Advertisement

Summary, Opportunities, Challenges, and Recommendations

  • George P. Moschis
Chapter

Abstract

Researchers have long recognized the need to study consumers over the course of their lives and to identify the factors responsible for changes in consumer behaviors over time, but they have had inadequate theories and methods for accomplishing such objectives. This book has argued for the employment of the life course paradigm as a research framework to help study and understand consumers over their life span. The present chapter summarizes previous efforts to study consumers over the course of their lives and the main issues related to these efforts. Next, it highlights the merits of using the life course paradigm as a research framework and how its employment could help overcome shortcomings inherent in previous efforts. Furthermore, the chapter illuminates the life course paradigm’s potential contributions to the field of consumer behavior and points out challenges for researchers who employ the life course approach. Lastly, it offers recommendations to researchers who wish to study consumers over certain periods of their lives.

References

  1. Abeles, R. P., Steel, L., & Wise, L. L. (1980). Patterns and implications of life course organization: Studies from project talent. In P. B. Baltes & O. G. Brim (Eds.), Life-span development and behavior (pp. 307–337). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  2. Alford, R. R. (1998). The craft of inquiry. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Alwin, D. F., Thomas, J. R., & Wray, L. A. (2016). Cognitive development and the life course: Growth, stability and decline. In M. L. Shanahan, J. T. Mortimer, & M. K. Johnson (Eds.), Handbook of the life course: Volume II (pp. 451–490). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  4. Andreasen, A. R. (1984). Life status changes and changes in consumer preferences and satisfaction. Journal of Consumer Research, 11(3), 784–794.Google Scholar
  5. Baltes, P. B., Reese, H. W., & Lipsitt, L. P. (1980). Life-span developmental psychology. Annual Review of Psychology, 31, 65–110.Google Scholar
  6. Blossfeld, H., & Rohwer, G. (1995). Techniques of event history modeling: New approaches to causal analysis. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  7. Breytspraak, L. M. (1984). The development of self in later life. Boston: Little, Brown.Google Scholar
  8. Campbell, R. T., & O’Rand, A. M. (1988). Settings and sequences: The heuristics of aging research. In J. Birren & V. L. Bengtson (Eds.), Emergent theories of aging (pp. 58–79). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  9. Cohen, J. B., & Areni, C. S. (1991). Affect and consumer behavior. In T. S. Robertson & H. H. Kassarjian (Eds.), Handbook of consumer behavior (pp. 188–240). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  10. Colby, A. (1998). Foreword: Crafting life course studies. In J. A. Giele & G. H. Elder (Eds.), Methods of life course research: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  11. Crosnoe, R., & Elder, G. H., Jr. (2002). Successful adaptation in the later years: A life course approach to aging. Social Psychology Quarterly, 65(4), 309–328.Google Scholar
  12. Dean, W. (1988). Biological aging measurement: Clinical applications. Los Angeles: Center for Bio-Gerontology.Google Scholar
  13. Elder, G. H. (1987). Families and lives: Some developments in life-course studies. Journal of Family History, 12(1–3), 179–199.Google Scholar
  14. Elder, G. H. (1994). Time, human agency, and social change: Perspectives on the life course. Social Psychology Quarterly, 57(1), 4–15.Google Scholar
  15. Elder, G. H. (1998a). Life course and human development. In W. Damon & R. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology (pp. 939–991). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  16. Elder, G. H. (1998b). The life course as a developmental theory. Child Development, 69(1), 1–12.Google Scholar
  17. Elder, G. H., & Johnson, M. K. (2002). The life course and aging: Challenges, lessons, and new directions. In R. A. Settersen (Ed.), Invitation to the life course: Toward new understanding of later life, Part II. Amityville, NY: Baywood.Google Scholar
