Consumer Behavior Syllabus

 Consumer Behavior 53:630:510  - Fall 2004 - Atlantic City
 Dr. Carol Kaufman-Scarborough -  Office:  Business and Science 219
Fall 2004 - Section A1: Monday 6:00 -  8:40 / Atlantic City

1. My office at school is Business and Science 219.  I am usually in my Rutgers office several days a week. Please send me an email or call my cell if you need to reach me in an emergency.
Rutgers Office Phone: 856-225-6592 / Rutgers Fax:  856-225-6231/ Cell Phone:  will be provided

2. Office Hours: I will plan to arrive at the Atlantic City Campus by 5:00 pm for office hours, and will remain after class for discussion as needed.
Monday (Atlantic City):  5:00 to 6:00 pm in our classroom.  Also by appointment
Tuesday (Camden):      3:00 to 5:00 pm; Thursday 10:00 to 11:00 am.

3. Text: Shopper, Buyer, and Consumer Behavior, by Jay D. Lindquist and M. Joseph Sirgy. They are both noted for their research and leadership in Consumer Behavior. Jay is one of my coauthors and he is a frequent consultant with businesses in Michigan. Joe is the founder of the International Society for Quality of Life Studies. Their text is innovative, interactive, and well-balanced in theory, research, and practical applications. We値l often use the text in class and will be able to pull it up interactively.

Our perspective in this course is managerial. While we will examine and discuss major consumer behavior concepts and measures, we will emphasize their applications to real-world business situations. Please feel free to bring in problems that your own businesses may be facing that are related to consumer behavior.

Course notes are found on the Course Information section:

4. Prerequisite: 630:508 Marketing Management or equivalent

5. Course Description:  How does the study of consumer behavior help consumer product firms, health care marketers, entertainment providers, and other types of service businesses understand and serve their customers? What concepts and frameworks help us to understand our customers? What tools can be used in our companies? What types of consumer research can be done in our company or purchased from a marketing research provider?

These and other questions will be addressed in this course in relation to decisions by actual firms. We値l study the ways that consumers make decisions, how they find and evaluate alternatives, and how they purchase and use products. We値l consider what they do when they池e satisfied and what happens when they are not!  In particular, we値l study a group of psychological variables that can provide useful information about consumers: such as how they learn, what they perceive, and how they choose to live their lifestyles. In addition, we値l consider the impacts of the groups that they belong to: such as how their families, social groups, and ethnicities affect what they buy. When you have completed this course, you will have learned how major firms utilize consumer research in their own strategies and hopefully how to apply consumer research in your own firm. Every attempt will be made to stress the relevance of course ideas and skills as part of your MBA.

There will be two projects due in this course.  The first asks you to participate in a Consumer Research Roundtable on a specific night in class. The second asks you to work in a group on a topic in consumer behavior. This latter topic will be given out in a subsequent class.

Some Questions in Consumer Research That I知 studying:

1. Are consumers turning to alternative medicine? What does alternative medicine mean?

2. Can all consumers see color cues the same? What do color blind persons see?

3. How does time pressure impact consumer behavior? What types of products respond to this problem?

4. The Hispanic market makes up 13.4% of the population. What do we need to know about it?

5. People from other cultures may have their own health customs, e.g. pregnancy and illness. How can we learn about these for use in U.S. healthcare industries?

Course Evaluation

 Class Participation (every class!)   -  10 points
 Midterm (Monday, October 18) first half of class  -  20 points
 In-Class Roundtables your assigned night  -   20 points
 Term Project (Monday, December 6)  -  25 points
 Final Examination (Monday, Dec. 20th, 6 pm to 9 pm)  -  25 points
 TOTAL  -  100 points

Course Objectives

1. To provide you with a conceptual base for understanding the behavior of consumers within the marketing system in a society. Actual marketing research of corporations will be considered in developing the applications side of the consumer topics discussed in class.

2.  To explain and define the frameworks which contribute to understanding consumer behavior as it affects and influences business activities involving the sale of goods and services in the marketplace. Course participants will be given the opportunity to research this problem first?hand by participating in ongoing consumer research.

