Consumer Psychology is a specialty that studies how thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and perceptions influence how people buy and relate to goods and services. One formal definition of the field describes it as the study of individuals, groups, or organizations and the processes they use to select, secure, use, and dispose of products, services, experiences, or ideas to satisfy needs and the impacts that these processes have on the consumer and society (Hawkins & Motherbaugh, & Best, 2007). Simply, consumer psychology studies how things like thoughts, culture, and motivations impact how and why people buy products and services.
Consumer psychologists study how consumers choose businesses, products and services, and the thought processes behind those decisions. Environmental variables influence consumer decisions, and marketing companies use that information to mold their marketing toward specific consumers. The data they collect to that end is invaluable, when it lends insight into the mind and habits of consumers.
[...] In the article Consumer Psychology (1986), James Bettman discusses issues that have an assumed importance in consumer behaviors. Bettman points out that our buying habits and decision-making behaviors are pervasive and omnipresent in our everyday lives. So much so that we may not even consciously realize we are exercising them. These are learned and passed on to us from family, friends, and even our observations of society around us. Whether it is the selection of a brand of toothpaste, an automobile, the college we attend, or political candidate, individuals constantly make decisions and have to choose from a dizzying array of options. [...]
[...] It may be less understood, but no less important, how consumer psychology plays a vital role in developing a successful marketing communication message by observing the habits and decision-making processes of consumers. Without the study of consumer psychology, marketing attempts would essentially be fumbling around in the dark, trying to focus their efforts in the attempt to glimpse into the minds of consumer and potential customers. References Bettman, J.R. Consumer Psychology. Annual Review of Psychology; 1986, Vol 37 Issue p257-289, 33p Cohen, J. [...]
[...] B., & Chakravarti, D. Annual Review of Psychology; 1990, Vol 41 Issue p243, 46p Hawkins, D. I., Motherbaugh, D. L., & Best, R. J. (2007). Consumer Behavior (Vol. 10th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin. [...]
[...] Consumer psychologists study how family influence can sway consumer decision-making and habits, and interestingly enough, how product symbolism can have social purchasing influence as well. The article discusses how prior knowledge of a product or service, or achieved perception, can affect individual decision-making. In the same journal, Annual Review of Psychology, Joel Cohen & Dipankar Chakavarti (1990) focus on three distinct research issues: research on consumer judgment and choice, a review of consumer responses to marketing stimuli (advertising, packaging, and price), and descriptive research on patterns of consumption behaviors. [...]
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