who's right?

Who's Afraid of GMOs?

Why do we vilify some companies but not others? Why do we fear products that have been shown to be safe but not products that have killed people?

6 Ways to Convince People to Do What You Want

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on November 01, 2016 in Creating in Flow
If you want to become more influential, take the time to craft a message that's persuasive.

The “Lesser of Two Evils” Fallacy

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 01, 2016 in Ambigamy
If you treat all disappointing choices as choosing the lesser of "evils" you're likely to end up with real evil.

Money Avoidance

By Michael F. Kay on November 01, 2016 in Financial Life Focus
You might be able to avoid dealing with your money life for a little while, but not forever.

A Sponge Is a Sponge Is a Sponge

The household sponge market is perfect for investigating eco-friendly product claims.

Writing for the Self-Help Consumer, Pt 1

By Melissa Kirk on October 30, 2016 in Test Case
Probably the biggest mistake I hear when I communicate with potential authors about their books is the author misunderstanding who their audience is.

Body-Love, Body-Shaming, and Health

By Ruth C. White Ph.D. on October 27, 2016 in Culture in Mind
As Americans get fatter, there is a sense of a 'new norm' and the language regarding how we frame our bigger selves is changing. But is this change good for our health?

How Much Money Should You Spend on a Wedding Gift?

Economics and psychological perspectives provide us with different spending values in response to this common question.

Look Out Below!

It's a good idea to pay attention. It's not a good idea to pay too much attention. But how much attention is too much?

Willy Wonka and Financial Happiness

By Michael F. Kay on October 21, 2016 in Financial Life Focus
Do you have the discipline to make your dreams become reality?

Why Should You Build Some Nostalgia Into Your Life?

Nostalgia can make your life better.