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individual Assignment: PSY Consumer Behavior

The purpose of the assignment is to get you to think about the psychology of consumer behavior by applying it to your own life.  The theories or concepts that you apply are basically up to your own perception of your own behavior.  However, these must be theories grounded in the text and classroom discussion (i.e. I don’t want off the wall theories like aliens made you buy Ariel rather than Persil).  The journal will have three goals: understanding the influences behind your purchases, understanding the consequences of your purchases, and giving you a chance to reassess and change your purchase patterns.

The method is as follows:


  1. For a FOUR WEEK period, you must keep a diary of the products you purchase (keep the receipts of your purchases).  This is simply a listing of the products, when, and where you made the purchase.  Do this on a daily basis. 


  1. At the end of each week, look for 4 to 6 products you seem to “consume” most regularly or consistently, then think back on that week and analyse:


    1. why you bought that product over another
    2. what advantages or disadvantages resulted from purchasing that product over others
    3. your satisfaction/dissatisfaction with the purchase
    4. your intent to continue that purchase (or note if you decided to change your purchase pattern & why)


  1. At the end of the four weeks, choose 4 key products and consider the major psychological factors or process for each separate product (e.g. peer pressure, learning, subliminal messages etc.) that contributed most to your consumption pattern (i.e. one different process for each of the 3 products).


 Be very specific to both the psychological processes and its application to your specific purchase pattern.  Analyse specific reasons for why you think it was that process that was most influential on that product.


Your grade will be based on three main criteria:


1) Your ability to briefly summarize the psychological process

  • You must show that you understood what the process involves, how it works, how it influences consumer behavior in general.

2) Your ability to effectively communicate its application to your life

  • you have to then take the theory one step further to show specifically how it applies to your particular consumer behavior and why it is the major reason behind your purchase pattern

3) The clarity and effectiveness of your communication compared to others in the class


  • In this respect, writing style does matter because it is part of effective communication
  • The key is to convey your point simply and clearly (BIG WORDS do not impress, but clarity does)


It is important to note that your grade will also depend on your ability to clearly show how the SPECIFIC aspect of the psychological processes apply to your consumer behavior.  This needs to be clearly linked in the application. 


Your final paper must include your complete 4 week journal. The due date is 24th April 2017



The individual essay should be submitted to Turnitin.


For your submission to be accepted your written work must conform to following criteria:


  1. The summary should be maximum 1500 words in length (+/- 10%, excluding your specific references and your bibliography). State the exact number of words you have written.


  1. Type set to Ariel, font size 12, double-spaced. Headings may be bold underlined font size 14, and bullet points may be less than font size 12. .


  1. Properly referenced using Harvard Referencing System. And use a variety of sources – books, journals, and websites.
  2. Proofread the essay for spelling and grammatical errors.

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