Consumer Psychology

Resources and Publications

Books on consumer psychology

Are these the 34 best books about consumer psychology?

1

 

Predictably Irrational

by Dan Ariely (Harper Collins, 2008)

In this newly revised and expanded edition of the groundbreaking New York Times bestseller, Dan Ariely refutes the common assumption that we behave in fundamentally rational ways. From drinking coffee to losing weight, from buying a car to choosing a romantic partner, we consistently overpay, underestimate, and procrastinate. Yet these misguided behaviors are neither random nor senseless. They're systematic and predictable—making us predictably irrational.

2

 

The Social Psychology of Consumer Behaviour

by Richard P Bagozzi, Zeynep Gurhan-Canli and Joseph R Priester (Open University Press, 2002)

The Social Psychology of Consumer Behaviour illuminates an area of intense academic and wider interest, bringing together research and practical insights into how theories in social psychology can be applied to consumer behaviour. Core themes include information processing and social cognition, communication processes, attitude models, emotion, social identity theory, and action theory. Within each of the major areas of social psychology, a historical perspective is provided, current knowledge reviewed, theories and findings critiqued, and directions for future research appraised.

3

 

Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole

by Benjamin R Barber (Norton & Co, 2007)

Avivid portrait of an overproducing global economy that targets children as consumers in a market where there are never enough shoppers and where the primary goal is no longer to manufacture goods but needs.

4

 

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

by Malcolm Gladwell (Penguin: Allen Lane, 2005)

How we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant-in the blink of an eye-that actually aren't as simple as they seem.

5

 

Consumer Psychology

by Cathrine Jansson-Boyd (Open University Press, 2010)

Why do people behave and think the way they do? What makes people choose certain products and services? How does consumption affect our everyday lives? Informed by psychological theory and supported by research, this book provides an overall understanding of consumer behaviour and underlying thought processes.

6

 

Thinking, fast and slow

by Daniel Kahneman (Penguin: Allen Lane, 2011)

Drawing on decades of research in psychology that resulted in a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, Daniel Kahneman takes readers on an exploration of what influences thought example by example, sometimes with unlikely word pairs like "vomit and banana." 

7

 

A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future

by by Daniel H Pink (Allen & Unwin, 2005)

Pink suggests that the future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: artists, inventors, storytellers-creative and holistic "right-brain" thinkers whose abilities mark the fault line between who gets ahead and who doesn't.

8

 

The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us And What We Can Do About It

by Joshua Cooper Ramo (Little & Brown, 2009)

Cooper Ramo puts forth a revelatory new model for understanding our dangerously unpredictable world. Drawing upon history, economics, complexity theory, psychology, immunology, and the science of networks, he describes a new landscape of inherent unpredictability--and remarkable, wonderful possibility.

9

 

Justice

by Michael J Sandel (Penguin: Allen Lane, 2009)

In his acclaimed book―based on his legendary Harvard course―Sandel offers a rare education in thinking through the complicated issues and controversies we face in public life today. It has emerged as a most lucid and engaging guide for those who yearn for a more robust and thoughtful public discourse. "In terms we can all understand," wrote Jonathan Rauch in The New York TimesJustice "confronts us with the concepts that lurk . . . beneath our conflicts."

10

 

The DNA of Customer Experience

by Colin Shaw (Palgrave MacMillan, 2007)

As the World Thought Leaders on Customer Experience, Colin Shaw and the team at Beyond Philosophy have undertaken more than 18 months of ground-breaking research to discover the emotions that drive and destroy value in an organization, and can now disclose the empirical link between evoking these emotions and substantial financial returns.

11

 

Managing the Customer Experience: Turning customers into advocates

by Shaun Smith and Joe Wheeler (Prentice Hall, 2002)

How much more profit could you make if you had customers who couldn’t imagine doing business with anyone but you? The companies in this book have managed to turn customers into advocates, who constantly refer their friends and colleagues to those businesses. Why? Because those companies have created a branded customer experience.

12

 

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

by Nicholas Taleb (Penguin: Allen Lane, 2007)

A black swan is an event, positive or negative, that is deemed improbable yet causes massive consequences. In this groundbreaking and prophetic book, Taleb shows in a playful way that Black Swan events explain almost everything about our world, and yet we—especially the experts—are blind to them. In this second edition, Taleb has added a new essay, On Robustness and Fragility, which offers tools to navigate and exploit a Black Swan world.

13

 

How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market

by Gerald Zaltman (Harvard Business Press, 2003)

How to unlock the hidden 95 per cent of the customer's mind that traditional marketing methods have never reached. This title provides practical synthesis of the cognitive sciences. Drawing heavily on psychology, neuroscience, sociology, and linguistics, Zaltman combines academic rigor with real-world results to offer highly accessible insights, based on his years of research and consulting work with large clients like Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble. 