  18. Elder, G. H., George, L. K., & Shanahan, M. J. (1996). Psychosocial stress over the life course. In H. B. Kaplan (Ed.), Psychosocial stress: Perspectives on structure, theory, life course, and methods (pp. 247–292). Orlando: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  19. Elder, G. H., Johnson, M. K., & Crosnoe, R. (2003). The emergence and development of life course theory. In J. T. Mortimer & M. J. Shanahan (Eds.), Handbook of the life course (pp. 3–19). New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  20. Featherman, D. L., & Lerner, R. M. (1985). Ontogenesis and schizogenesis: Problematics for theory and research about development and socialization across the lifespan. American Sociological Review, 50(5), 659–676.Google Scholar
  21. Gaeth, G. J., & Heath, T. B. (1987). The cognitive processing of misleading advertising in young and old adults: Assessment and training. Journal of Consumer Research, 14(1), 43–54.Google Scholar
  22. Gentry, J. W., Baker, S. M., & Kraft, F. B. (1995). The role of possessions in creating, maintaining, and preserving one's identity: Variation over the life course. Advances in Consumer Research, 22, 413–418.Google Scholar
  23. George, L. K. (2003). Life course research: Achievements and potential. In L. T. Mortime & M. J. Shanahan (Eds.), Handbook of the life course (pp. 671–680). New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  24. Gould, S. J. (1991). The self-manipulation of my pervasive, perceived vital energy through product use: An introspective-praxis perspective. Journal of Consumer Research, 18(2), 194–207.Google Scholar
  25. Gould, S. J., Considine, J. M., & Oakes, L. S. (1993). Consumer illness careers: An investigation of allergy sufferers and their universe of medical choices. Journal of Health Care Marketing, 13(2), 34–48.Google Scholar
  26. Guest, L. (1964). Brand loyalty revisited: A twenty-year report. Journal of Applied Psychology, 48(2), 93–97.Google Scholar
  27. Harrison, R. L., Veeck, A., & Gentry, J. W. (2011). A life course perspective of family meals via the life grid method. Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, 3(2), 214–233.Google Scholar
  28. Heider, F. (1958). The psychology of interpersonal relations. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  29. Helsen, K., & Schmittlein, D. (1993). Analyzing duration times in marketing: Evidence of effectiveness of hazard models. Marketing Science, 11(4), 395–414.Google Scholar
  30. Henry, B., Moffitt, T. E., Caspi, A., Langley, J., & Silva, P. A. (1994). On the ‘remembrance of things past’: A longitudinal evaluation of the retrospective method. Psychological Assessment, 6(2), 92–101.Google Scholar
  31. Herbert, T. B., & Cohen, S. (1996). Measurement issues in research on psychosocial stress. In H. B. Kaplan (Ed.), Psychosocial stress: Perspectives of structure, theory, life course, and methods (pp. 295–332). San Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  32. Hershey, D. A., Henkens, K., & Van Dalen, H. P. (2010). Aging and financial planning for retirement: Interdisciplinary influences viewed through a cross-cultural lens. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 70(1), 1–38.Google Scholar
  33. Herzog, A. R., & Markus, H. R. (1999). The self-concept in life-span and aging research. In V. L. Bengtson & W. Schaie (Eds.), Handbook of theories of aging (pp. 227–252). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  34. Lee, E., Mathur, A., Kwai Fatt, C., & Moschis, G. P. (2012). The timing and context of consumer decisions: Insights from the life course paradigm. Marketing Letters, 23(3), 793–805.Google Scholar
  35. Mathur, A., Moschis, G. P., & Lee, E. (2008). A longitudinal study of the effects of life status changes on changes in consumer preferences. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 36(2), 234–246.Google Scholar
  36. Mayer, K. U., & Tuma, N. B. (1990). Life course research and event history analysis: An overview. In K. U. Mayer & N. B. Tuma (Eds.), Event history analysis in life course research (pp. 3–20). Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
  37. McAlexander, J., Schouten, J. W., & Roberts, S. D. (1993). Consumer behavior and divorce. In J. A. Costa & R. W. Belk (Eds.), Research in consumer behavior (Vol. 6, pp. 153–184). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  38. Moody, H. R. (1988). Toward a critical gerontology: The contribution of the humanities to theories of aging. In J. E. Birren & V. L. Bengtson (Eds.), Emergent theories of aging (pp. 19–40). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  39. Moore, E. S., Wilkie, W. L., & Desrochers, D. M. (2017). All in the family? Parental roles in the epidemic of childhood obesity. Journal of Consumer Research, 43(5), 824–859.Google Scholar
