Discretionary Income – That segment of personal income beyond what is required to maintain a clearly defined or historical standard of living. This part may be saved, without detrimental consequences to the established standard of living, or it may be used for purchases without detriment to old obligation or needs. See also: Disposable Income
Disposable Income – The personal income that remains after deduction of taxes and obligatory payments such as fixed social insurance premiums, rent, etc. See also: Discretionary Income
Economic Psychology – A specialty within the field of psychology involving the economic behavior of man, specifically the multitude of decision (making) processes. It concerns man in terms of purchaser and user (consumer) of services and products. Research methods include: laboratory experiments, interviewing techniques, scaled techniques. To the degree that psychological aspects are accentuated, marketing, marketing research, public relations or communications research maybe considered as belonging to the field of economic psychology.
Information acquiring Behavior – The behavior of the consumer prior to the actual purchase of an object. E addresses sources that will yield him information which to him is relevant in the decision to purchase or not-price, references, competitive offers, etc. See also: Durable consumer goods/Information seeking behavior
Information Seeking Behavior – The manifested behavior of a buyer or purchasing agent before the actual purchase. A search for sources that may yield relevant information prior to gathering information. See also: Durable consumer goods/Information acquiring behavior
Risk-taking Behavior -The risk that consumers are prepared to take in trying out a new product or service, changing to different brand, etc. In general relatively few consumers are prepared to take such risks. Most have a “wait and see” attitude. See also: Life cycle
Spending Pattern – A model or description of the financial expenditures of a person, family or group of persons. As a rule, it involves classifications such as food, rent, insurance, recreation, etc.
Survey Research Center – Place of origin of economic psychology: research institute of the University of Michigan that, in 1950’s was the first to engage in social scientific research into consumer behavior. See also: Survey research/Index of consumer sentiments
Token Economy – Literally: an economy based on tokens (instead of money). The circulation of currency is simulated, by means of coded tokens, in a small closed community or laboratory setting. Such experiments are important in economic psychology.
Attribution – Literally: Adjudication, ascription. Traits ascribed to individuals. The attribution of characteristics occurs on a subjective basis. See also: Attribution theory
Attribution Theory – A modern theory contending the interpersonal relations are, to an important degree, determined by whatever traits people ascribe to one another, which may or may not be justified. Attribution is based on the selective perception and judgment. Incorrect attribution signifies that a social relationship will be “colored.” For example: the subject questioned may wonder why the interviewer behaves aggressively. If this observation and judgment are incorrect, the answer given will be prejudiced. See also: Selective perception/Stereotype
Field Theory – A theory that every event or situation comes into being by way of psychological laws that explain the interaction between the environment and the individual. It is the function of psychology to define such laws and convert them into mathematical terms and symbols.
Halo Effect – Literally: wreath of light, an aura (around the head). The tendency to judge another either too highly or not highly enough, in either a positive or negative sense, exclusively on the basis of one single exceptionally striking or distinguishing trait. For example: to (incorrectly) assume that someone who is well dressed is wealthy, intelligent, and cosmopolitan. This effect is of importance in an interview.
Interaction – 1. Psychology. Every relationship that permits individual to influence each other (by way of discussions, exchange of letters, nodded assents, looks of disapproval, gossip, conference, etc.)
- Statistics. A measure of the degree of relationship between two or more variables.
Life Space – The area in which a person lives, works and plays. Life space theory has to do with the interaction of an individual with his environment. See also: Interaction
Lifestyle – The characteristic pattern of living of a person or group of persons. These characteristics are evident from the manner in which language is used, dress, activities, hairstyles, possessions, purchasing behavior, etc. See also: Interest/Psychographics
National Character – The behavior, norms, values, and attitudes considered to be characteristic of a specific nation, people or state. Example: the Frenchman’s or Italian’s tendency to communicate with gestures.
Social Facilitation – Modification of behavior in a specific situation because of the influence of others. The others facilitate the occurrence of the behavior. For example, seeing someone else eat induces a desire in you to eat. Or being a member of or participating in a group enhances the performance of the individual participants (teamwork). This effect comes about as a result of encouraging language, nods of approval, or, I the event of negative behavior, head shaking and other kinds of social ostracism.
Social Interaction – See: Interaction
Social Psychology – One of the five basic fields of psychology, closely associated with sociology. It involves the behavior of the individual in society, experimental research on the influence of the social and cultural environment on the individual, and interaction between people. See also: Sociology/Interaction
Value – Concrete or abstract quality: the importance ascribed to an object or entity by a person or group of persons.