We all know the weather outside can tremendously impact our daily outlook on life, but what role does it play in our buying behavior and work habits? We associate sunshine with happiness and stormy weather with bad moods and misfortune. Indeed, there is no dearth of research supporting the fact that the forecast can significantly influence individuals’ mood and temperament. For example, increased sunshine is associated with better moods and an increased willingness to help others, and there is a mood disorder -- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) -- characterized by depressive symptoms brought on by the winter months. It’s pretty much common sense in today’s day and age that nice weather makes us happy, but can it actually affect our daily behavior? The answer, it turns out, is yes, and researchers are working to figure out exactly how and why.
Psychology Writer and Research Assistant, MotiveMetrics
Psych4Marketers: Emotions and Advertising
In a previous blog post, I wrote about the impact of emotions on shopping behavior. More specifically, I discussed how an individual’s current emotional state can influence their perception of advertising and other marketing tools. However, emotions are not just something consumers bring to the table; advertisements themselves frequently elicit emotional responses, which the ad creators hope will increase the viewer’s desire to purchase whatever is being advertised. Indeed, there are several “go-to” methods -- appeals to certain emotions -- that are regularly employed. But as the field of consumer behavior advances, more is becoming revealed about the particular limits of these favorite methods. In this post I will unpack three of these methods, explain when and why they are potentially useful and discuss their ultimate limits.
A History of Personality Psychology: Part 1
Section I: General Chronology and Driving Forces of Personality
The history of personality psychology dates as far back as Ancient Greece. Indeed, philosophers since the 4th Century BCE have been trying to define exactly what it is that makes us us. In 370 BCE, Hippocrates proposed two pillars of temperament: hot/cold and moist/dry, resulting in four humors or combinations of these qualities. The hot and dry combination was referred to as yellow bile, cold and dry as black bile, hot and wet was blood and cold and wet was phlegm. Though much of the work that arose from this theory of the Four Humors was medicinal in nature, it was also hypothesized a patient's personality could be influenced by humoral imbalances.
3 Marketing Lessons from Evolutionary Psychology
Throughout high school we all paid our dues and learned the basics. These basic classes, (whether it be American History or Biology) provided a foundation for our future education that ultimately would help us chose a career path. During my time in high school, math and science came easy to me, and I spent my free time working in labs doing research to better understand how to apply what I was learning, and decided to major in Evolutionary Biology (with an emphasis on Psychology) in college. Though I am grateful for my education and various lab experiences, I eventually realized the world of academia and research is not necessarily for me. As I now transition from academia to the business world, I am realizing that much of what I’ve learned from biology and evolutionary psychology -- two fields that people might view as unrelated to business and marketing -- is anything but unrelated. Many of the topics in these academic fields can provide new perspectives in the workplace when trying to solve real world problems. Evolutionary psychologists may not be the first people you’d expect to provide insight into the world of marketing, but I’ve extrapolated three ideas from my coursework in this area that I’ve found extremely valuable in daily marketing routines.
The Psychology of Music: Why Music Plays a Big Role in What You Buy
Research suggests there seems to be three qualities of music that can influence buying behavior in a retail environment: tempo, volume and genre. The individual effects we will see in each of these can be explained by Mehrabian and Russell’s model of pleasure-arousal-dominance (PAD). At its most basic level, this model posits that an environment can alter an individual’s mood and therefore behavior by altering levels of pleasure, arousal and/or dominance through different channels. We will use this framework to explain how music impacts buying behavior in a store environment.
What is Priming? A Psychological Look at Priming & Consumer Behavior
As you’ve probably realized, various tenets of psychology are crucial to effective marketing. After all, psychology is about understanding human behavior and marketing is about applying that knowledge. There are many factors that influence this behavior, and while at least part of the human decision-making process is conscious, many of these factors influence behavior at a nonconscious level. As we have discussed previously on this blog, personality traits can serve as nonconscious motivations of behavior. In this post, I will introduce the psychological concept of priming, which can also have not-so-subtle influences on human behavior.
3 Ways to Optimize Product Pricing with Psychology
Have you ever wondered how companies and retailers set their prices? If you’ve ever taken an economics class, your go-to answer is probably something about supply-and-demand, right? While these laws certainly have a large influence over pricing, another realm of study does as well: psychology. In this blog post, I'll introduce how to optimize product pricing with Psychology with three case studies.
What is psychometrics?
We’re all aware that individuals are unique and not everyone likes the same things. This uniqueness comes directly into play in the field of marketing. Since no two people are identical, marketing is about grouping and targeting. That is, higher levels of marketing success arise if you know who to target and how to target them instead of targeting everyone with a generic message. This necessity for specificity means targeting is essentially an empirical question that requires some form of measurement. Consumer behavior is ultimately a result of psychological processes and thus is an optimal target for measurement. Many people don’t think of individual or group characteristics as quantifiable entities, but they can be. Indeed, once you develop a method of quantification, objective grouping based on numbers becomes much easier and more reliable than subjective grouping based on descriptions of consumer traits. Clearly not all measurement is good measurement, so then the question becomes: “How should this measurement be done?” This is where psychometrics comes in.