What is Consumer Psychology?

Consumer psychology is the study of how people interact with the products and services they use on a daily basis. Consumer psychology, also known as the study of consumer behavior, allows researchers to look into topics like what factors are most important when people decide to buy something, how customers determine the value of a service, and whether or not television and magazine advertisements can persuade a skeptic to try a new product for the first time. Although some consumer psychologists will attempt to predict or influence a customer’s decisions, this field aims to describe and explain consumer behavior.

Marketing, advertising, economics, anthropology, social psychology, and cognitive psychology are all heavily influenced consumer psychology. Since World War II, however, consumer psychology has been recognized as a distinct field of study. John B. Watson, one of the first well-known consumer psychologists, suggested that ads for Johnson & Johnson’s bapowder be structured to subtly play on the anxiety and insecurity experienced new mothers. His method for detecting advertising’s emotional appeal is still used in consumer psychology today.

Consumer psychology, like any other field, has a variety of specialization options. Some consumer psychologists research how advertisements and product packaging influence a customer’s purchasing decisions. Others study how marriage, parenthood, and other significant life events influence consumer behavior. Another popular specialty within this field is the psychology of price, or how the perceived value of an item is determined.

Researchers, educators, consultants, managers, and policymakers are all examples of consumer psychologists. A bachelor’s degree in consumer psychology qualifies you for entry-level positions with advertising agencies, research firms, governmental institutions, and private corporations interested in learning more about how customers interact with a product. However, in order to advance in the field, a graduate degree in marketing, management, or advertising is frequently required.

Consumer psychology careers allow you to interact with a wide range of people while applying problem-solving and creative-thinking skills to a variety of tasks. Brainstorming, analyzing research data, preparing reports, and meeting with clients are all part of a typical day in this field. However, because most professionals are expected to work large amounts of overtime when an employer is preparing for a product launch, the risk of burnout is quite high.