3. Sometime consumer behavior techniques are criticized as being deceptive; in other words, they lead the consumer to buy things that they may not need or want.  Several extreme cases can be considered:  compulsive shopping, excessive dieting, substance abuse, and so forth.  These important topics will be discussed; you may find yourself involved in a business decision which requires that you consider the ethics and social responsibility of the marketing decisions which you will make.

Class Participation:  Class participation is encouraged and sought.  This is your class and you should make it as interesting as possible.  In terms of grading, it is assumed that everyone starts out in the middle, with 5 out of the 10 points for class participation and individuals can then move up or down.  Note, your class participation points will be assigned at the end of the course. Here are some ways you can impact your grade:

Late Work, Absences, Etc.: Most MBA classes that I have taught will have some students who, because of work-related obligations, will have to miss at least one night. If you fall into this category, please see me!  We will work out a schedule if the situation warrants it.

Positive influences                              Negative influences

     Constructive discussion                              Distruption of class (talking, cell phones, text saging)
     Regular attendance                                     Lack of attendance
     Preparation for class discussions               Just sitting there no preparation
     Original work                                               Cheating, plagiarism (from others, off the web, etc.)

Policies:  Assigned chapters, exercises, and cases should be read prior to their discussion in class.  Class meetings will organize consumer behavior concepts, clarify the material and correlate real exam­ples from the business world.  Excessive absences will be reflected in the final grade.  All as­signments must be handed in on time; late work will receive reduced credit.  No makeup exams will be scheduled without prior notification and a physician's excuse.

Note:  Dates are approximate; any changes will be announced in class.  The goal is to distrib­ute the work throughout the semester according to a balanced schedule, arranged to maximize course coverage and build student knowledge and experience. Detailed handouts will be given on the two course projects; several workshop discussions will be held throughout the semester to encourage student input on these projects and to ensure that you know what is required.

Warning!  Students in MBA courses often have a diverse group of experiences and expertise levels.  Some of you may be experienced marketing managers, who are pursuing the formality of the MBA degree. For others, this may be your first exposure to upper-level marketing concepts and applications.  Finally, the majority will fall somewhere in between.  Given this situation, the class at times may seem to move too slowly, too quickly, or just right. I find that the strength of the MBA program is that you learn from each other, sharing your backgrounds and knowledge. This is your class; please feel free to raise concerns and make suggestions so that we all benefit.

Reading Assignments - Linked with In-Class Discussion

 week 1 - Sept.13:     Introduction; sign up for Roundtables

                        CB and Marketing management, read chapter 1
                        Topics:  total product concept, market segmentation
                        EKB model taking the model apart, relate to real world examples
                        Team Talk 3, p. 24; In class:  describe self as a market segment
                        Begin: Decision making, product recognition and information search

week 2 -  Sept. 20:

                        Continue decision making, Read chapters 2 and 3
                        Problem recognition and information search
                        Alternative evaluation and choice of products and retailers
                        What brands do you buy, what attributes are important?
                        Which retailers do you patronize and why?
                        Example of Atkins low-carb diets
                        Discussion of Project 1, handout

week 3 - Sept. 27:
                        Read chapters 4 and 5
                        Consumption and Post-Purchase Behavior
                        Begin Psychological Influences on Consumer Behavior - Individual
                        Symbolic Consumption, Self-Image, Personality

week 4 Oct. 4
                        Continue Psychological Influences
                        Read chapters 6 and 7
                        Lifestyles and Psychographics time research
                        Memory, Learning, and Perception
                       Roundtable on Consumer Decision Making

week 5 - Oct. 11
                        Read chapter 8: Motivation, Mood, and Involvement
                        Review for midterm exam - covering chapters 1 to 8, depending on class progress with the topics to be covered
                       Roundtable on Perceptions and Advertising

week 6 - Oct. 18

                        Midterm Exam First half of class session
                        Read chapter 9 Beliefs, Affect, Attitude, and Intention

week 7 - Oct. 25:
                        Read chapters 10 and 11
                        Communication and Persuasion
                        Begin Sociological (group) influences on Consumer Decision Making
                        Cultural Influence: Discuss Hispanic and Asian Studies
                        Roundtable on Consumer Learning and Product Failure

week 8 Nov. 1
                        Research Method Workshop mandatory attendance

week 9 Nov. 8
                        Continue cultural influences
                        Read chapters 12 and 13
                        Cross Cultural and Subcultural Segmentation
                       Roundtable on Lifestyles and Psychographic Segmentation

week 10 - Nov. 15
                        Read Chapters 14 and 15
                        Social Class and Reference Group Influences
                        Families and Households
                       Roundtable on Subcultural Influences

 week 11 - Nov. 22
                        Begin Special Topics in Consumer Analysis
                        Public Policy and Consumer Advocacy
                        The ADA, Color Blindness
                        Read Chapter 16
                       Roundtable on Reference Group and Spokesperson Selection

week 12 - Nov. 29
                        Read Chapter 17
                        Consumer Behavior and Society
                       Roundtable on Household Change and Product Development

week 13 -  Dec. 6
                        Project 2 Due - discussion, presentation of results

week 14 - Dec. 13
                        (LAST CLASS) Review, discussion and integration of ideas


Useful Consumer Analysis Websites / How Do Firms Learn about Consumers?

Take a look at these in your spare time what did you find that applies to our discussions in class?

Collecting Consumer Information
American Demographics:  trends, new products, product history:
            Available through Rutgers library

Business and Industry Database via RU library site:

Food and Brand lab-testing what consumers eat, Prof. Brian Wansink痴 site on food research:

Forrester Research: your company may purchase studies here.

Influx Insights: consumer trends,

Know This source for marketers:

Customer Focused Marketing:

Nydia Han: Consumer Corner, WPVI investigations of problems and deceptions:


Consumer Product Companies
Campbell Soup Company Website:

Perdue Farms:


Subaru of America:

Revlon, how do we define beauty?,

Selecting an outlet:



Suppose the outlet痴 the same as the brand:

In-Class Roundtables:  In order to keep class discussion interesting, and to draw in your specific expertise, a series of Roundtable discussions are planned which connect class topics to real-life experience.  You will each sign up for one-night痴 roundtable, which focuses on selected concepts from the text.  More than one person may sign up for a topic. You should coordinate your work, but your grade is individual. Your job will be to present the questions, lead the class in discussion of the issues, and connect the issues to real-world examples from industry. More importantly, your job is to show how the course concepts and frameworks are useful tools that can be applied in the real world. Make a one page handout for the class, plus a 2-3 page write up for me of your goals, your logic, and what you hope to accomplish in your roundtable.

Roundtable Topic and Date

October 4: Roundtable on Consumer Decision Making.  Pick a consumer decision that your household just made. Analyze it in terms of the search, evaluation of alternatives, and purchase.  Did you go through all the steps??  Why or why not? Why would a firm want to know what steps you went through?

October 11:  Roundtable on Perceptions and Advertising: How many ads did you perceive today? Did you remember everything about them? Give examples of ads that you tuned out. How can marketers encourage consumers to pay attention to their messages?

October 25:  Roundtable on Consumer Learning and Product Failure: Consumers learn from product information, purchase, and use. Do consumers always learn everything correctly about products? Do they always follow directions? Describe a product that is successful and a product that is failing due to poor consumer learning. Defend your analysis

 Nov. 8:  Roundtable on Lifestyles and Psychographic Segmentation:  Consider the VALS segments presented on page 182. Go to the VALS website and take the survey. Describe yourself as a VALS segment. How would a firm whose products you buy actually use the VALS information to design products and ads to better meet your needs?

Nov. 15:  Roundtable on Subcultural Influences. Describe a brand or retailer that successfully serves a specific subcultural market and one that you think is a failure in doing so. Defend your analysis.

Nov. 22: Roundtable on Spokesperson Selection. Companies often analyze real persons or attributes that their consumers wish they had. Describe a firm who has made a successful choice and one that has failed. The failure can be a hypothetical example. Defend.

Nov. 29:  Roundtable on Household Change and Service Development:  How have households changed over the past 50 years? Are consumer behavior models and approaches relevant?  Give examples of products and services that 吐it today痴 households and of those that fail to meet the realities of household living.

Term Project:  A detailed handout will be given in class.

