Hearts, Minds, Will, Body, World, Tribe A Framework for Considering Consumer Behaviour


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A paper and presentation that outlines the PEACCC framework for classifying consumer behaviour, where PEACCC stands for:


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Hearts, Minds, Will, Body, World, Tribe A Framework for Considering Consumer Behaviour

  1. 1. Hearts, Minds, Will, Body,World, TribeA Framework for Considering ConsumerBehaviourHuw HepworthAccount DirectorPainted Dog Research
  2. 2. Background To TheFrameworkWhat’s being added to an already big pileof existing models?
  3. 3. A Simple Question…PEST SWOT Political Strengths WeaknessesTechnology Economic Opportunities Threats ? Social
  4. 4. The Traditional Consumer Behaviour Model Information Decision Other Input Processing Process Variables Exposure Need Recognition • Marketer dominated EnvironmentalStimuli Influences • Other Attention Search ComprehensionExternal AlternativesSearch Evaluation Individual Acceptance Influences PurchaseEngel-Kollat-Blackwell, 1973, Abridged Retention Post-Purchase Evaluation
  5. 5. A Very Short History of Consumer Behaviour Frameworks 1950s /1940s 60s Homo Freud Comes Economicus To Advertising
  6. 6. A Very Short History of Consumer Behaviour Frameworks1970s / 2000s 80s / + 90s Neuroscience, Complex Behavioural Economics, Interactions Big Data
  7. 7. Cognitive Affective Conative Physical Environmental Cultural The PEACCC (or CACPEC) Framework
  8. 8. The Components & TheirInteractionsA synthesis of internal and externalconsumer behaviour aspects
  9. 9. Cognitive Knowledge Perceived Not rational! & facts control
  10. 10. Affective Emotions ‘Unconscious’ Lots of and feelings control emotions / models
  11. 11. Conative Conation often missed in Drive / willpower examination between cognitive and affective
  12. 12. Physical Can’t separate the body Physical state (e.g. from the mind hunger, pain, fatigue)
  13. 13. Environmental World around us Powerful stimuli
  14. 14. Cultural Social behaviours – that Shared behaviour, beliefs which doesn’t fit in, – what other people do stands out
  15. 15. ConativePhysical Environmental Cultural
  16. 16. ConativePhysical Environmental Cultural
  17. 17. But that’s not all… Lots of things take Not having enough mental away from mental load available meansDecision-making requires load shortcuts are made mental load
  18. 18. Cognitive Affective Conative Physical Environmental Cultural The PEACCC (or CACPEC) Framework
  19. 19. Component InteractionsEverything influences everything else
  20. 20. Lots of interactions Complex direct and Just going to look at a indirect influences sample…
  21. 21. Internal To The Interactive Internal processes have physiological impacts Conative Physical Physical state (e.g. hunger, fatigue) effects mental components
  22. 22. Interactive To The External Physical state influences how environment / culture impacts on decision Physical Environmental External conditions / cultural Cultural norms dictate physiological expectations / reactions
  23. 23. Internal To The External Internal processes influences how external info is assessed Conative Environmental Situational factors and expected ‘normal’ Cultural knowledge / feelings
  24. 24. Using the PEACCCFrameworkSome examples
  25. 25. Cognitive Affective Conative Physical Environmental Cultural The PEACCC (or CACPEC) Framework
  26. 26. A Useable FrameworkIntent that this framework is Can be used to help set-up a simple to use, but allows project, for analysis or for complex approaches presentation of findings
  27. 27. Example: Setting Up A Project Cultural:Cognitive: Affective: Conative: Physical: Environmental: What are the What do otherWhat does What does How difficult is What physical situational people /the target the target it to make / effort / state is aspects to society think audience audience stick to a required (or consider? about the know? feel? decision? do we want)? decision?
  28. 28. Example: Classifying Market Research Techniques Conative: Cognitive: Affective: Physical: Environmental: Data mining / ‘big Cultural: Behavioural Projective Biometric / neuro Literature review data’ Literature review economics techniques measurement Environmental Behavioural Ethnography Neuro Biometrics / neuro Observational analysis economics Semioticsmeasurement measurement Usability testing Semiotics Choice modelling Traditional qualitative / quantitative techniques
  29. 29. Example: Choosing a Chocolate Bar Environmental: Cognitive: Conative: Physical: Affective: Layout of Cultural: Know they Willpower Tired / hungry store, location Will provide a Role ofdon’t need the required to status, current of chocolate short-term chocolate, empty resist the chocolate bar brands on positive boost role of brand calories purchase habit shelf
  30. 30. Example: Choosing a Mortgage Conative: Cultural: Cognitive: Affective: Environmental: Complex Physical: Distrust ofFacts around Anxiety about Economic decision – Stressed, situation, bank banks vs. mortgages, a wrong ideally tired – mental branch importance ofinterest rates, choice, love of requires high load depleted condition, etc. owning a etc. the house mental load home
  31. 31. Example: Giving Up Smoking Affective: Physical: Environmental: Cultural: Cognitive: Concern Conative: Habitual Financial Peer group Know that costs, where about health Requires a lot behaviour view ofsmoking has cigarettes are impacts, of willpower to with smoking, poor health purchased social quit physiological view of impacts from ostracism reactions tobacco co.’s
  32. 32. Next Steps / LimitationsImpact of time‘Conscious / active’ versus ‘unconscious /passive’ component interactionsRelative influence within specific decisions
  33. 33. Feel free to use PEACCC! Feedback appreciated if Offered for wider use you use it
  34. 34. ImagesTaken from Microsoft Office Imagery (http://office.microsoft.com/en-au/images/)Except for Action Comics #176 – reproduced without permissionAll rights for that image remain with DC Comics / Warner Brothers
  35. 35. HEART, MIND, WILL, BODY, ENVIRONMENT,TRIBE: A FRAMEWORK FOR CONSIDERINGCONSUMER BEHAVIOURHuw Hepworth – Account Director, Painted Dog ResearchAbout the Author:Huw Hepworth is an Account Director at Painted Dog Research and has worked on awide range of local, national and international projects during his 8 years in marketresearch. He has worked on research projects across a wide range of industrysectors, including fashion, property, financial services, government, FMCGs andretailing / shopping and for clients in all life stages, from start-ups to blue chips. In2006, he was awarded the Mike Larbalestier Scholarship for WA by the AMSRS andin 2009 he was awarded the George Camakaris Best Paper by a Young Researcherat the AMSRS National Conference.Painted Dog ResearchSuite 1, Level 2658 Newcastle StreetLeederville WA 6007t/f 08 9227 6464m 0488 343 497www.painteddog.com.au Page 1 of 1
