Behavioral biases in marketing

  • Katharina Dowling
  • Daniel Guhl
  • Daniel Klapper
  • Martin SpannEmail author
  • Lucas Stich
  • Narine Yegoryan
Review Paper


Psychology and economics (together known as behavioral economics) are two prominent disciplines underlying many theories in marketing. The extensive marketing literature documents consumers’ nonrational behavior even though behavioral biases might not always be consistently termed or formally described. In this review, we identify and synthesize empirical research on behavioral biases in marketing. We document the key findings according to three classes of deviations (i.e., nonstandard preferences, nonstandard beliefs, and nonstandard decision making) and the four phases of consumer purchase decision making (i.e., need recognition, pre-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase). Our organizing framework allows us to (1) synthesize instructive marketing papers in a concise and meaningful manner and (2) identify connections and differences within and across categories in both dimensions. In our review, we discuss specific implications for management and avenues for future research.


Marketing Consumer purchase decision making Behavioral economics Behavioral biases Review 



The authors would like to thank Dirk Engelmann, Michael Steiner, Ossama Elshiewy, Vlada Pleshcheva, three anonymous reviewers, the associate editor, and the editors of the Special Issue for helpful comments and suggestions. Financial support by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft through CRC TRR 190 is gratefully acknowledged.


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© Academy of Marketing Science 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Electronic Commerce and Digital Markets, Munich School of ManagementLudwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) MunichMunichGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Marketing, School of Business and EconomicsHumboldt-University BerlinBerlinGermany

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