The Psychology of Consumer Behavior

The Psychology of Consumer Behavior

The Psychology of Consumer Behavior

The Psychology of Consumer Behavior

Synopsis

After years of study in the area of consumer behavior, Mullen and Johnson bring together a broad survey of small answers to a big question: "Why do consumers do what they do?" This book provides an expansive, accessible presentation of current psychological theory and research as it illuminates fundamental issues regarding the psychology of consumer behavior. The authors hypothesize that an improved understanding of consumer behavior could be employed to more successfully influence consumers' use of products, goods, and services. At the same time, an improved understanding of consumer behavior might be used to serve as an advocate for consumers in their interactions in the marketplace.

Excerpt

As conveyed in the title, this book presents an overview of theory and research on the psychology of consumer behavior. After several years of studying, teaching, talking about, and engaging in consumer behavior, we have tried to bring together a representative and broad survey of small answers to the big question: "Why do consumers do what they do?"

It should be recognized that there are at least three different types of books about consumers. One type of textbook about consumers is devoted to an attempt to manipulate and influence consumers' use of products, goods, and services. Another type of textbook about consumers is devoted to an attempt to protect, and to serve as an advocate for, consumers in their interactions with producers in the marketplace. The third type of textbook about consumers is devoted to an attempt to understand the behavior of consumers. It is this third type of textbook that the reader is holding now.

Our goal has been to provide a broad, accessible presentation of current theory and research as it illuminates fundamental issues regarding consumer behavior. The goal of understanding may seem less ambitious than either the goal of influencing consumers or the goal of protecting consumers. However, as the reader delves into the research literature of consumer psychology, it should become apparent that the task of understanding consumer behavior is not a simple task. In addition, there is always the distinct possibility that an improved understanding of consumer behavior might be used to more successfully manipulate and influence consumers' use of products, goods, and services. At the same time, an enhanced appreciation for the complexities of consumer behavior might be used to more successfully serve as an advocate for consumers in their interactions in the marketplace. Regardless of the direction in which the interested reader is heading, a firm understanding of the theory and research that illuminates consumer behavior is an excellent place to start.

Many people must be thanked for their contributions throughout the various stages of development of this text. At the top of the list, the many students who have worked through earlier versions of this text have provided innumerable . . .

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