  36. 36. HEART, MIND, WILL, BODY, WORLD, TRIBE: A FRAMEWORK FORCONSIDERING CONSUMER BEHAVIOURBackground to the Development of This PaperThere is no shortage to the number of models available to organisations looking to understand howtheir customers think and act. Since the start of formal study into consumer behaviour in the 1940sbased on the theoretical “economically rational man”, through the 1950s and 1960s consideration ofpsychoanalysis and cultural meaning, across the 1970s and 1980s and their increased focus onconsumer decision making, and into the 1990s and the formation of a collective consumer culture, agreat deal of investigation has occurred into this area (see Zaichkowsky, 1991; Ryynänen, 2010;Belch & Belch, 1985 for a broader consideration of the history of consumer behaviour research).With the start of a new century has come an even more certified push to understand consumermotivations, especially the aspects hidden to even the consumer themselves. Neuroscience hasstarted looking straight into the brain of consumers to understand which regions fire at key timesand what that means; behavioural economics has helped bring to light the decision-making shortcuts used by consumers every day; the rise and reach of “Big Data” (Poynter, 2012) means thatorganisations are increasingly able to predict consumer needs before the consumer is aware ofthem, such as identifying pregnant woman purely on the products they buy (Duhigg, 2012a).Over time new techniques and technologies have been engaged to grapple with understanding howvarious populations go about buying / using products and services. A vast array of new insights hasbeen generated, but it always seems that the consumer has more secrets still left to be uncovered.Indeed, there is a wealth of existing information about consumer behaviour and new discoveries arestill being made. But how do we fit them together in a way that is simple to understand and alsousable?The aim of this paper is to propose a framework for considering and arranging the complicated webof aspects around consumer behaviour. This proposed framework has been developed to be asstraightforward to use as the Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats (SWOT) or PoliticalEconomic Social Technological (PEST) models often used to assist in organisational decisionmaking, while being backed up as robust and reliable by existing research.The framework has been developed by synthesising a range of different sources of information –using sources outlined in this paper – and will be usable across a wide range of applications, fromthe consideration of individuals, assisting in the assessment of qualitative findings and to provide abackbone for planning quantitative tools.The Cognitive Affective Conative Physical Environmental Cultural (PEACCC)FrameworkLet’s start with a view of the framework in its entirety before breaking it down and showing theimportance of each individual component and how they fit together.The full framework is shown in Figure 1. Page 1 of 21
  37. 37. Figure 1: The PEACCC FrameworkIn short, the framework proposes that consumer behaviour is driven by the sometimescomplementary, sometimes conflicting forces that occur within (i.e. cognition, affection, conation), to(i.e. physical) and around (i.e. environmental, cultural) the consumer.The name of the framework – PEACCC – has been selected in order that is serves as an acronymthat is as simple to remember as possible. If named in a way that better reflects the arrangement ofthe internal, interactive and external factors, the acronym is CACPEC, which is much harder to sayand thus much harder to remember.Framework HypothesisKey to this framework is the concept that all these aspects work holistically within each decisionmaking process. Depending on the type of decision being made and the individual involved, variousfactors may have a greater or lesser impact, but each of these factors need to be considered bothin isolation and in conjunction.Although the framework above separates each of these factors, real consumer decision makingisn’t necessarily as clear cut. As Demasio (1995) indicates, there is no rational decision makingwithout the influence of emotional factors. People who have suffered damage to the emotionalcentres of their brains end up being terrible rational decision makers because they are unable todetermine something as simple as which outcome they might prefer to achieve, or how theirdecisions will impact on other people.Other examples showing the difficulty in tying consumer behaviour to only one of the abovecomponents will be shown in further sections of this paper. Page 2 of 21
  38. 38. Summary of Model ComponentsAs an overview of the model and a brief description of each component: 1. Cognitive (Mind) – the reasoning, fact-based aspect of decision making that can (with effort) override certain other components of consumer decision making; linked to conscious behaviour. 2. Affective (Heart) – the feeling, emotional component that has a huge role in influencing behaviour; linked to more unconscious behaviour and works faster than the cognitive component. 3. Conative (Will) – the component responsible for seeing a decision acted upon; the drive that turns cognitive and / or affective processes into actions. 4. Physical (Body) – the physical state that the consumer is in; existing physical states (e.g. pain, hunger) have a major impact on how people perceive the world and made decisions about it. 5. Environmental (World) – the stimuli that is occurring outside of the consumer; the presence of absence of stimuli (e.g. the smell of baking bread) influence consumer decisions. 6. Cultural (Tribe) – shared beliefs and social behaviours across a broad or narrow (i.e. subculture) consumer group that will influence how stimuli is interpreted and what is the “acceptable” response to that stimuli.Framework Rules and Assumptions 1. Consumer behaviour is governed by a combination of cognitive, affective, conative, physical, environmental and cultural factors. 2. Making choices around behaviour requires consumers to spend mental effort or bear a level of mental load; the amount of effort / load required depends on the nature of the behaviour and the level of consumer investment in that behaviour. 