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History Of Consumer Psychology Early Years To Post World War Ii


History Of Consumer Psychology Early Years To Post World War Ii

Learn about the fascinating history of consumer psychology from its early years to the post-World War II era. Explore how consumer behavior evolved over time and its impact on today's marketing strategies.


Consumer psychology is a field that delves into the intricate workings of the human mind and its relationship with consumer behavior. In this comprehensive article, we will take you on a journey through the history of consumer psychology, from its inception to the post-World War II era. You'll gain insights into the evolution of consumer behavior and discover how it has shaped modern marketing strategies. So, let's embark on this enlightening exploration of the “History Of Consumer Psychology Early Years To Post World War II.”

History Of Consumer Psychology Early Years To Post World War II

Consumer psychology has a rich history that can be divided into several key periods, each marked by significant developments and insights.

The Birth of Consumer Psychology

Consumer psychology traces its roots back to the late 19th century when businesses began to realize the importance of understanding consumer behavior. This era saw the emergence of early consumer studies aimed at deciphering consumer preferences and motivations.

The Influence of Sigmund Freud

During the early 20th century, Sigmund Freud's theories on the unconscious mind had a profound impact on consumer psychology. Advertisers started incorporating Freudian concepts into their campaigns, appealing to consumers' hidden desires and fears.

The Great Depression and Consumer Behavior

The Great Depression of the 1930s brought about a shift in consumer psychology. People became more cautious with their spending, and marketers had to adapt their strategies to appeal to frugal consumers. This period marked the beginning of market research as we know it today.

World War II and Propaganda

World War II saw the extensive use of propaganda to influence public opinion. This wartime propaganda inadvertently contributed to the understanding of psychological persuasion techniques that would later be applied in advertising.

Post-World War II Consumerism

After World War II, the world experienced an economic boom, leading to a surge in consumerism. Marketers capitalized on this by employing various psychological tactics to encourage spending. The field of consumer psychology expanded rapidly during this time.

The Emergence of Market Segmentation

In the post-war era, businesses started to recognize that one-size-fits-all marketing didn't work. Consumer psychologists played a crucial role in the development of market segmentation, allowing companies to tailor their messages to specific consumer groups.

The Digital Age and Online Shopping

With the advent of the internet in the late 20th century, consumer psychology faced new challenges and opportunities. Online shopping and e-commerce brought about changes in consumer behavior, necessitating a fresh understanding of how people make choices in the digital realm.

What is consumer psychology?

Consumer psychology is the study of how individuals make decisions related to purchasing goods and services. It explores the psychological factors that influence consumer behavior.

How did Sigmund Freud influence consumer psychology?

Sigmund Freud's theories on the unconscious mind and human desires influenced early advertising and marketing strategies, leading to the use of psychological appeals in advertising.

What role did the Great Depression play in consumer psychology?

The Great Depression prompted a shift in consumer behavior towards frugality, leading to the need for businesses to adapt their marketing strategies. Market research also gained prominence during this period.

How did World War II impact consumer psychology?

World War II saw the widespread use of propaganda, inadvertently contributing to the understanding of psychological persuasion techniques later applied in advertising.

What is market segmentation, and why is it important in consumer psychology?

Market segmentation is the process of dividing a market into distinct groups based on specific characteristics. It allows businesses to tailor their marketing efforts to different consumer segments, increasing effectiveness.

How has the digital age affected consumer psychology?

The digital age has brought about changes in consumer behavior, particularly with the rise of online shopping. Consumer psychology now encompasses the study of decision-making in the digital realm.


The history of consumer psychology is a fascinating journey that has evolved over the years, from its early beginnings to the post-World War II era. It has continuously adapted to changing consumer behavior and technological advancements. Today, consumer psychology remains a vital field in understanding how individuals make choices in a complex and interconnected world.

In this article, we've explored the key milestones and developments in the history of consumer psychology, shedding light on the profound influence it has had on marketing strategies. As businesses continue to strive for a deeper understanding of consumer behavior, the legacy of consumer psychology lives on, shaping the way products and services are marketed to a diverse and ever-evolving audience.

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