consumer psychology

9 Stories

Trying to Learn From Your Mistakes Is a Big Mistake

Dwelling on the past can negatively impact how you behave in the present

(Newser) - Trying to learn from your mistakes isn't such a good idea, according to new research out of Vanderbilt University . Reporting in the Journal of Consumer Psychology , scientists say that focusing on the past appears to put people in worse moods and may even be self-fulfilling. "Be very careful... More »

How Whole Foods Is Brainwashing You

Grocer 'primes' you into spending more from the instant you walk in

(Newser) - You may have thought it was gettin' real in the Whole Foods parking lot, but just wait until you get inside, where the supermarket giant bombards you with manipulation that "primes" you to spend. From the fresh-cut flowers at the entrance suggesting freshness is everywhere, "without a shadow... More »

That Menu Is Playing With Your Mind, Wallet

Restaurants high and low use psychology to boost spending

(Newser) - In the recession, restaurants casual and white tablecloth alike are desperately updating one of their secret moneymakers: the menu. Numerous studies have concluded that customers spend more when items have sumptuous descriptions, a relative’s name is included, or, most importantly, the $ sign is banished entirely. Whether you can... More »

Ads Tap Into US Bitterness

Commercials get angry at CEOs, uppity lifestyles

(Newser) - Seeking to key into the national mood, the latest spots from Madison Avenue are uncharacteristically angry, the New York Times reports. “We’re turning up the volume in relation to what our customers are feeling,” says the marketing head at Kodak, whose new printer ads slam the “... More »

Herd Mentality Moves Many to Needless Penny-Pinching

Psychology has everyone spending less, even those who don't need to

(Newser) - Amid the economic distress, many people who can spend as freely as they could before aren’t, the Washington Post reports. Such consumers, economists say, take psychological cues from friends and the media and pinching pennies needlessly—which only helps deepen the downturn. Upper-income consumers cut spending from $185 in... More »

Crisis Turns Econ Theory on Its Ear:

Models, and pols, don't account for biases, insecurities: Brooks

(Newser) - Classical economics is based on the idea that “reason rides the passions the way a rider sits atop a horse,” David Brooks writes in the New York Times—which means classical economics is pretty much out the window right now. The recession proves the market is a psychological... More »

For Wealthy, It's Cool to Be Cheap

Twin concerns drive new consumer psyche

(Newser) - Affluent Americans are folding up the Gucci sunglasses and trying green living's thriftier practices on for size, a response to environmental and economic concerns that's sure to dampen spending for the duration of the recession, the Wall Street Journal reports. "People aren't shopping to feel better," said one... More »

In Good Times and Bad, Looks Matter

Execs' trustworthy appearance can mislead consumers

(Newser) - Did so many people believe IndyMac CEO Michael Perry's assurances that his company was doing fine because of his baby face? A forthcoming study suggests that soft features like "large eyes, small nose, high forehead and small chin," engender more favorable bias in viewers, the Washington Post reports.... More »

Phone Makers Chase Fickle Customers

Execs obsess over consumer wants, 'subliminal' needs

(Newser) - With the cellphone industry increasingly hit-driven, phone designers are plumbing the consumer psyche through cultural experts and focus groups, reports the New York Times. "Our job is to be behaviorists and psychologists," says an exec. Competition has heated up as consumers buy—and discard—phones at an ever-faster... More »

9 Stories