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Heterogeneity in the consumer's choice process: integrating consumer psychology into discrete choice statistical models

Grant number: 18/07365-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2019
Status:Discontinued
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Administration
Principal Investigator:José Afonso Mazzon
Grantee:Luis Eduardo Pilli
Home Institution: Faculdade de Economia, Administração e Contabilidade (FEA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):19/20143-7 - Consumers co-production in the sharing economy: an integrated choice and latent variable model, BE.EP.PD

Abstract

Transformative consumer research (TCR) has as a normative objective to improve individuals' well-being and guides the development of this project. The object of study of this project is the heterogeneity of consumers' choices and the psychological mechanisms used so that the behavior adapts to the situational variables and the sociocultural context. Choices are a means for consumers to achieve their goals and strategic marketing decisions are based on heterogeneity in consumer behavior. This project integrates three disciplines (economics, behavioral decision theories and statistical models of choice) for the study of heterogeneity in the processes of judgment and decision and the resulting choices and thus aligns with the central vision, qualities, and commitments of TCR. The way the project integrates robust theories developed by economics and the discipline of behavioral decision-making and the rigor of discrete choice models, considering the level of abstraction in which the object of study is formulated, assure the theoretical relevance of this proposal. From the methodological perspective, statistical models of choice are widely used by several disciplines of applied social sciences, including marketing. The improvement of statistical models through more realistic representations of human behavior allows the improvement of the decision-making process and the efficiency of public and private organizations working in areas such as urban and environmental economics, marketing, urban mobility, among others. Finally, environmentally sustainable consumer behavior is the domain for the empirical application of this project, being relevant given the urgency in the development (by governments, public and private organizations and individuals) of strategies to adapt and mitigate changes in the planet's functioning systems caused by human activity, including consumption. Consumer objectives are the core concept in this transdisciplinary approach. And they are defined as cognitive structures associated with other concepts in memory (such as other goals, decision rules and contexts) that influence modes of choice (affective, analytical, or rules-based processes) that have different potentials for achieving goals. Given that the psychological processes involved in decision making (particularly individual objectives) are latent, statistical and empirical identification represents the challenge to be overcome during the development of this project.