Haugtvedt helps launch first-ever consumer psychology handbook

A new consumer psychology handbook, co-edited by a Fisher professor, is the first to provide a comprehensive overview of the discipline.

“The Handbook of Consumer Psychology” contains theoretical reviews and research studies in consumer psychology, marketing, advertising and consumer behavior by some of the field’s top scholars. Curtis P. Haugtvedt, associate professor of marketing and co-editor of the handbook, said it provides a history of the field, contains integrative literature reviews and sets the path for future research.

The handbook was created to provide researchers and students in various disciplines including advertising, communications, marketing, psychology and human ecology a reference point on consumer psychology, Haugtvedt said. A former president of the Society for Consumer Psychology, Haugtvedt edited the handbook along with Paul M. Herr, University of Colorado professor of marketing, and Frank R. Kardes, a University of Cincinnati professor of marketing.

The work examines the scientific understanding of cognitive, affective and behavioral responses to products and services as well as the marketing of products and services. A section on consumer well-being explores various ethical and social issues including compulsive shopping and tobacco advertising aimed toward children.

“The handbook is designed to define the discipline of consumer psychology in contemporary times,” Haugtvedt said. “It is the first handbook of consumer psychology so we felt it was essential to capture the field as best as we could.”

To provide a lasting impact, Haugtvedt and his fellow editors asked the contributors to address the future of consumer psychology. Because the contributions are from experienced psychologists and business professors, Haugtvedt believes the handbook will be a launching point for future research. At the end of each chapter, the researchers speculated on the major challenges facing consumer psychology and outlined possible directions for research in the field.

“Our authors are highly respected academics with very good research records,” Haugtvedt said. “They are at a point in their careers where they want to prompt future research and this gives them a platform to do that.”

The handbook is the centerpiece of the “Marketing and Consumer Psychology Book Series” developed and edited by Haugtvedt. The publisher of the book series is Lawrence Erlbaum Associates/Psychology Press, a division of Taylor Francis. Haugtvedt and his co-editors will be providing funds for future Society for Consumer Psychology Dissertation Research awards from a portion of the royalties from the handbook's sales.