Inside the Consumer Mind

There is a basic misunderstanding about the forces that shape shopping behavior. Consumers believe that they act rationally to maximize their personal best interests when making purchase decisions. And marketers assume that consumer shopping decisions are based on rational evaluation of the features and attributes of the products they sell – aided, of course, by communications and other brand promotion activity.

But consumer rationality is more myth than fact. We know this from an in-depth analysis of consumers’ self-reported behavior and a review of the psychological factors that affect their purchasing process.

Consumers’ Self-Perception of Rationality

When we use traditional market research methods, such as focus groups and in-depth interviews, and ask consumers to tell us whether their purchase behavior is influenced by factors such as brand names, advertising, social media, and promotional purchase incentives; they describe themselves as totally rational, objective shoppers and claim that their decisions are not affected by these influences.

Consumers are aware that they are targets of unrelenting marketing activity. However, they overwhelmingly believe that they are strong, independent thinkers who are not seduced by the power of marketers.

Consumers also tell us how their decision-making comes about. When we ask how they make purchase decisions, consumers talk about their mental processes; describing how they investigate and weigh product features, consider such factors as how the benefits of one brand stacks up against the competition and which is the best value for their money.

Peter Noel ​Murray, Ph.D., March 2016, PsychologyToday



Co-Founder/ Co- CEO

IRIANS- The Neuroscience Institute


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