3. Consumers have a limited amount of mental load to spend on a daily basis. 4. Consumers are naturally disposed to use as little mental effort / keep mental load low when making decisions (i.e. are “cognitive misers”) about their behaviour. 5. Expending more mental load on their consumer behaviour requires a conscious choice. Consumers can minimise the impact of other components on their behaviour through strong active cognitive and conative focus, but this generates a heavy mental load. 6. Affective, cognitive and conative components form the ‘internal’ factors of consumer behaviour. All three are important components, but their relative influence will change depending on the nature of the decision and how much mental load is spent on that behaviour. 7. Environmental and cultural factors form the ‘external’ factors of consumer behaviour. Their relative influence will also change depending on the nature of the decision and how much mental load is spent on that behaviour. 8. The physical component forms the link between the ‘internal’ factors and ‘external’ factors of consumer behaviour and decision making. 9. Emotional states, physical states, environmental cues and cultural norms can provide decision-making short-cuts that help reduce mental load. 10. Familiar behavioural patterns (e.g. habits) also reduce mental load. Consumers experience physical and mental discomfort if these patterns are disrupted. 11. Conscious and active decision-making can over-ride the contributions of the other components, but this requires mental load capacity to be available to do so. Page 3 of 21
  39. 39. We will now explore each of the above components in more detail and justify their place in theframework.Cognition – I Think, Therefore I AmThe roots of cognition in consumer behaviour research can be tied back to the inherently rationalconsumer brought to us thanks to the field of Economics. The history of Homo Economicus (the“Economic Human”) goes back a long way, with Mill (1844) attributed as being the first to fully cointhe idea as understood in the modern context. The Homo Economicus model of behaviour positsthat people behave:  To maximise their individual self-interest; and  To minimise the effort taken to achieve that self-interest.Behaving in this fashion is perceived to be ‘economically rational behaviour’, often shortened to‘rational behaviour’. Homo Economicus is generally treated as knowing and understandingeverything they need to know to make a decision, and then choosing the option that maximisestheir rewards while minimising the costs required to achieve those rewards.This approach eschewed any requirement for understanding other facets of human behaviour whilestill being able to predict decision outcomes. Framing rationality in this way made it easy tounderstand – we perceive that we have a high degree of cognitive control over our behaviour – andrelatively easy to model mathematically (and gave Economics a strong lock the term ‘rationalbehaviour’ within a social science context – a hold it still has to this day1). Consumer models thatfocused on maximising utility – a cognitive process of weighing rewards versus the resourcesrequired to obtain those rewards – became popular. Cognitive was king.This approach also fit with other thinking on consumer decision making of the time. Behaviouristswere only interested in the outcomes resulting from the presentation of certain stimuli (LeDoux,1996). Models such as those proposed by Nicosia (1966), Engel Kollat Blackwell (1973) andHoward Sheth (1969) showed lists of steps that consumers would go through in making a decision– identifying the need, looking for information, evaluating the alternatives, and so on. Consumerdecision making was seen to be a deliberate and carefully evaluated process.1 It should always be checked when you see the term ‘rational’ in relation to consumer behaviour if the authoris really referring to ‘economic rationality’. Economic rationality is a long way from real world rationality thatincludes factors such as social contracts and the emotional reactions of others (although some will argue thatmathematical utilities can be applied to such concepts) – a person who is self-interested and energy-minimising wouldn’t make decisions most would see as rational; the perception of such behaviour would bethat it was selfish.This distinction is important because by placing ‘rational’ squarely in the grounds of economic rationality, allother factors are pushed towards the ‘irrational’ side of the ledger. Given that ‘irrationality’ is generally anegative space to be in, this gives rational (read: economically rational) behaviour even more weight whendiscussing consumer behaviour and what should be considered ‘correct’ (read: rational). There is evidence ofthis effect in how behavioural economics currently has almost cornered the market as the arbiter of what isrational and what isn’t, despite other factors such as emotions arguably also having a place behind a moreholistic consideration of rational behaviour (e.g. not accepting a high-paying job if it would lead to excessivelyloneliness, or perhaps helping someone push their stalled car off the road – and not asking money for suchan act! – to experience the simple joy of their thanks).It is for this reason that this paper avoids the term ‘rational’ and uses terms such as ‘cognitive’ or ‘mental’instead. Page 4 of 21
  40. 40. The appeal of a cognitively-based consumer decision approach is obvious. It appears widelyapplicable, mostly clear in terms of the nature of inputs required to obtain the desired outputs andmakes general logical sense. However, it has been recognised that these kind of models have anumber of deficiencies – Homo economicus is a fictional creature, while the decision models mightbe wonderfully descriptive, they lack specificity in application (Rau & Samiee, 1981).It has also been recognised that rather than fully considering information within a cognitiveevaluation, consumers often take mental shortcuts on the way to making a decision. Biases andheuristics play a large part in how people consider information. Behavioural economics has helpedin developing a much greater understanding of those information processing shortcuts through thework of authors such as Kahneman (2011) and how to use that understanding to enhance decisionmaking through the work of authors such as Thaler & Sunstein (2009).This theory of biases and shortcuts fits with another