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SPEAKER SPOTLIGHT: Cathrine Jansson-Boyd, consumer psychologist and Reader, Anglia Ruskin University

Cathrine Jansson-Boyd is a consumer psychologist and a Reader at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. She will be speaking in the event The best and worst about being a consumer on 27th October from 3.30-4.30pm.


Question: What are some of the positives of shopping?

Cathrine Jansson-Boyd: That you can do it with others and hence foster better social relationships and that if you purchase an experience it can make you happier.


Q: Can a shopping make a lasting psychological difference?

CJB: For most things, no. Having said that it depends on what you buy.


Q: Can shopping be addictive if it gives you a psychological boost?

CJB: Yes, feeling uplifted by shopping can be the first step towards what can become an addiction.


Q: How are shops trying to exploit that psychological boost in the way they market products?

CJB: Retail environments and marketing campaigns are usually trying to make people feel good. This could be anything from having a warm fan blowing on people as they enter a shop during the winter season (to create a warm and cosy feeling) to having happy-looking people representing a product in an advert.


Q: Does the same apply online?

CJB: There is an overlap between the techniques used in real life retail and online retail environments. However, there are also many different techniques employed as online environments are less flexible.


Q: Is the way we shop, eg, using contactless, made a difference psychologically - eg making shopping easier and making people less aware of what they are spending?

CJB: There are studies that clearly shows that when we don’t use money we are happier to part with our money as well as likely to spend more.


Q: Are we more or less in control of our consumerist habits?

CJB: People believe that they are, which often makes them more vulnerable to marketing influences.