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Implications From the “Old” and the “New” Physics for Studying Buyer Behavior

  • Michael I. Ryan

Abstract

Western science has traditionally emphasized the importance of subjecting theory to empirical scrutiny. My central thesis is that the field of consumer behavior has become preoccupied with empirical issues resulting in a lack of effort devoted to the development of theory that is needed to explain phenomena. First, I will argue that the field is preoccupied with empiricism and that this is unscientific whether one subscribes to the old science based on logical positivism and falsi-ficationism or the newer philosophies of science. Second, I will attribute this preoccupation to the predominate influence in consumer behavior of empirically driven social psychological and marketing approaches to knowledge. Third, consumer behavior’s present approaches to knowledge will be juxtaposed with the goals of the “old” and the “new” science. Fourth, the ideas expressed in this essay are illustrated by applying them to the well-known debate as to whether affect precedes or follows cognition in cognitive response models. My objective is to show that more attention must be given to conceptual analysis if we are to prevent empirical deadlocks that inhibit the expansion of our knowledge.

Keywords

Behavioral Intention Market Research Consumer Behavior Consumer Research American Market Association 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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  • Michael I. Ryan

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