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Behavioral Economics in Market Research: Are People Rational?

What was the last significant purchase you made? Was it a car, a home, or maybe the device you’re reading this post on? Whatever it was, you know a wide-range of factors influenced your final decision.

You researched options, compared prices, considered features and aesthetics. And while you evaluated some of these decision factors based on logical reasoning, you evaluated others based on pure instinct. It is these instinctual, emotional, and sometimes irrational, influences that make behavioral economics so interesting.

So, What is Behavioral Economics?

Behavioral economics applies psychological insights to human behavior to explain consumer decision-making. In short, it’s the study of why people choose what they choose. Sounds pretty cool, right?

Applying behavioral economics to market research is key. We often collect data to understand and predict consumer decisions. To provide the best results possible, we need to apply lessons from behavioral economics. The ability to understand both the rational and irrational influences upon consumer decision-making puts us ahead of those only considering rational choice.

Want to Learn More? Great!

The upcoming Research Rockstar course, Behavioral Economics for Market Researchers, will get you up to speed. This 4-week program provides a comprehensive review of concepts to help professional market researchers apply the latest developments in behavioral economics to their studies. Instructors use fun exercises to enhance comprehension and retention of these lessons. This program meets once a week, for a total of four 90 minute sessions.

It is our job as market researchers to leverage concepts such as anchoring, framing and the power of default to help clients gain new insights. Learning these important behavioral economics concepts will improve your research designs and reports.  Please note that this class will have pre-reading and homework assigned.

This course begins on Tuesday, 10/17…so make the rational, or irrational (?), choice: register now!

See you in class.

P.S. If you’d like a quick intro to this topic in the meantime, we recommend checking out this piece by Alain Samson, PhD: An Introduction to Behavioral Economics.

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This post is from the Research Rockstar team. We want everyone to have access to the training and resources they need to become Research Rockstars!

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