Skip to main content

Individual Differences in Consumer Buying Patterns: A Behavioral Economic Analysis

Abstract

Although previous studies have identified several regularities in buying behavior, no integrated view of individual differences related to such patterns has been yet proposed. The present research examined individual differences in patterns of buying behavior of fast-moving consumer goods, using panel data with information concerning purchases of 4 product categories by approximately 1,600 British consumers, over 52 weeks. Eight measures of buying patterns were adopted, and their stability across time and products was examined, based on within-measure between-period Pearson correlations. Correlations between all pairs of measures within periods were also examined. Results showed positive and significant correlations, across periods, for all measures, indicating stable individual differences in buying patterns. Some correlations, across measures, were also significant. Such results replicated previous findings concerning buying patterns and suggest that individual differences are stable over time, forming higher level purchase patterns that result from the combination of different measures of buying behavior.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. EHRENBERG, A. S. C. (1986). Pricing and brand differentiation. Singapore Marketing Review, 1, 5–15. Retrieved from http://www.mis.edu.sg/

    Google Scholar 

  2. EHRENBERG, A. S. C., HAMMOND, K., & GOODHARDT, G. J. (1994). The after-effects of price-related consumer promotions. Journal of Advertising Research, 34(4), 11–21. Retrieved from http://www.journalofadvertisingresearch.com/

    Google Scholar 

  3. FOXALL, G. R. (1990). Consumer psychology in behavioral perspective. Washington, DC: Beard Books.

    Google Scholar 

  4. FOXALL, G. R. (2002). Consumer behavior analysis: Critical perspectives in business and management. New York, NY: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  5. FOXALL, G. R. (2010). Theoretical and conceptual advances in consumer behavior analysis: Invitation to consumer behavior analysis. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 30, 92–109. doi:10.1080/01608061003756307

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. FOXALL, G. R., OLIVEIRA-CASTRO, J. M., JAMES, V. K., & SCHREZENMAIER, T. C. (2007). The behavioral economics of brand choice. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  7. FOXALL, G. R., OLIVEIRA-CASTRO, J. M., & SCHREZENMAIER, T. C. (2004). The behavioral economics of consumer brand choice: Patterns of reinforcement and utility maximization. Behavioural Processes, 66(3), 235–260. doi:10.1016/j.beproc.2004.03.007

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. FOXALL, G. R., & SCHREZENMAIER, T. C. (2003). The behavioral economics of consumer brand choice: Establishing a methodology. Journal of Economic Psychology, 24, 675–695. doi:10.1016/S0167–4870(03)00008–4

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. HURSH, S. R. (1980). Economic concepts for the analysis of behavior. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 34, 219–238. doi:10.1901/jeab.1980.34–219

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  10. HURSH, S. R. (1984). Behavioral economics. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 42, 435–452. doi:10.1901/jeab.1984.42–435

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  11. OLIVEIRA-CASTRO, J. M., FOXALL, G. R., & JAMES, V. K. (2008). Individual differences in price responsiveness within and across brands. Services Industries Journal, 28(6), 733–753. doi:10.1080/02642060801988605

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. OLIVEIRA-CASTRO, J. M., FOXALL, G. R., & SCHREZENMAIER, T. C. (2005). Patterns of consumer response retail price differentials. Services Industries Journal, 25(3), 1–27. doi:10.1080/02642060500050392

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. OLIVEIRA-CASTRO, J. M., FOXALL, G. R., & SCHREZENMAIER, T. C. (2006). Consumer brand choice: individual and group analyses of demand elasticity. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 85, 147–166. doi:10.1901/jeab.2006.51–04

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  14. OLIVEIRA-CASTRO, J. M., FOXALL, G. R., & WELLS, V. K. (2010). Consumer brand choice: Money allocation as a function of brand reinforcing attributes. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 30, 161–175. doi:10.1080/01608061003756455

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. OLIVEIRA-CASTRO, J. M., FOXALL, G. R., YANI, J., & WELLS, V. K. (2011). A behavioural-economic analysis of the essential value of brands. Behavioural Processes, 87, 106–114. doi:10.1016/j.beproc.2011.01.007

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. SKINNER, B. F. (1953). Science and human behavior. New York, NY: Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  17. SKINNER, B. F. (1992). Verbal behavior. Acton, MA: Copley Publishing Group.

    Google Scholar 

  18. UNCLES, M., & EHRENBERG, A. S. C. (1990). The buying of packaged goods at US retail chains. Journal of Retailing, 66, 278–294. Retrieved from http://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-retailing/

    Google Scholar 

  19. UNCLES, M., EHRENBERG, A. S. C., & HAMMOND, K. (1995). Patterns of buyer behavior: Regularities, models, and extensions. Marketing Science, 14, 71–78. doi:10.1287/mksc.14.3.G71

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. WELLS, V. K., CHANG, S. W., OLIVEIRA-CASTRO, J. M., & PALLISTER, J. (2010). Market segmentation from a behavioral perspective. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 30, 176–198. doi:10.1080/01608061003756505

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jorge M. Oliveira-Castro.

Additional information

Paulo R. Cavalcanti received a student stipend from Capes (Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education) during the development of this research. Jorge M. Oliveira-Castro received a research grant (#308859/2011-1) from CNPq (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, Brazil). The authors thank such financial support.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Cavalcanti, P.R., Oliveira-Castro, J.M. & Foxall, G.R. Individual Differences in Consumer Buying Patterns: A Behavioral Economic Analysis. Psychol Rec 63, 259–276 (2013). https://doi.org/10.11133/j.tpr.2013.63.2.003

Download citation

Key words

  • consumer behavior
  • Behavioral Perspective (BPM)
  • consumer buying patterns
  • individual differences
  • consumer panel data