When Economic Experiments Can Help Consumer Research

  •  Steven Huff    


In their quest to better understand and predict human behavior, consumer researchers have been relatively unaffected by a growing trend in the social sciences—the interplay between economics and psychology. This is not necessarily a surprise given that consumer researchers are often trained within the psychology paradigm and often get little exposure to economics. The main purpose of this article, therefore, is to (a) introduce consumer researchers to methods of experimental economics, and (2) propose situations in which its tools and procedures can provide alternative approaches to common problems in consumer research. The article is divided into two main sections. First, it describes four key practices that characterize a typical economic experiment, and discusses how they can be applied to consumer research. The article then presents two procedures commonly used in experimental economics to elicit preferences and beliefs.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.