Buyers and Sellers; The search for the grown-up consumer begins

I fantasize about a research environment in which a full psychological perspective treats sellers and buyers as equals in a strategic non-cooperative game, which has the potential to make both sides better off.

Brown Professor Joachim Krueger

Imagine a world in which consumer research sheds an equal amount of light on the psychology of buyers and sellers.  According to Brown Professor of Psychology Joachim Krueger, and faculty member in the Executive Master in Science and Technology Leadership program, the balance radically tips in favor of the later. There’s plenty of intel for the seller to manipulate the consumer but not vice versa.

“There are schools and endowed chairs for marketing, but where are the schools and chairs for successful buying and not getting ripped off? We know much more about the psychology of persuasion and compliance than about the psychology of parrying such influence attempts, or the psychology of optimal consumption.”

Is there a business advantage in rethinking the buyer as something other than a powerless agent to be manipulated over their fear of limited resources? Doesn’t eBay’s success point to this possibility – a marketplace that revives the art of haggling for a new era of optimal consumption?

We invite you to read the rest of Buyers and Sellers, as well as more of Professor Krueger’s blog, One Among Many on Psychology Today, where he explores “the self in social context.”

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