  40. Mortimer, J. T., & Shanahan, M. J. (Eds.). (2003). Handbook of the life course. New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  41. Moschis, G. P. (2000). Consumer behavior in later life: Multidisciplinary approaches and methodological issues. Research in Consumer Behavior, 9, 103–128.Google Scholar
  42. Moschis, G. P. (2012). Consumer behavior in later life: Current knowledge, issues, and new directions for research. Psychology & Marketing, 29(2), 57–75.Google Scholar
  43. Moschis, G. P., & Moore, R. L. (1982). A longitudinal study of television advertising effects. Journal of Consumer Research, 9(3), 279–287.Google Scholar
  44. Neugarten, B. L. (1984). Interpretive social science and research on aging. In A. Rossi (Ed.), Gender and the life course (pp. 291–300). New York: Aldine.Google Scholar
  45. O’Guinn, T., & Faber, R. J. (1991). Mass communication and consumer behavior. In T. S. Robertson & H. H. Kassarjian (Eds.), Handbook of consumer behavior (pp. 349–400). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  46. Passuth, P. M., & Bengtson, V. L. (1988). Sociological theories of aging: Current perspectives and future directions. In J. E. Birren & V. L. Bengtson (Eds.), Emerging theories of aging (pp. 333–355). New York: Springer Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  47. Pearlin, L. I., & Skaff, M. M. (1996). Stress and the life course: A paradigmatic alliance. The Gerontologist, 36(2), 239–247.Google Scholar
  48. Reich, J. W., & Zautra, A. J. (1988). Direct and stress-moderating effects of positive life experiences. In L. H. Cohen (Ed.), Life events and psychological functioning (pp. 149–180). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  49. Rentz, J. O., & Reynolds, F. D. (1983). Separating age, cohort, and period effects in consumer behavior. Journal of Marketing Research, 20(1), 12–20.Google Scholar
  50. Rodgers, W., & Hertzog, A. R. (1987). Interviewing older adults: The accuracy of factual information. Journal of Gerontology, 42, 387–394.Google Scholar
  51. Salthouse, T. A. (1999). Theories of cognition. In V. L. Bengston & K. W. Schaie (Eds.), Handbook of theories of aging. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  52. Salthouse, T. (2010). Major issues in cognitive aging. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  53. Schaie, K. W. (1987). Applications of psychometric intelligence to the prediction of everyday competence in the elderly. In C. Schooler & K. W. Schaie (Eds.), Cognitive functioning and social structure over the life course (pp. 50–58). Norwood, TN: Ablex.Google Scholar
  54. Schau, H. J., Gilly, M. C., & Wolfinbarger, M. (2009). Consumer identity renaissance: The resurgence of identity-inspired consumption in retirement. Journal of Consumer Research, 36(2), 255–276.Google Scholar
  55. Shanahan, M. L., Mortimer, J. T., & Johnson, M. K. (Eds.). (2016). Handbook of the life course: Volume II. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  56. Sherrod, L. R., & Brim, O. G. (1986). Retrospective and prospective views of life-course research on human development. In A. Sorensen, F. E. Weinert, & L. R. Sherrod (Eds.), Human development and the life course: Multidisciplinary perspectives (pp. 557–580). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  57. Shimp, T. A. (1991). Neo-Pavlovian conditioning and its implications for consumer theory and research. In T. S. Robertson & H. H. Kassarjian (Eds.), Handbook of consumer behavior (pp. 162–187). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  58. Smith, R. A., & Lux, D. (1993). Historical method in consumer research: Developing causal explanations of change. Journal of Consumer Research, 19(4), 595–610.Google Scholar
  59. Strahilevitz, M. A., & Loewenstein, G. (1998). The effect of ownership history on the evaluation of objects. Journal of Consumer Research, 25(3), 276–289.Google Scholar
  60. Wells, D. W. (1993). Discovery-oriented consumer research. Journal of Consumer Research, 19(4), 489–504.Google Scholar
  61. Yingwattanakul, P., & Moschis, G. P. (2017). Life course perspectives on the onset and continuity of preventive healthcare behaviors. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 38(5), 537–550.Google Scholar
  62. Yoon, C., Cole, C. A., & Lee, M. P. (2009). Consumer decision making and aging: Current knowledge and future directions. Journal of Consumer Behavior, 19(1), 2–16.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • George P. Moschis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MarketingGeorgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA

Personalised recommendations