Great piece. I am interested in I/O Psychology and was considering creating a Consumer Psychology major at my university. I was actually just reading in my Psychology of Adjusting book about how an increase in choices leads to indecisiveness and opportunity for error or in this case, choosing to buy nothing rather than something. By manipulating the psychological experience of the consumer via marketing strategies, the consumer believes he or she is autonomous in his or her decision making.


Think about how many times you have walked into a grocery store looking to buy milk, only to leave with a basket full of goods you never intended to purchase.  This is no accident.  Fortune 500 Companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars consulting doctoral psychologist on how to influence customers to buy more.  Milk–identified as the most perishable and purchased item in the refrigerator–logistically speaking should be located in the front of the store.  Instead, the milk is placed all the way in the back so psychologists can be afforded the opportunity to predict the pattern that you’ll walk through the store.  The study and subsequent analysis in consumer behavior gives the store a statistical advantage to sell you more items.

We all know people are considered creatures of habit.  So, by studying their purchasing patterns or mining the sales data, you can predict with a great level of…

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