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What is Consumer Psychology?

Undeniably consumption is an everyday feature in industrial societies. The presentations of relevant stimuli are ubiquitous and the far most decisions people come to have something to do with consuming. Personal feelings of well-being and objective health are greatly influenced by consuming behavior (i.e. (over-)nutrition). Therefor consuming behavior is an important, interesting and rich subject for psychological research. Besides, a research science like psychology, wanting to understand human behavior, has to explain processes and phenomena of consuming behavior.

Consumer Psychology is a subfield of psychology, which analyses backgrounds and effects of consuming behavior. More precisely it is the discipline working with reactions (affective, cognitive or behavioral) on products, brands and services in the broadest sense, its use and consumption as well as the communicating and marketing strategies of these.

Consumer Psychology is aimed at understanding and forecasting these reactions and the background processes due to general models or theories. Essentially, it bases on disciplines of general psychology and social psychology such as cognition, memory, information processing, judgment and decision making, attitude and attitude changes, affect and emotion, self-regulation, etc.

Consumer Psychology, therefor, on one hand is an applied discipline, because it transfers bases of other psychological branches on specific phenomena of the consumer behavior. On the other hand, Consumer Psychology is also a basic research, because it pursues the primary aim to understand general connections, regardless of specific brands or target groups. Then this scientific knowledge can come to the use to marketing, product development, market research, product advertising, consumer protection, enterprise communication, behavioral interventions (health, environment, traffic etc.), social marketing (e.g., donations) among other things.