Consumer Psyc 1 Flashcards Preview

PSYC3020 Applications > Consumer Psyc 1 > Flashcards

Flashcards in Consumer Psyc 1 Deck (12)

What is consumer psychology?

“the study of human responses to
product and service related information
and experiences”


product and service related information

marketer initiated stimuli (e.g.,
advertisements, package labels, point-ofpurchase
displays), consumer magazines and
other media, word-of-mouth communications
from friends and relatives.


human responses

could be cognitive, emotional,


What are the goals of consumer

— To learn about what makes consumers
◦ describe, predict, influence, and/or explain
consumer responses
— But also social marketing, e.g.,
◦ how consumption affects the environment
◦ the impact of consumption on children


Why study consumer psychology?

— To improve business performance
— To influence public policy
— To educate and help consumers make
better decisions


What topics do consumer
psychologists study?

— Memory and learning
— Perception and attention
— Motivation and emotions
— Information processing
— Attitude formation and change
— Decision making
— Interpersonal, group, and cultural
— Personality, self and identity, values


How do consumer psychologists
study these questions?

Employ theoretical approaches from:
◦ within psychology: social, cognitive,
developmental, perception, etc.
◦ outside psychology: marketing, economics,
communication, sociology, anthropology, etc.
— Use a variety of research methods:
◦ qualitative (e.g., interviews, focus groups,
◦ quantitative (e.g., lab and field experiments,


What do consumer psychologists
do? Some examples:

In the lab: Track eye movements as research participants view
a series of soft drink cans
— At the Department of Health: Examine how consumers
respond to a quit smoking campaign
— At a tech company: Assess consumer responses to various
combinations of product features to help developers
determine the optimal combination
— At a uni: Develop a theoretical model of financial decisions
made by families
— At an ad agency: Analyse how well alternative advertisements
improve attitudes toward a brand of coffee


What skills are helpful if I want to
become a consumer psychologist?

an understanding of the scientific process,
hypothesis testing, experimental and nonexperimental
— the ability to translate complex issues into
testable questions
— the ability to apply descriptive and inferential
— the ability to analyse data and interpret
— the ability to write proposals and reports in
a clear and precise manner


How do I become a consumer

Education: The title “psychologist” requires
registration (typically 4 + 2 years of study)
— However:
◦ Lots of people working in consumer psychology are not
registered psychologists
◦ Lots of people working in consumer psychology aren’t
called “consumer psychologists”
— Employment: market research, strategic planner in
advertising, start own consultancy


History of consumer psychology

the field of consumer
psychology grew in parallel with the
consumer society
◦ The Industrial Revolution (1800s) ->
significant increase in consumption
◦ Scientists became more interested in
understanding consumers


Dichter’s motives for consumption

1946-72: Ernest Dichter founds the Institute for
Motivational Research
◦ introduces Freudian concepts to the US advertising
industry (later made famous by Packard’s The Hidden
◦ pioneered the focus group technique

— Power: large breakfasts, fast cars, power tools
— Masculinity/virility: coffee, red meat, heavy shoes
— Status: Scotch, carpets
— Femininity: cakes and biscuits, tea, silk
— Moral purity/cleanliness: cotton fabrics, harsh
household cleaning chemicals, bathing
— Magic/mystery: soups, paints, carbonated drinks

see slides for more on history