cognitive decision theory – that mostconsumers are cognitive misers when processing new information (Fiske & Tailor, 1984). Ratherthan taking all information on board, people are most easily able to process information that fits withwhat they already know or believe. New or contradictory information requires a lot more effort toprocess, so is more likely to be ignored… which is certainly not the behaviour of a Homoeconomicus!The important role of emotion in decision making has also been receiving increasing attention overthe past decade. As previously mentioned, Damasio (1995) showed that rational decisions can’t bemade without the influence of emotion. Where Descartes is famous for the quote, “I think, thereforeI am”, it is much more accurate to say, “I think and feel, therefore I am” because there is no trueseparation between the areas of cognition and emotion.Kahneman (2011) discusses the roles in decision making of System 1 and System 2 thinking –where System 2 is the slower, energy-hungry, information processing cognitive arbiter, System 1 isthe impulsive, intuitive, instinctive and more emotive decision force. Both Systems come into playduring decision making, with Kahneman arguing that although System 2 has the final say, it caneasily be led astray by the fast moving and convincing System 1.Although cognitive-driven decision models have fallen from grace in recent times, it is important torecognise that the cognitive mind has a strong influence over the decision being made. Gibson(2008) showed while a distracted consumer can be swayed into their selection through priorexposure to stimuli, a consumer that is paying attention (and spending the mental energy) is still incharge of their own decisions. What matters is the amount of mental load being spent in processinga choice – a high mental load would correspond to spending a lot mental energy on evaluatingoptions on informational terms and potentially downplaying emotional aspects (similar to ensuringSystem 2 is behind the wheel in a decision) while a low mental load would reflect a situation oflimited resources or cognitive miserliness which could see a more impulsive decision made.Affective – I Am, I FeelThe recent interest in emotions as part of the decision making process can be tied to Damasio(1995) and neuroscience’s increasing understanding of how the brain works, but it should not beforgotten that for several decades research into emotions was dismissed as a waste of resources.Since the 1960s psychological models have focused on the cognitive and behaviourist aspects ofhuman nature, leaving emotion as a “ghost in the machine” (Ryle, 1949). Cognitive science kept the Page 5 of 21
  41. 41. focus on passionless thinking, reasoning and intellect while behaviourists (led by industry pioneerB.F. Skinner) were known to ridicule those who considered anything outside of that which wasdirectly observable (LeDoux, 1996). Emotion in consumer behaviour might have been noted, but itwas relegated to minor status (if recognised at all) –“[A] reading of much of the literature in this field in the period ranging from the 1960s to the early1980s could have led you to the conclusion that consumers act in a semiautomatic, non-emotionalmanner, weighing purely cognitive factors such as price and performance in arriving at a decision.”(Engel, Blackwell, Miniard, 1995, p406).But this view of consumer behaviour has changed over recent times. Neuroscience has howeverbeen clear in showing that emotional systems are a key part of decision-making and that the ‘purelyrational’ person makes incredibly poor decisions, if they can decide at all (Damasio, 1994). It hasalso been uncovered that there is a long-term emotional memory function in the brain, separatefrom the long-term cognitive memory function. Whilst the cognitive memory remembers the detailsof what happened, the emotional memory remembers the emotions felt during that situation(LeDoux, 1996).The importance of emotion likely comes from its ability to bypass other parts of the brain and workat an unconscious level. For much of the human timeline emotions promoted the survival of thespecies – it was important for emotional reactions to occur without much conscious processingtime, such as recoiling from danger or recognising friend versus foe (LeDoux, 1996).Emotional reactions function as the gatekeeper to further cognitive and behavioural reactions(Poels & Dewitte, 2006) so although it may feel as if the cognitive mind is in control, the fact is thatemotion is working behind (and sometimes in front of) the scenes, influencing the consumer.Studies have shown this influence – for example, angry people see the world as more threatening(Markman, 2010) while happy people make decisions more quickly and spend less time reviewingpotentially relevant information (Isen & Means, 1983).One of the complexities around emotion is that there are many that may have an influence onpeople. There are no shortage of emotional models using indicators such as facial expressions,physiological symptoms, neurochemical arrangement or linguistic arrangement that attempt toclassify emotion into categories such as “basic / universal”, “complex” and “social”. To show thiscomplexity in emotional classification, Table 1 shows the Parrot (2001) arrangement of primary,secondary and tertiary emotions – although highly detailed, it is still to be determined if it iscomplete or even fully accurate. Unfortunately, this is true of almost any emotional model.At this point in time there is little disagreement about the importance of emotions in consumerdecision making, but there is still a long way to go in terms of understanding and classifying theeffects of emotion and in gaining a consensus around how emotions fit together. (For example,within the Parrot (2001) categorisation arousal has been included as a tertiary emotion to lust. Theauthor disagrees that arousal is more accurately characterised as a physical state that is caused bythe emotion lust and not an emotion itself.) Page 6 of 21
