Consumer Behaviour


Focusing on three strands of marketing-related research – behavioural decision-making, social processes in consumer behaviour, and consumer neuroscience – ERIM’s groundbreaking Consumer Behaviour theme contributes significantly to the development of new knowledge and understanding in a field where consumer implications are considerable.

This theme uses a variety of research methodologies and cutting-edge techniques, including in the fields of neuroeconomics and neuromarketing. Integral is the belief that gaining a deep understanding of consumers’ behaviour and how they arrive at decisions results in research with real-world value, not just for social scientists, but also for countless consumer-facing organisations seeking to develop product and service offerings with greater efficacy. At the same time the research findings of the programme provide valuable behavioural insights that benefit the realm of public policy.

Excellence in research

Achieving excellence and robustness in research is a central tenet of all ERIM’s research activities. It is by achieving excellence, and through the development of research that is insightful, meaningful and impactful, that ERIM has cultivated its undoubted reputation as a pre-eminent centre of scholarly study in the fast-paced world of management science.

Given the consumer-centric nature of the field, researchers within the theme of Consumer Behaviour frequently work in close collaborations with leading industry and public sector organisations as well as with other top research institutes around the world.

Societal relevance and impact

Exemplifying the value and impact of the theme’s research, faculty members have seen their work published in leading journals such as Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes and Marketing Science, Journal of Consumer Psychology, American Economic Review, Games and Economic Behavior and Journal of Neuroscience.

The three research strands that make up the Consumer Behaviour theme are:

Behavioural decision-making

Ongoing research includes exploring the role of brands in consumer decisions and the role of memory and learning processes in decision-making. Research also involves the integration of behavioural decision-making theory in econometric models of consumer behaviour, for example, in the area of product search and consumer choice in complex decision environments. Research with important consumer welfare implications includes impulsive decision processes, decision-making under risk, self-control, and charitable, environmental and health-related decisions.

Social processes in consumer behaviour

Research on social processes in consumer behaviour has included word-of-mouth (WOM), health communications, gift giving and sharing between consumers, power and social exclusion, status, social comparisons between consumers, and brand relationships.

Faculty members collaborate with researchers at many institutions around the world including University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, and University of Colorado. Much of the research conducted in this stream has clear implications for public policy.

Consumer neuroscience

ERIM is at the cutting-edge of neuroscience research courtesy of the Erasmus Centre for Neuroeconomics. The centre investigates how neuroscience can gain insights into consumer behaviour and decision-making and establishing how neuro-imaging techniques such as fMRI and EEG can complement conventional marketing research methods. Researchers at the centre have seen their work published in the Journal of Neuroscience, Psychological Science, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Marketing Letters, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Nature Reviews Neuroscience and others.


ERIM takes great pride in developing a collaborative and highly professional working environment where researchers share common goals and strive together to achieve impactful research that reaches the highest academic standards.