Individual Assignment: MR1115 Consumer Behavior

Individual Assignment: MR1115 Consumer Behavior

The purpose of the assignment is to get you to think about the psychology of consumer behavior by applying it to your own life.  The theories or concepts that you apply are basically up to your own perception of your own behavior.  However, these must be theories grounded in the text and classroom discussion (i.e. I don’t want off the wall theories like aliens made you buy Tide rather than Cheer).  The journal will have three goals: understanding the influences behind your purchases, understanding the consequences of your purchases, and giving you a chance to reassess and change your purchase patterns.

The method is as follows:

  1. At the end of each week, look for 3 products you seem to “consume” most regularly or consistently, then think back on that week and analyze:
  1. why you bought that product over another
  2. what advantages or disadvantages resulted from purchasing that product over others
  3. your satisfaction/dissatisfaction with the purchase
  4. your intent to continue that purchase (or note if you decided to change your purchase pattern & why)
  1. At the end of the four weeks, choose 3 key products and consider the one major psychological factor or process for each separate product (e.g. peer pressure, learning, subliminal messages etc.) that contributed most to your consumption pattern (i.e. one different process for each of the 3 products).

I want you to be very specific to both the psychological processes and its application to your specific purchase pattern.  I want to see specific reasons for why you think it was that process that was most influential on that product.

The maximum length the report should be six (6) pages double spaced, with 1 inch margins and 12 point Times New Roman font. 

Your grade will be based on three main criteria:

1) your ability to briefly summarize the psychological process

  • you must show that you understood what the process involves, how it works, how it influences consumer behavior in general

2) your ability to effectively communicate its application to your life

  • you have to then take the theory one step further to show specifically how it applies to your particular consumer behavior and why it is the major reason behind your purchase pattern

3) the clarity and effectiveness of your communication compared to others in the class

  • in this respect, writing style does matter because it is part of effective communication
  • the key is to convey your point simply and clearly (BIG WORDS do not impress, but clarity does)

Grade Value:

Journal         (5%)

Report          (10%)

Presentation (5%)


Plagiarism is using any work, idea, thought, etc. of someone else (from books, articles, television, conversations, the internet etc.) and present it as your own.  In essence this represents cheating.  I realize that the ideas you will be basing your paper on will be from the work of others.  This is common practice in scientific writing.  When you do so you must give them credit for their ideas or work by giving them a citation along with their idea (see the examples below).  By citing them, you are saying that the idea is theirs and not yours.  Your ideas can flow around theirs, but you must give credit where it is due.  The most common form of plagiarism at the undergraduate level is REWORDING.  This is plagiarism because you didn’t do any work (cognitive or otherwise) in rewording. 

Another method of avoiding plagiarism is to quote the original sources.  Quotes are used when the wording of the source is reported verbatim.  For the purpose of this assignment I don’t want you to use quotes.  I would rather you tell in your words what you think the author meant.  Don’t be confused, however, into thinking that if you aren’t using a direct quote that the idea is yours.  If you paraphrase or summarize the ideas of someone else, it is still their idea and you must give them a proper citation.

You might be surprised, but it is typically evident when plagiarism has occurred.  Avoid the temptation because I will deal with such dishonesty harshly and assign a grade of zero and report your actions to the chair.

Citations and References in APA style:

If you cite it, you have to have it in a reference section.  Further, only use a reference for work that is cited (if you have a reference but no citation then it appears that you used someone’s ideas but didn’t give a citation).  Don’t copy references from the articles or books either, because many non-APA journals have different reference formats.


Evans, L. (1991).  Traffic safety and the driver.  New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Evans, L., & Kohn, S. (1989).  Traffic congestion, perceived control, and the psychological

          stress among urban bus drivers.  Journal of Applied Psychology, 76, 658-663.

Matthews, G., Dorn, L., & Glendon, A. I. (1991).  Personality correlates of driver stress. 

Personality and Individual Differences, 12, 535-549.

Selzer, M. L., & Vinokur, A. (1974).  Life events, subjective stress and traffic accidents. 

American Journal of Psychiatry, 131, 903-906.


The references should be on a separate page, with the title (References) centered at the top of the page (not underlined or bold or italics & using the same font as the rest of the paper).  All references should be double spaced.

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