Rationale:  Focus groups with the MBA population at RU have indicated that there is a real interest in building practical knowledge and insight for use in your own companies.  The course is designed to do just that:  to acquaint you with the types of marketing analysis that is done in corporations, and to provide an opportunity for you to try them out on a real issue.

Selected Course Reference Readings

 Compulsive Consumption:  Thomas C. O竪uinn and Ronald J. Faber (1989), 鼎ompulsive Buying:  A Phenomenological Exploration, Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 16 (September), 147-157.

Impulsive Purchasing:  Kaufman-Scarborough, Carol and Judy Cohen (2004), 填nfolding Consumption Impulsivity:  An Existential-Phenomenological Study of Consumers With Attention Deficit Disorder, Psychology & Marketing, Vol. 21(8), 637-669.

Consumption Rituals:  湯We Gather Together:  Consumption Rituals of Thanksgiving Day, Journal of Consumer Research, 18 (June), 13-31.

Gift Giving:  Tina M. Lowrey, Cele C. Otnes, and Julie A. Ruth (2004), 鉄ocial Influences on Dyadic Giving over Time:  A Taxonomy from the Giver痴 Perspective, Journal of Consumer Research, Volume 30 (March), 547-558.

Nostalgia:  Holbrook, M.B. and R.M. Schindler (2003), 哲ostalgic Bonding: Exploring the Role of Nostalgia in the Consumption Experience, Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 3 (2), 107-127.

Perception of Color and Web Use: Kaufman-Scarborough, Carol (2001), 鄭ccessible Advertising for Visually-Disabled Persons:  The Case of Color Deficient Consumers, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Volume 18 (Summer), Number 4, 303-316.

Perception and Scent:  Morrin, Maureen and S. Ratneshwar (2003). 泥oes It Make Sense to Use Scents to Enhance Brand Memory? Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 40 (4), 10-25.

Perception and Shape: Wansink, Brian and Koert van Ittersum (2003), 釘ottoms Up! The Influence of Elongation on Pouring and Consumption Volume, Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 30 (December), 455-463.

Time Perception and Use:  Kaufman, Carol Felker, Paul M. Lane, and Jay D. Lindquist (1991), "Exploring More than 24 Hours a Day:  A Preliminary Investigation of Polychronic Time Use," Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 18, Number 3 (December), 392?401.

Subcultural Influences: Penaloza, Lisa  (1994), Atravesando Fronteras/Border Crossings, Journal of Consumer Research, 21 (1), 32-55.

Elderly Consumers:  Linda L. Price, Eric J. Arnould, and Carolyn Folkman Curasi (2000), 徹lder Consumers Disposition of Special Possessions, Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 27 (September), 179-201.

Culture and Measurement:  Wong, Nancy, Aric Rindfleisch, and James E. Burroughs (2003), 泥o Reverse-Worded Items Confound Measures In Cross-Cultural Consumer Research? The Case of the Material Values Scale, Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 30 (June), 72- 91.

Hispanic Shopping Behavior:  Kaufman, Carol Felker and Sigfredo Hernandez (1991), "The Role of the Bodega in a U.S. Puerto Rican Community," Journal of Retailing, Volume 67, Number 4 (winter), 375-396.

Consumer Behavior Fall 2004 Information

Name _______________________________________

Best way to reach you:       Tel:   _____________________________________________
                                              Email: ____________________________________________
                                              RU EMAIL:  ________________________________________

 Other Marketing courses taken in the past?

Any Marketing experience or skills?  In which areas of Marketing can you be considered a 迭esident  Expert?  (feel free to brag a little)

What are your goals for this course?  Is there any skill in particular which you would like to acquire?

What do you view as an important consumer research question for your company, in general, or in an area of your interest?

What would you like to learn in this class? Any specific topics of interest?

How can I make this course relevant to your career goals?

Employment (be as specific as you want): ___________________________________________

Approximate Hours per Week______________________________________________

Who are your company痴 customers? _______________________________________

Any expected absences?? ________________________________________________

1.  Preference for Roundtable Dates:  1st choice __________   2nd choice __________  3rd choice __________

2. Suggested group members for Term Project (list up to two OTHER persons):