Chapter 2 Links to selected Journals (Research Insights)
Research Insight 2.1
Source: Lehner, M., Mont, O., & Heiskanen, E. (2016). Nudging–A promising tool for sustainable consumption behaviour?. Journal of Cleaner Production, 134, 166-177.
Insight: This paper focuses on how consumers can be nudged into making better decisions for themselves and society at large. Drawing on studies from behavioural economics and behavioural sciences, the authors describe the range of nudge activities that have informed policy in consumption domains of energy use in the home, food and personal transport behaviour. They outline a range of nudge tools, such as the use of social norms to provide information about others’ transport behaviour and ideal-type behaviour; simplification and framing of information to provide informative energy bills and meter readings; and changes to the physical environment, such as road and lane planning to influence transport decisions.
Research Insight 2.2
Source: Hastorf, A. H., & Cantril, H. (1954). They saw a game: A case study. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 49, 129-134.
Insight: When the Dartmouth football team played Princeton in 1951, much controversy was generated over what actually took place during the game. Basically, there was disagreement between the two schools as to what had happened during the game. A questionnaire designed to get reactions to the game and to learn something of the climate of opinion was administered at each school and the same motion picture of the game was shown to a sample of undergraduate students at each school, followed by another questionnaire. Results indicate that the "game" was actually many different games and that each version of events that transpired was just as "real" to a particular person as other versions were to other people. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Research Insight 2.3
Source: Vezich, I.S., Gunter, B.C., and Lieberman, M.D. (2017). The mere green effect: an fMRI study of proenvironmental advertisements. Social Neuroscience , 12, 400–8.
Insight: A classic problem in the study of sustainable consumer behaviour is the disconnect between consumers’ stated positive attitudes and preferences for ‘green’ products over standard ones, but this is not translated in their purchase behaviour. This study used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to track consumers’ brain activity in response to ‘green’ and ‘standard’ ads. When asked about their preferences for the ads, the consumers stated they preferred the green ads over the standard control ads. However, the functional MRI data suggested an opposite pattern—the participants showed greater activation in regions associated with personal value and reward in response to control ads relative to green ads. In addition, participants showed greater activity in these regions to the extent that they reported liking the control ads, but there was no such trend for green ads. So, although consumers might say they liked the green ads more, this may be down to social desirability effects, and in a purchase situation the personal values and rewards associated with standard products overwhelm their purchase decisions.
Research Insight 2.4
Source: Julien Cayla and Eric Arnould (2013) Ethnographic Stories for Market Learning. Journal of Marketing: July 2013, Vol. 77, No. 4, pp. 1-16.
Insight: Although ethnography has become a popular research approach in many organizations, major gaps exist in the field's understanding of the way it operates in the corporate world, particularly in how ethnography facilitates market learning. Drawing from extensive fieldwork in the world of commercial ethnography, the authors describe how ethnographic stories give executives a unique means of understanding market realities. By working through the rich details of ethnographic stories infused with the tensions, contradictions, and emotions of people's everyday lives, executives are better able to grasp the complexity of consumer cultures. Overall, this research should help managers leverage the catalytic effects of ethnographic storytelling in their efforts to learn about and understand market contexts.
Research Insight 2.5
Source: Stephen, A.T. (2016). The role of digital and social media marketing in consumer behavior. Current Opinion in Psychology, 10, 17–21.
Insight: This review article examines literature consumers in digital and social media environments, to identify five main themes in this research: (i) consumer digital culture, (ii) responses to digital advertising, (iii) effects of digital environments on consumer behaviour, (iv) mobile environments, and (v) online word of mouth (WOM). The paper provides new insights and thinking around the digital consumer experience, although notes that a disproportionate amount of work has focused on WOM, and that future research might usefully think about issues around the antecedents and consequences of online WOM, the effect of different digital environments (e.g. social media compared with mobile phone), impact on various consumer outcomes, and also privacy issues in the context of digital marketing and social media.