  42. 42. Table 1: Categorisation of Emotion – Parrot (2001) Primary emotion Secondary emotion Tertiary emotions Adoration, affection, love, fondness, liking, attraction, caring, Affection tenderness, compassion, sentimentality Love Lust Arousal, desire, lust, passion, infatuation Longing Longing Amusement, bliss, cheerfulness, gaiety, glee, jolliness, joviality, joy, Cheerfulness delight, enjoyment, gladness, happiness, jubilation, elation, satisfaction, ecstasy, euphoria Zest Enthusiasm, zeal, zest, excitement, thrill, exhilaration Contentment Contentment, pleasure Joy Pride Pride, triumph Optimism Eagerness, hope, optimism Enthrallment Enthrallment, rapture Relief Relief Surprise Surprise Amazement, surprise, astonishment Irritation Aggravation, irritation, agitation, annoyance, grouchiness, grumpiness Exasperation Exasperation, frustration Anger, rage, outrage, fury, wrath, hostility, ferocity, bitterness, hate, Anger Rage loathing, scorn, spite, vengefulness, dislike, resentment Disgust Disgust, revulsion, contempt Envy Envy, jealousy Torment Torment Suffering Agony, suffering, hurt, anguish Depression, despair, hopelessness, gloom, glumness, sadness, Sadness unhappiness, grief, sorrow, woe, misery, melancholy Disappointment Dismay, disappointment, displeasure Sadness Shame Guilt, shame, regret, remorse Alienation, isolation, neglect, loneliness, rejection, homesickness, Neglect defeat, dejection, insecurity, embarrassment, humiliation, insult Sympathy Pity, sympathy Horror Alarm, shock, fear, fright, horror, terror, panic, hysteria, mortification Fear Anxiety, nervousness, tenseness, uneasiness, apprehension, worry, Nervousness distress, dread Page 7 of 21
  43. 43. Conative – The Power or Ability to Prefer or ChooseDespite the power of cognition and affect in influencing how a consumer places values on variousfactors within a decision, there still comes a point where the decision has to be made. Without thatpoint, the options and factors being considered circle in a continuous loop, leading to eitherfrustration at an inability to decide or an eventual move away from considering the decision at all.Early consumer decision making models (such as Engel Kollat Blackwell (1973)) proposed a formalapproach to choice, particularly as the importance / involvement in the choice increased. Undersuch models, once a need had been recognised, a detailed information search would occur,followed by careful evaluation of alternatives until a choice was made. However, it has beenrecognised that such models don’t reflect reality – consumers make shortcuts when makingdecisions as discussed above. A consumer may purchase a house – a high-involvement decision ifever there was one – after seeing it for the first time because they “fell in love” with the place.Conation is the process by which the cognitive and affective components are combined to form anddrive action on the decision itself. It is the use of will to self-direct and self-regulate (Huitt, 1999), butit should recognised (and be obvious) that not all self-directed decisions are beneficial to theconsumer. Indeed, willpower is often a matter of effortful self-control, ideally to resist naturalimpulses (Gots, 2011) that have short-term benefits but longer-term negatives e.g. eating an extra-large piece of delicious cheesecake. It might taste good now, but later on it may be a decision thatis regretted!Conation requires mental load, which is something that can be both built up and depleted. Peoplecan be trained to increase their self-discipline (and thus be able to spend more time in making adecision) (Gots, 2011), but having to use conative ability to do something unpleasant depletes thatability in future. For example, people who are made to complete a task that requires will power(such as eating radishes instead of chocolates or to supress emotions) are more likely to give up ata task quicker than those who haven’t required as much conative effort (Baumeister, et al, 1998).Active, energy-intensive conation is potentially something that some organisations want consumersto avoid. Referring to Gibson (2008) and Shiv & Fedorikhan (1999), it has been shown thatdistractions or increased mental load leave consumers more vulnerable to making less considered,more impulsive decisions.There is also evidence that human nature is designed against requiring large amounts of mentalenergy for every decision, hence the power of habit on behaviour. If conative effort can be spentover enough a long enough period on a behaviour and with a suitable reward from that behaviour isreceived, then that behaviour will become a habit – something that occurs almost automatically andrequiring a lot less conative effort over time. It has been shown that people with habitual behavioursexperience the joy of the reward just anticipating that behaviour, and feel distinctly at loss if theyaren’t able to indulge in the habit (Duhrigg, 2012b). This helps to explain why habits are easy tofollow, but hard to break.Conation – the actual moment of decision-making – is something that is receiving increasingattention within neuroscientific circles in order to understand how the brain works (an in-depth viewof this can be seen at PsychWiki, 2012). There is physical evidence of conation occurring – pupilsdilate in response to mental load being applied, so when that processing stops, pupil dilation stops Page 8 of 21
  44. 44. as well (Kahneman, 2011). However, our exact understanding of conation is still in its infancy andno doubt this area that will uncover some interesting developments over the next decade.Physical – A Wave Is Continuous With the OceanThe three previous components are internal to a consumer, and thus relatively invisible to thoselooking to understand consumer behaviour (at least without close, direct observation and / orexpensive monitoring equipment). But the physical aspects of a consumer are much easier toobserve, and in some cases have been perceived to be the only factor that really matters.Behaviourists weren’t interested in what was going on inside a consumer unless it led to actionhappening on the outside.However, it isn’t reasonable to divorce the internal decision processes (i.e. cognitive, affective,conative) from the body that enacts the outcome. Both influence each other – it is impossible toseparate the wave from the ocean, although the physical element of consumer decision-making hasgenerally been excluded from consideration.This is a very big oversight given the weight of evidence that a consumers’ physical condition has adramatic influence on their behaviour. People who are hungry will spend more effort and resourcesgoing for food items and less attracted by non-food items (ScienceDaily, 2011). Sleep-deprivedconsumers are also more likely to have increased appetite due to changes in hormonal balance(Taheri et al, 2004). The old adage of “never go shopping when you are hungry” should be updatedto say, “never go shopping when you are hungry or tired”!Being tired doesn’t just change behaviour in relation to appetite – it changes the ability of people toapply mental load to tasks. One study of judges found that