Applied behavioral economics and consumer choice

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This paper provides a review of the applied behavioral literature in consumer choice. Beginning with Watson and Lindsley’s initial forays into consumer behavior from their respective bases as basic behavioral researchers, the role of behavior analytic theory and application in consumer behavior is appraised. The applied behavior analysis movement brought operant-based applications into the consumer field, largely focusing on pro-soical and social marketing applications. Increased interest in behavioral theory sparked continuing research in classical conditioning of consumer attitudes and behaviors. Recent theoretical work in the Behavioral Perspective Model and in the Behavioral Ecology of Consumption both harken back to some of Watson’s early influences as well as forge new ground for a comprehensive behavioral account of consumption.


Originally published as: DiClemente, D. F., & Hantula, D. A. (2003). Applied behavioral economics and consumer choice. Journal of Economic Psychology, 24(5), 589–602. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-4870(03)00003-5