Literature Review on Consumer Behaviour

16053 Words65 Pages
The Marketing Review, 2002, 2, 319-355

www.themarketingreview.com

Pachauri Moneesha Pachauri1
Nottingham University Business School

Consumer Behaviour: a Literature Review
In order to develop a framework for the study consumer behaviour it is helpful to begin by considering the evolution of the field of consumer research and the different paradigms of thought that have influenced the discipline. As described in this article, a set of dimensions can be identified in the literature, which can be used to characterize and differentiate, the various perspectives on consumer research. It is argued that consumer behaviour itself emerged as a distinct field of study during the 1960s; and is characterized by two broad paradigms, the positivist
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Engel, et al. (1986, 5) define consumer behaviour as “those acts of individuals directly involved in obtaining, using, and disposing of economic goods and services, including the decision processes that precede and determine these acts”. Simple observation provides limited insight into the complex nature of consumer choice and researchers have increasingly sought the more sophisticated concepts and methods of investigation provided by behavioural sciences in order to understand, predict, and possibly control consumer behaviour more effectively. Psychology, social psychology, and sociology are the disciplines most widely employed in this endeavour which has become a substantial academic industry in its own right. In order to develop a framework for the study of consumer behaviour it is helpful to begin by considering the evolution of the field of consumer research and the different paradigms of thought that have influenced the discipline (Marsden and Littler, 1998). Paradigms in consumer research can be broadly classified as a set of fundamental assumptions that researchers make about what they are studying and how they study it (Kuhn, 1962). As described below, a set of dimensions can be isentified in the literature, which can be used to characterise and differentiate, the various perspectives on consumer behaviour. Consumer behaviour itself emerged as a distinct field of study in the 1960s. A major catalytic
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