14

 

The Advertising Effect: How To Change Behaviour

by Adam Ferrier (Oxford, 2014)

In The Advertising Effect, respected advertising insider, Adam Ferrier, reveals the ten techniques used by some of the best-known brands across the globe. These techniques are grounded in psychological theory with award winning real world examples and explore how the most effective way to change behaviour is through action rather than the conventional advertising practices (emotional or rational persuasion).

15

 

How Brands Grow: What Marketers Don’t Know

by Sharp, B. (Oxford, 2013)

This book provides evidence-based answers to the key questions asked by marketers every day. Tackling issues such as how brands grow, how advertising really works, what price promotions really do and how loyalty programs really affect loyalty, How Brands Grow presents decades of research in a style that is written for marketing professionals to grow their brands. 

16

 

Decoded: The Science Behind Why We Buy

by Phil Barden (Wiley, 2012)

In this groundbreaking book Phil Barden reveals what decision science explains about people’s purchase behaviour, and specifically demonstrates its value to marketing. He shares the latest research on the motivations behind consumers’ choices and what happens in the human brain as buyers make their decisions. He deciphers the ‘secret codes’ of products, services and brands to explain why people buy them. And finally he shows how to apply this knowledge in day to day marketing to great effect by dramatically improving key factors such as relevance, differentiation and credibility.

17

 

How We Decide 

by Jonah Lehrer (Houghton Miffin Harcourt, 2009)

The first book to use the unexpected discoveries of neuroscience to help us make the best decisions. Since Plato, philosophers have described the decision-making process as either rational or emotional: we carefully deliberate, or we “blink” and go with our gut. But as scientists break open the mind’s black box with the latest tools of neuroscience, they’re discovering that this is not how the mind works. Our best decisions are a finely tuned blend of both feeling and reason—and the precise mix depends on the situation. When buying a house, for example, it’s best to let our unconscious mull over the many variables. But when we’re picking a stock, intuition often leads us astray. The trick is to determine when to use the different parts of the brain, and to do this, we need to think harder (and smarter) about how we think.

18

 

Fooled by Randomness

by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Random House, 2005)

Fooled by Randomness is a standalone book in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s landmark Incerto series, an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, risk, and decision-making in a world we don’t understand.

19

 

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

by Richard H Thaler and Cass R Sunstein (Penguin, 2009)

Nudge is about choices—how we make them and how we can make better ones. Drawing on decades of research in the fields of behavioral science and economics, authors Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein offer a new perspective on preventing the countless mistakes we make—ill-advised personal investments, consumption of unhealthy foods, neglect of our natural resources—and show us how sensible “choice architecture” can successfully nudge people toward the best decisions. 

20

 

Why Smart People Do Dumb Things: The Greatest Business Blunders - How They Happened, and How They Could Have Been Prevented

by Mortimer Feinberg (Fireside 1995)

Culled from business headlines and corporate files, this examination of the ultimate in boardroom breakdown describes, in entertaining anecdotes, the mega-mistakes made by highly regarded leaders in business and public life.

21

 

Blind Spots: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things

by Madeleine L Van Hecke (Prometheus 2007)

A woman planning a dinner party calls a gourmet caterer and learns that "Chateaubriand" can be ordered. To which she responds, "No, thanks. We’re going to take care of the wine ourselves." The dead silence at the end of the phone is her first clue that something is amiss. A CEO attempts to put an end to complaints from employees about the demeaning behavior of certain managers by berating the managers before the staff — thus reinforcing the very behavior he’s trying to correct. 

22

 

The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuitions Deceive Us

by  Christopher Chabris (Harmony 2011)

Reading this book will make you less sure of yourself—and that’s a good thing. In The Invisible Gorilla,Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons, creators of one of psychology’s most famous experiments, use remarkable stories and counterintuitive scientific findings to demonstrate an important truth: Our minds don’t work the way we think they do.We think we see ourselves and the world as they really are, but we’re actually missing a whole lot.

23

 

The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic

by Dan Ariely (Harper Perennial, 2011)

Behavioral economist and New York Times bestselling author of Predictably Irrational Dan Ariely returns to offer a much-needed take on the irrational decisions that influence our dating lives, our workplace experiences, and our temptation to cheat in any and all areas. Fans of Freakonomics, Survival of the Sickest, and Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink and The Tipping Point will find many thought-provoking insights in The Upside of Irrationality.

24

 

Hooked: How to Build Habit Forming habits

by Nir Eyal (Portfolio, 2014)

Why do some products capture widespread attention while others flop? What makes us engage with certain products out of sheer habit? Is there a pattern underlying how technologies hook us? Nir Eyal answers these questions (and many more) by explaining the Hook Model—a four-step process embedded into the products of many successful companies to subtly encourage customer behavior. Through consecutive “hook cycles,” these products reach their ultimate goal of bringing users back again and again without depending on costly advertising or aggressive messaging.

25

 

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

by Robert B Cialdini (Harper Business, 2006)

Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say "yes"—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has resulted in this highly acclaimed book.

