Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


2014 Seminar on Leadership and Cultural Change

Event Details

Previous Page


Invited Paper Session #4
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Consumer Behavior Analysis and Cultural Change: Understanding and Addressing Environmental Concern

Friday, May 23, 2014
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
W190a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: OBM; Domain: Basic Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Gordon R. Foxall, Ph.D.
Chair: Mark P. Alavosius (University of Nevada, Reno)
GORDON R. FOXALL (Cardiff University)
Gordon Foxall is a distinguished research professor at Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, where he directs the Consumer Behaviour Analysis Research Group (CBAR) He holds Ph.D.s in industrial economics and business (University of Birmingham) and in psychology (University of Strathclyde), and a higher doctorate (DSocSc) from the University of Birmingham. He is the author of more than 200 refereed papers and more than 20 books. He has held visiting appointments at the Universities of Michigan and Oxford. A fellow of the British Psychological Society (FBPsS) and the British Academy of Management (FBAM), he is an academician of the Academy of Social Science (AcSS). His research interests are in psychological theories of choice and their neuroeconomic underpinnings and in the explanation of consumer choice and the behavior of the marketing firm. He has published in journals including Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, Behavioural Processes, The Behavior Analyst, Journal of Economic Psychology, Psychology and Marketing, and Journal of Business Research. His monograph, Interpreting Consumer Choice: The Behavioural Perspective Model was published in paperback by Routlege in 2013.

Consumer behavior analysis employs explanatory variables honed in experimental analyses to understand complex human socio-economic behaviors that are not amenable to laboratory investigation. A synthesis of behavior analysis and consumer science, it involves both the behavioral economics of choice in the market place and--the subject of this talk--the interpretation of consumer behavior in natural settings that suggests solutions to pressing cultural concerns such as environmental despoliation through consumption. The paper examines three aspects of this problem: the nature of consumer behavior as a set of contingent activities, the nature of marketing response, and the opportunities for remedial action that follow from the interaction of consumer choice and the marketing firm. Translating what we have discovered through the experimental analysis of behavior into applicable solutions to social and economic problems requires a willingness to adapt our science to the demands of social technology, to recognize the complexities inherent in the reinforcement of complex behavior, and to make our unique approach to behavior--in this case, consumer behavior and marketing response--available to a broader community. The paper deals therefore with the pattern of reinforcement (consisting of both utilitarian and informational reward) that shapes consumer choice, the bilateral contingencies which integrate consumer and corporate behaviors, and the particular requirements of any program that seeks to redress the effects of over-consumption on the physical and social environment. An important subtheme will address what this kind of response to social and environmental concerns requires of behavior analysts.

Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, graduate students, and anyone interested in learning more about human soci-economic behaviors outside the laboratory

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the event, participants should be able to (1) Understand the pattern of bilateral contingency that binds consumers and providers in the process of productive exchange: (2) Appreciate how behavior analysis can increase our knowledge of environmental concerns and our preparedness to respond; and (3) Recognize the demands on both our science and our own behavior as behavior analysts if we are to make our work relevant to society.
Keyword(s): behavioral economics, consumer behavior, Leadership Seminar



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh