Workshop on Approaches to the Study of Consumer Decision Making From Different Disciplines

Robert Ferber, University of Illinois
ABSTRACT - These comments provide an overview of the purpose and structure of the workshop on approaches to the study of consumer decision making from different disciplines.
[ to cite ]:
Robert Ferber (1977) ,"Workshop on Approaches to the Study of Consumer Decision Making From Different Disciplines", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 04, eds. William D. Perreault, Jr., Atlanta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 262.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 4, 1977   Page 262

WORKSHOP ON APPROACHES TO THE STUDY OF CONSUMER DECISION MAKING FROM DIFFERENT DISCIPLINES

Robert Ferber, University of Illinois

ABSTRACT -

These comments provide an overview of the purpose and structure of the workshop on approaches to the study of consumer decision making from different disciplines.

OVERVIEW

The purpose of this workshop was to explore how people from different disciplines approach the study of consumer decision making. The idea was to provide some idea of the range of different approaches that might be taken to this topic. For this reason, the panel of six speakers was composed of individuals from a variety of different subject areas, including economics, marketing, social psychology and sociology.

The workshop was conducted in two sessions, each of which had a very different focus. In the first session, each speaker was requested to make a broad presentation of the type of approach that he would advocate in studying consumer decision making, providing a general description of it and, insofar as possible, relating the pros and cons of that approach to alternatives. This discussion could include references to any experimental or other empirical studies that had been undertaken to test the feasibility and the validity of the approach. Speakers were invited to be innovative and not to restrict themselves to what had been done in the past.

In the second session, the focus was on the application of the particular approach(es) advocated to the concrete problem of studying how a young couple makes a decision whether or not to have a child. In this session, the panelists were urged to be specific, and to indicate how the particular approach would be applied to this problem both in terms of formulating a model of the decision-making process and in terms of such other aspects of the study design as data collection and methods of analysis.

The speakers were not required to submit written papers and, in fact, were told that they need not do so if it did not fit in with their time schedules. Hence, the comments that appear in this Proceedings volume do not represent the wide range of ideas covered in this workshop.

The comments that do appear here should be interpreted in the light of the framework just presented. They should also be interpreted with consideration to the fact that each speaker had to be limited to ten minutes in each session. Hence, it was not possible for the speakers to go into any great detail with regard either to their ideas or their implementation. And, of course, these comments cannot reflect the discussion that took place at the meeting itself, a vital aspect of this type of meeting. Nevertheless, it is hoped that the comments presented here will be of value in indicating some of the general approaches that might be taken to the study of consumer decision making.

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