Michel Tuan Pham

The Seven Sins of Consumer Psychology

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Consumer psychology faces serious issues of internal and external relevance. Most of these issues originate in seven fundamental problems with the way consumer psychologists plan and conduct their research that could be called the seven sins of consumer psychology. These seven "sins" are (a) a narrow conception of the scope of consumer behavior research; (b) adoption of a narrow set of theoretical lenses; (c) adherence to a narrow epistemology of consumer research; (d) an almost exclusive emphasis on psychological processes as opposed to psychological content; (e) a strong tendency to overgeneralize from finite empirical results, both as authors and as reviewers; (f) a predisposition to design studies based on methodological convenience rather than on substantive considerations; and (g) a pervasive confusion between "theories of studies" and studies of theories. Addressing these problems ("atoning for these sins") would greatly enhance the relevance of the field. However, this may require a substantial rebalancing of the field's incentives to reward actual research impact rather than sheer number of publications in major journals.

Source: Journal of Consumer Psychology
Exact Citation:
Tuan Pham, Michel. "The Seven Sins of Consumer Psychology." Journal of Consumer Psychology 23 (October 2013): 411-423.
Volume: 23
Pages: 411-423
Date: 10 2013