Methodological perspectives on consumer research

The present paper presents a critical review of the literature about research methods in psychology with a focus on consumer studies, followed by examples of the professional practice of the authors in consumer behavior research. The market reality urges the researcher to be able to choose and make use of the most appropriate method to solve the research problem (exploratory, descriptive, experimental), what creates the need to classify, describe and compare the different methods. The scenery and the consumer in constant transformation also brought the call for an integrative view of the different methods into an essential tool to the comprehension of the study phenomenon. The conclusion is that the psychologist should know how to differentiate the need to use each distinct research method when facing specific requirements to understand consumers based not only on pre-established methodological rules from theory, but also based on guidance from professional practice.

Consumer behavior; Consumer psychology; Consumption; Behavioral economics

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