they would grant parole to 65% of casesthey saw immediately after a meal, but this parole rate gradually decreased to nearly zero as thejudges approached their next meal time, suggesting that “tired and hungry judges tend to fall backon the easier default position of denying requests for parole” (Danziger, Levav & Avnaim-Pesso,2011).In a similar vein, recent discoveries also indicate it is impossible to untie emotional states tophysical conditions. Cosmetic Botox injections are used to reduce lines and wrinkles in the humanface, but have found to have the side effect of reducing the ability of a person to both feel emotion(Davis et al., 2010) and to recognise it in others (Neal and Chartrand, 2011). Without the physicalability of the body to provide mirrored facial feedback, people lose the ability to empathise withothers and feel it within themselves.Consumer aspects such as gender or physiological capabilities should also be considered as partof the physical component, given how important such things are to the consumer decision-makingprocess.The link between the physical and other aspects of consumer behaviour are also shown through thepower of habit. After a consumer has built up a habit, the brain reward system starts to anticipatethe sensation that comes with that habit in front of actually receiving it, while also objecting to notexperiencing that sensation. This relationship can be both positive and negative – a positive habitsuch as brushing teeth is continued when a consumer desires the tingly feel of a clean mouth (andmisses it when they can’t do it) is a net benefit to a consumer, while problem gambling (and thegambler growing to anticipate the sensation of gambling rather than focus on winning / losing) isclearly a net negative. (Duhrigg, 2012b) Not engaging in a habit has a physical impact. Page 9 of 21
  45. 45. There are also other physical conditions such as pain, arousal, relaxation and pleasure thatinfluence consumer behaviour. Sometimes these and the above aspects are treated as cognitiveand / or affective states, but this isn’t broadly correct – they are physical states. Consumer decision-making is not purely driven by the nebulous world of the mind; the physical interface between themind and the broader world has a great deal of say in determining what a consumer does.Environmental – The Experience of Our WorldWhat is occurring in the world around a consumer has a large impact on consumer behaviour. Inthis case, the term “environment” refers to the tangible and intangible elements around theconsumer, from macro-elements such as the weather to more variable factors such as store frontsand product / service packaging.It is important to recognise (although obvious) that consumers act differently if the weather is hotversus if the weather is cold, or if they are in an environment where they are resource- and option-rich (such as if they have a full bank account and heading into a retail shopping district) to onewhere they are resource- and option-poor.Weather is an obvious external factor that influences behaviour. Impulse purchases of ice creamare higher in summer than winter, and higher still on bright, sunny summer days than on overcastsummer days (ConvenienceStore.co.uk, 2010). Seasonal factors influence the types of clothes andaccessories worn, as well as the types and cost of food that may be available.Seasons also influence emotions, which in turn directs behaviour. Seasonal Affective Disorder is adepressive illness with a seasonal pattern. People sleep more, eat more and usually cravecarbohydrates (which leads to weight gain), have a lot less energy and dont want to spend timewith others. It is believed that reduced exposure to sunlight is at least partly responsible for thiscondition. (BeyondBlue.org.au, 2007) There have also been links between hotter weather,increased violent behaviour (Keim, 2011) and higher suicide rates (BBC, 2007).The senses of smell, sight, taste, hearing and touch are all touch points where the environment andconsumer’s physical being interact, with each having its own impact on behaviour. Sight isrecognised as a very important sense, given how critical it is to our interpretation of the worldaround us, but it can also have subtle effects on the other senses. Sensation transference meansthat consumers transfer what they perceive on a product’s packaging means they also experiencewhen they consume the product (i.e. taste, touch, smell). An example of this transference is thatadding more yellow to a drink’s packaging sees consumers believing it tastes more lemony, eventhough the underlying recipe is unchanged (Gladwell, 2005).A similar association effect means that the environment has a big impact on how stimuli are treated.There is the famous example that showed that a world-class violinist busking in a busy subwaystation barely attracted any attention, but that same violinist attracts $1000 a minute in internationalconcert halls (Weingarten, 2007). Although a number of factors are at play in that experiment, a keyone is environment – no-one expects to see a famous violinist playing for money in a subway so thelocation had a negative effect on his perceived skill levels and audience interest. In a similarfashion, it would be expected that a restaurant with high-class, fashionable décor would beperceived to provide a better quality meal than a café with a lower-class interior, even if the actualfood they served was exactly the same. Page 10 of 21
  46. 46. Sounds and scents in the surrounding environment also can impact consumer behaviour. Musiccan influence the quantity and nationality of wine purchased in a liquor store (North, Hargreaves &McKendrick, 1997) or change perceptions of how a wine tastes through priming effects (North,2011), while numerous studies indicate that music tempo change physical heart rates (Bernardi,Porta & Sleight, 2005) and emotional states (Mok & Wong, 2003).It seems obvious to say that where a consumer is has a dramatic influence on the kinds ofdecisions they will make, but environmental factors are conspicuously absent from numerousconsumer behaviour models.Culture – Everybody KnowsCircling around all these other factors influencing consumer behaviour – even more so than if itsomething that effects everyone, such as if the temperature is hot or cold – is culture. It may beperceived that environment has a greater impact, but human history dictates that whereenvironment clashes with culture, it often comes off second best. Humankind has been responsiblefor an awesome (in many senses of the word) change in the