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The importance of children as influencers in a wide range of purchase contexts should never be underestimated and the phenomenon is known as pester power.
To understand the mental processes used in purchasing decisions, some authors employ the concept of the "black box"; a figurative term used to describe the cognitive and affective processes used by a consumer during a purchase decision.
Consumer behaviour entails "all activities associated with the purchase, use and disposal of goods and services, including the consumer's emotional, mental and behavioural responses that precede or follow these activities." As a field of study, consumer behaviour is an applied social science.
Consumer behaviour analysis is the "use of behaviour principles, usually gained experimentally, to interpret human economic consumption." As a discipline, consumer behaviour stands at the intersection of economic psychology and marketing science.
Research has shown that consumer behaviour is difficult to predict, even for experts in the field.
However, new research methods such as ethnography and consumer neuroscience are shedding new light on how consumers make decisions.
Consumer behaviour, in its broadest sense, is concerned with understanding both how purchase decisions are made and how products or services are consumed or experienced. They decide what to purchase, often based on their disposable income or budget.From the 1950s, marketing began to shift is reliance away from economics and towards other disciplines, notably the behavioural sciences, including sociology, anthropology and clinical psychology.This resulted in a new emphasis on the customer as a unit of analysis.When a purchase decision is made by a small group, such as a household, different members of the group may become involved at different stages of the decision process and may perform different roles.For example, one person may suggest the purchase category, another may search for product-related information while yet another may physically go to the store, buy the product and transport it home.