When people ask me what I do for a living, I tell them I'm a consumer psychologist and then I brace myself for a wide range of interesting reactions: Some people ask if I'm reading their minds, and others ask if I believe in mind control. When I respond that I don't believe in mind reading, mind control, ESP, or reincarnation, I half expect some people to say, "What's wrong with you? Don't you have any flaky beliefs?" Unfortunately, most people don't realize that consumer behavior can be studied scientifically, and many fail to appreciate how effectively science can be used to debunk myths. Scientific methods can be used to investigate the psychology of advertising, the psychology of consumer judgment, and decision making. Consumers are frequently unable to explain how an ad influenced them or why they made a particular purchase. Fortunately, scientific research can be used to uncover mental processes and influences that affect consumers with or without their knowledge. This is what I find most fascinating about scientific consumer research, and this is what this book is all about. The scientific perspective is used throughout this book because research has shown that training in science (a) helps students to become critical thinkers (i.e., to not believe everything they read or hear), (b) helps students to improve their creative problem-solving skills, and (c) helps students to develop better decision-making skills (see Chapter 1). Critical thinking and strong problem-solving and decision-making skills are important to anyone who wants to be an effective manager in today's complex and extremely competitive marketplace. Firms need managers with strong critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills, and this book is designed to help students attain these important skills. Consumer behavior is the study of people's responses to products and services and the marketing of products and services. The focus on the consumer is the key contribution of marketing to business practice: other business functions (e.g., finance, accounting, production) ignore the consumer. However, managers who really understand their consumers develop higher quality products and services, promote their products and services more effectively, and devise marketing plans and strategies that foster sustainable competitive advantages for their firm. This book is organized in three main sections. Section I explains how consumers acquire, remember, and use information about products and services. Section II focuses on persuasion and influence, and explains how to influence consumers more successfully through the effective use of advertising, promotion, and other marketing tools. Section III examines managerial decision making. This section helps students to apply the arsenal of marketing tools and principles available to them. It also explains common decision-making biases and errors that plague managers and offers tools and strategies for avoiding these pitfalls. NEW TO THE SECOND EDITION The second edition has been updated with nearly 100 new references to help students keep abreast of the latest developments in scientifically grounded consumer research. This edition also features a new chapter on Online Consumer Behavior. This chapter explains how the Internet has changed the way consumers shop and the way products and services are marketed to consumers. In addition, the entire book has been updated significantly. Section I now opens with important new material on the key ways consumers differ from one another in terms of motives for buying and personality traits. These motives and traits are linked to current trends in the marketplace identified by executives from the DuPont Corporation. In addition, new material on really long-term memory has also been added to Section I. Section II opens with a new in-depth discussion of how to persuade consumers who are trying to avoid persuasion. Consumers recognize that aKardes, Frank R. is the author of 'Consumer Behavior and Managerial Decision Making', published 2001 under ISBN 9780130916020 and ISBN 0130916021.