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Efforts to Study Consumers Over Their Life Span

  • George P. Moschis
Chapter

Abstract

The study of consumers over the course of their lives has been a topic of interest to scientists even before the development of the field of consumer behavior in the marketing area. Psychologists and economists were among the first to investigate certain types of consumer behaviors over the life span or a significant part of it. One of the earliest studies focuses on the development of brand preferences (Guest 1942). This cross-sectional study, which examines awareness for brands in 16 types of product categories, finds awareness to increase with age during childhood and adolescent years (ages 7–18), with the onset of awareness being a function of the type of product and having a positive relationship with socioeconomic status (SES) and IQ. The development of brand preferences is also assessed longitudinally among participants of this early study in two follow-up investigations 12 and 20 years later (Guest 1955, 1964). The 12-year study finds that preference for brands does not change for approximately 27% of the subjects, while the second study finds consistency in preferences for brand for approximately one-fourth of the subjects over a 20-year period. The latter study concludes that preference for brands is context-specific—i.e., it depends on the type of product and social pressure.

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Authors and Affiliations

  • George P. Moschis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MarketingGeorgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA

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