environment due to culturalrequirements. When the English arrived in Australia, they continued to wear the same kind ofclothes they would have worn in their much more temperate motherland. Culture dictated theyignore the environment. Even today we do our best to modify the world around us (e.g. through airconditioners, transport options, changes to natural landforms) so that we can live a lifestyle that wewant to, not one forced onto us by the environment.Culture is crucial to understanding how consumers behave because people are heavily influencedby others around them. Through both explicit and implicit observation along with individual andgroup interaction, people learn the kinds of behaviours that are acceptable and those that aren’t.Different consumer groups will have different collective cultures under a much larger societalculture, with each determining a wide range of factors around behaviour.Culture dictates how consumers cognitively process information. People brought up in a Western-individualist culture are much more likely to focus on only the main parts of images they see andare more likely to focus on individual personal characteristics when processing information, whilethose raised in an Eastern-collectivist culture are more likely to describe the whole image presentedto them and to focus on situational factors contained within presented information (Winerman,2006).Emotions are also heavily influenced by cultural factors. Ekman (1972) indicates that recognition ofcore emotional types are universal between cultures – a smile is seen as linked to joy in all cultures,a frown is tied to anger, etc. – but that expressions of emotions are culturally driven. There are adeep set of cultural norms that indicate what is “acceptable” when it comes to the time and place foremotion, such as displays of grief at a funeral (e.g. quiet sobbing versus loud wailing and openanguish) or public displays of affection (e.g. hugs and kisses versus respectful bowing). There arealso emotional states that are unique to certain cultures, such as ‘amok’ (violent frenzy) in Malaysiaand ‘amae’ (indulgent feeling of dependency, akin to what a child feels towards a mother, betweenadults) in Japan (Prinz, 2004).Culture also dictates reactions to physical states. How people react to the signs of age – such asseeking to minimise them through Botox injections versus proudly displaying characteristics that willbe greeted with respect – or what they are willing to put up with in order to ‘fit’ with a particularcultural image – such as wearing uncomfortable shoes or clothes that are expected within a Page 11 of 21
  47. 47. particular social setting and putting fashion before comfort – are examples of culture drivingphysically-oriented consumer behaviours. Culture also strongly influences behaviour towardsenvironmental conditions, such as reactions to different colour schemes (Mills, 2009) or what kindsof traditions accompany different times of the year.When it comes to consumer behaviour, it should be recognised that culture often helps consumersin their decision-making by reducing the amount of mental load required. It provides a short-cut –when provided with common cultural experiences, everybody knows what their reactions should be.Little energy needs to be spent in weighing up choices, unless the consumer is considering optionsthat may go against cultural norms or be considered taboo.Combining the ComponentsAs indicated in the discussion on each component above, there is a lot of interplay within thisframework. Although the framework shown in Figure 1 shows clear delineations between thecomponents, hopefully it is clear that it is harder in the real world to cleanly separate things. Forexample, if emotions strongly influence conation, and environment and cultural factors influenceemotion, it can be hard to draw a straight line between only emotional factors and consumerbehaviour. There are a lot of inter-relationships going on that blur the line.A summary of some of these interactions / component influences is included in Table 2 below. Page 12 of 21
  48. 48. Table 2: Partial Summary of Component Interactions Cognitive Affective Conative Physical Environmental Cultural Influence Influence Influence Influence Influence InfluenceCognitive Emotional Creates Physical Provides ChangesComponent associations history of state external stimuli perspective influences decision- changes to be given to how making for how much considered focus on information consideration mental decision is processed in similar load can factors situation be appliedAffective Can provide Can override Physical Influences DictatesComponent information emotional state can emotional acceptable to (weakly) reactions enhance / status e.g. emotional overcome restrict Seasonal displays emotional emotions Affective biases DisorderConative Contributes Strong Physical Sensation InfluencesComponent facts / emotional state transference decisions knowledge reactions changes dictates how by for can short-cut how much stimuli is evaluating consideration decision- mental perceived what making load can others be applied would doPhysical Dictates the Emotions Physical Environmental DeterminesComponent desired level cause component stimuli changes physical of mental physiological required to physical norms for load to apply reactions apply / enact experience decision- to the decision around the making decision decisionEnvironmental Conscious Emotional Bounded Physical NormsComponent processing of weights on decision- state (e.g. dictate external stimuli making hot, cold) acceptable stimuli dictate how based on influences patterns of they are what is perception behaviour valued available of external around the stimuli consumerCultural Base level of Feelings / Importance Determines ProvidesComponent culturally- emotions of the what external stimuli related info / that are decision cultural that interacts knowledge shared within the role applies with cultural (i.e. the across a cultural (e.g. male values / norms ‘facts’ that homogenous setting versus everyone cultural female) knows) groupHowever, such uncertainty doesn’t help make the framework easy to use, so it makes sense to treatthe components as separate when using it for analysis purposes. It may not be easy to alwayscleanly place a decision factor into one component, but this is for the reason that sometimes factorswill stretch across two (or more) components. Page 13 of 21
