Consumer behaviour: rational, irrational, or what?

Consumer researchers should be interested in the current debate among economists between two models of consumer behaviour: rational (based on analysis of costs and benefits) and irrational (driven by psychological factors often at a subconscious level).

Consumer behaviour: rational, irrational, or what?

Omar Mahmoud

Economists are currently engaged in a stimulating debate, which I think consumer researchers should be following closely, if not directly engaged in.

Economists, in general, think of a human being as a homo economicus,a rational being, making choices based on balancing present and future benefits and costs. I will buy the red chocolate for five euros because its taste and emotional benefit to me are worth five euros, or more. I perceive the benefits of the five euro blue chocolate to only be four euros. So, if the price of...

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