Methods of Studying Economic Decisions in Private Households

Erich Kirchler, Laura Winter, Elfriede Penz

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review

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Research on joint decision-making processes in households is particularly relevant for marketing, especially for understanding who decides what to buy in purchasing decisions and how decision processes evolve. However, the investigation of such complex processes requires adequate research methods to account for the dynamics in close relationships. We provide a critical overview of past research in the arena of economic decision-making among couples, concentrating on methodological issues. After describing different types of decisions we proceed by describing findings on interaction dynamics, including the nature and occurrence of conflicts. In reviewing relationship structures we focus on the dimensions of harmony and power. The descriptive process model utilized includes the partners’ use of influence tactics, as well as the emergence of utility debts at the end of a decision-making process. Reviewing the adequacy of various research methods, observational and survey techniques are discussed as conventional psychological research methods. The Vienna Partner Diary is introduced as novel method and suggested as being useful for collecting data on the complex interaction processes in the everyday life of couples.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81 - 108
JournalRevista Crítica de Ciências Sociais
Issue numberdez
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502019 Marketing
  • 502020 Market research
  • 501003 Occupational psychology
  • 501015 Organisational psychology

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