  49. 49. Using the PEACCC Framework in a Market Research ContextFollowing the concept that this framework should be easy to use, the simplest approach for its useis to classify key decision elements to their appropriate component. Figure 3 provides an exampleof a silo-based approach to the PEACCC framework.Figure 3: A Silo-Based Approach to the PEACCC FrameworkThis approach works well when classifying qualitative information. As an example, let’s use thePEACCC silos to briefly cover the kind of consumer behaviour factors that may be in play when aperson is deciding which financial institution to take a mortgage from. Page 14 of 21
  50. 50. Figure 4: PEACCC Framework Silos – Example of a Consumer Selecting a MortgageThe PEACCC model can also be used from a project-planning or informational perspective toensure that all facets of consumer behaviour are being covered. As a brief overview, marketresearch techniques can be classified under the PEACCC framework:Figure 5: Classifying Selected Market Research Techniques / Approaches Using thePEACCC Framework Page 15 of 21
  51. 51. Framework LimitationsThree recognised limitations of this framework are: 1. Omission of a time-related component 2. Possibility of further splitting of the components into ‘conscious’ versus ‘unconscious’ aspects 3. The relative influence of each component within specific decision-making situationsTime As Part of Consumer BehaviourWithout doubt time is an important part of consumer behaviour. It takes time to consider a decision,to execute it and to evaluate the outcomes. Sometimes it is only possible to determine if the‘correct’ consumer behaviour path was taken after time has elapsed, while time can also see short-term benefits turn into longer-term detriments. Also, all components change over time – as aconsumer learns, achieves and experiences more, their cognitive, affective, conative and evenphysical components will change. Such changes can occur over minutes or span years.As it stands, the PEACCC framework isn’t able to include a time component on the grounds thattime provides a different dimension for consumer behaviour. This framework works best as a‘snapshot’ model of consumer behaviour, but it certainly can be used to analyse ‘current’ consumerbehaviour and then also be used to develop a list of ideal or future behaviours that it is intended /desired for the consumer to move to. It could also be used to map previous consumer behaviours –what they knew, their moods, values, etc. – alongside current consumers and evaluate how variouscomponents have changed.‘Conscious’ Versus ‘Unconscious’ Impact of ComponentsThere is also the potential for the existing PEACCC components to be split into ‘conscious’ versus‘unconscious’ (or ‘active’ versus ‘passive’, or ‘recognised’ versus ‘unrecognised’) sub-components.A number of long-established consumer behaviour models appear to treat the factors that surrounddecision-making as being recognised and acknowledged, but more recent findings indicate this isn’ttrue – a lot can be going on below the surface that isn’t consciously processed by consumers.As examples:  Cognitive processes can be focused on a problem at hand (active) or passively absorbing facts or processing other problems in the background (passive)  Consumers can be aware (conscious) or unaware (unconscious) of their own emotional state (e.g. not recognising that you are angry or in a good mood until someone else points it out to you)  Although conation requires a degree of active involvement, it is also possible for decisions to be made where the consumer wonders after why they chose what they chose  Consumers can be unaware of their physical state until attention is drawn to it by external stimuli (e.g. recognising you are hungry after smelling baking bread)  Environmental factors have both a conscious (e.g. the consumer sees the high quality décor of a restaurant) and unconscious (e.g. French music playing in the background causes the consumer to buy French wine) impacts Page 16 of 21
  52. 52.  Cultural values and their influence on consumer behaviour may be recognised (e.g. moral values dictating acceptable advertising content guidelines) or unrecognised (e.g. gender or racial biases)In order to keep the PEACCC framework straightforward to use, the separation of active / passiveor conscious / unconscious components hasn’t been formally included. With that in mind, anyonelooking to use the PEACCC framework for in-depth analysis of consumer behaviour shouldrecognise that such above- and below-the-surface influences do exist and should be considered.Relative Influence of Components Within Specific Decision-Making ContextsThis issue is discussed in the section below.Next StepsThis paper is a justification for the relevance and applicability of the PEACCC framework. Asdescribed, this framework can be easily used for qualitative analysis using the suggested ‘silo’analysis approach.Moving forward, the challenge will be in understanding the relative importance of each componentwithin different industry sectors and consumer decision contexts. Different consumer decisions willhave different internal (i.e. cognitive, affective, conative), physical and external (environmental,cultural) requirements. For instance, a common and familiar consumer behaviour such as going tothe beach in Australia is probably a relatively easy behaviour to consider. The consumer has likelybeen to the beach many times before, knows what to expect, knows what they require to enact thisbehaviour and Australia has a long history of a beach culture that provides a lot of baselineknowledge to that consumer.However, an unfamiliar and unestablished behaviour is going to see the relative importance of thedifferent components change. For instance, buying a high-tech gadget in an entirely new categorywhere there is a high degree of uncertainty about the future and capability of the device, lesstangible elements because it is providing online services, no established culture to consider orinfluence the decision – this kind of decision will likely fall more heavily on internal and physicalfactors (i.e. the look and feel of the device) than the unestablished external components.Another ‘next step’ for this framework will be seeing its (hopeful) adoption and use among a wideraudience. The author would appreciate any feedback on the framework from those who have usedit, or be happy to answer any questions about its theoretical underpinnings. Indeed, just knowingthat it has been used by people other than the author would be a reward, so please contact theauthor even just to say that the framework was useful in a project! Page 17 of 21
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