26

 

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

by Charles Duhigg (Random House, 2014)

In The Power of Habit, Pulitzer Prize–winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

27

 

Consumer Behaviour in Action

by Peter Ling et al (Oxford, 2014)

"Consumer Behaviour in Action" introduces students to the fundamental concepts of consumer behaviour in a contemporary context. The text provides a balanced approach as it illustrates theory with practical applications and research methods for understanding consumers. Practical examples and case studies provide global, regional and local industry examples. Extended case studies covering topics such as Nike, Cricket Australia, Target, and McDonald's in overseas markets, draw together each part of the book to connect the themes discussed and encourage students to develop a deeper understanding of the material. Research and insights from fields such as psychology, sociology and complex systems are included.

28

 

Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy

by Martin Lindstrom (Crown, 2010)

In BUYOLOGY, Lindstrom, who was voted one of Time Magazine's most influential people of 2009, presents the astonishing findings from his groundbreaking, three-year, seven-million-dollar neuromarketing study, a cutting-edge experiment that peered inside the brains of 2,000 volunteers from all around the world as they encountered various ads, logos, commercials, brands, and products. His startling results shatter much of what we have long believed about what seduces our interest and drives us to buy. Among the questions he explores:

29

 

The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less

by Barry Schwartz (Harper Perennial, 2005)

Whether we're buying a pair of jeans, ordering a cup of coffee, selecting a long-distance carrier, applying to college, choosing a doctor, or setting up a 401(k), everyday decisions—both big and small—have become increasingly complex due to the overwhelming abundance of choice with which we are presented. As Americans, we assume that more choice means better options and greater satisfaction. But beware of excessive choice: choice overload can make you question the decisions you make before you even make them, it can set you up for unrealistically high expectations, and it can make you blame yourself for any and all failures. In the long run, this can lead to decision-making paralysis, anxiety, and perpetual stress. And, in a culture that tells us that there is no excuse for falling short of perfection when your options are limitless, too much choice can lead to clinical depression.

30

 

The Psychology of Human Misjudgment 

by Charles T Munger

Charlie Munger is an 80-something billionaire who cofounded top-tier law firm Munger, Tolles & Olson and is Warren Buffett's long-time partner and Vice-Chairman at Berkshire Hathaway, one of the most successful companies of all time. This publication is an exposition of 25 key forms of human behavior that lead to misjudgment and error, derived from Mr. Munger's 60 years of business experience. Think of it as a practitioner's summary of human psychology and behavioral economics as observed in the real world.

31

 

The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making

by Scott Plous (McGraw-Hill, 1993)

The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making offers a comprehensive introduction to the field with a strong focus on the social aspects of decision making processes. Winner of the prestigious William James Book Award, The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making is an informative and engaging introduction to the field written in a style that is equally accessible to the introductory psychology student, the lay person, or the professional. A unique feature of this volume is the Reader Survey which readers are to complete before beginning the book. The questions in the Reader Survey are drawn from many of the studies discussed throughout the book, allowing readers to compare their answers with the responses given by people in the original studies. This title is part of The McGraw-Hill Series in Social Psychology.

32

 

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

by Daniel Pink

Most people believe that the best way to motivate is with rewards like money—the carrot-and-stick approach. That's a mistake, says Daniel H. Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others). In this provocative and persuasive new book, he asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction-at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.

33

 

Driven: How Human Nature Shapes Our Choices

by Paul Lawrence (Jossey-Bass, 2002)

"This is a stimulating and provocative book in bringing together important ideas from different fields, and, thereby, giving us a whole new slant on 'human nature.'" --Edgar H. Schein, Sloan Fellows Professor of Management Emeritus and Senior Lecturer, MIT

34

 

Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions and Streetlights and Shadows: Searching for the Keys to Adaptive Decision Making

by Gary Klein

In making decisions, when should we go with our gut and when should we try to analyze every option? When should we use our intuition and when should we rely on logic and statistics? Most of us would probably agree that for important decisions, we should follow certain guidelines -- gather as much information as possible, compare the options, pin down the goals before getting started. But in practice we make some of our best decisions by adapting to circumstances rather than blindly following procedures. In Streetlights and Shadows, Gary Klein debunks the conventional wisdom about how to make decisions. He takes ten commonly accepted claims about decision making and shows that they are better suited for the laboratory than for life. The standard advice works well when everything is clear, but the tough decisions involve shadowy conditions of complexity and ambiguity. Gathering masses of information, for example, works if the information is accurate and complete -- but that doesn't often happen in the real world. (Think about the careful risk calculations that led to the downfall of the Wall Street investment houses.) Klein offers more realistic ideas about how to make decisions in real-life settings. He provides many examples -- ranging from airline pilots and weather forecasters to sports announcers and Captain Jack Aubrey in Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander novels -- to make his point. All these decision makers saw things that others didn't. They used their expertise to pick up cues and to discern patterns and trends. We can make better decisions, Klein tells us, if we are prepared for complexity and ambiguity and if we will stop expecting the data to tell us everything.