They do it, so I must do it too!!


Conformity can be referred to a situation in which people change their belief or judgment due to group pressure in order to become consistent with others (Crowell, E.L., no date). This phenomenon could also happen in a purchasing situation. Imagine, we may buy jacket of specific brand as our friends also wear that or when we are deciding whether we want to buy an item, we will seek the opinion from different people before we purchase it.


How is this occurrence happened? Moreover, what are the reasons for people to follow others? According to Lee, Y. J., & Park, J. (2008), they explained the conformity in buying behavior is due to the expertise of the others in group. In other words, people tend to believe the idea of others because they believe the understandings of others towards the products. In additional, Lee, M.W. (2007) also demonstrated that conforming buying is correlated to impulsive buying. She explained that although consumers were not intend to buy any items initially, they would conform to the social norms of consumption in order to gain social approval. It is important to note that conformity purchasing behavior is also varied with sex difference. Wu, W. C., & Huan, T. C. (2010) showed that females were more easily to change their ideas and follow others perception.


It is easy that we will follow others ideas. However, we might prevent conforming purchasing if we are not impulsive buyer. As mentioned above, people would affected by others easily if they didn’t plan to buy.

From the above,


Crowell, E.L. (no date). Social Conformity Definition: Normative vs. Informational. Retrieved 25th March 2014, from

Lee, Y. J., & Park, J. (2008). The Mediating Role of Consumer Conformity in E-compulsive Buying. Advances in Consumer Research, 35.

Lee, M.W. (2007). Investigating the Relationship between Conformity and Impulse Purchasing Behavior. Operating Management Reviews, 3(2), 117-127.

Wu, W. C., & Huan, T. C. (2010). The effect of purchasing situation and conformity behavior on young students’ impulse buying. African Journal of Business Management, 4(16), 3530-3540.


How does online shopping bring benefit to the firm?

Many people enjoy online shopping nowadays. This trend become prevalent might due to the consumer’s internal characters, such as egocentric and impatient (Online survey, 2012). Indeed, how do businessmen make use of online purchasing to gain benefit?



According to one website (Hubpages, 2011), it mentioned that a merchant might make use of a psychological phenomenon of social acceptance to purchase items through the internet. Social acceptance is a term which can be referred to a situation that peopleare acting and believing in accord with social pressure (Myers, D.G., no date).From this point of view, businessmen can gain benefit from a situation that using a website to show the items of what people like, such as Facebook or Twitter. Once people saw their friends are interested in a certain items, they will easily to pay attention to that product and might buy it eventually due to the pressure of social acceptance.



Moreover, it also displayed that some online purchasing companies, such as Ebay and Amazon, implemented the loyalty program, which is a program which provide incentive to customers who showed loyal buying behavior to a firm (Farfan, B., no date).  This kind of strategy utilizes the term of reciprocity from social psychology. This phenomenon can be referred to a situation in which others will do something for us because we did  favors to them (Cherry, K., no date). Therefore, in order to maintain consumer’s purchasing behavior, some firms implemented loyalty program to provide some incentives, such as discounts or coupons, to enhance selling rate.  


Surfing internet is very prevalent nowadays. Through the internet, people can acquire a lot of information, including different types of products. Thus, selling products through the internet can definitely draw customers attention on the items and enhance firm’s profiability.




Cherry, K. (no date). What is the rule of reciprocity. Retrieved 18th March 2014, from


Farfan, B. (no date). Customer loyalty program. Retrieved 18th March 2014, from


Hubpages (2011). The psychology of online shopping. Retrieved 18th March 2014, from


Myers, D.G. (no date). Social psychology. Retrieved  18th March 2014, from


Online survey (2012). Consumer psychology on Online shopping. Retrieved 18th March 2014, from


Why do we buy branded product??


Levis jeans, Ray Ban glasses, and Adidas sport clothing etc. are some of the examples of prevalent branded product. It is common that people will choose these kinds of brand when they are hoping to buy some related products. For example, when we are shopping in a sport clothing store, we will probably choose the well-known products, such as Adidas, Puma or Nike. Why there is a tendency that people will choose famous brand rather than a normal tag?

To explain this phenomenon, we can use two psychological theories to explain it. On one hand, there would be a probability that people will tend to buy branded products due to increased self-awareness (Management Study Guide, no date). This situation can be explained by incentive theory of motivation, which can be referred to a circumstance that people are motivated to perform a certain kind of behaviour because of desired outcome (Cherry, K., no date). On the other hand, the occurrence of people inclined to purchase more popular items might due to enhanced social approval (Radwan, M.F., no date). Accordingly, this can be explained by social proof theory, which stated that people might try to seek suggestions from others when they are not familiar with the behaviours that they should act. For example, as in the circumstance we mentioned above, people might buy the sport clothing products of Adidas or Nike by asking their friends opinion when they have no idea about the brand of sports.  


Although we know practicability is somehow more important than branding, we are tend to purchase the more popular product. From the above, we can see the importance of social approval and the feeling of others towards us and this will drive us to buy the most fashionable items.    





Cherry, K. (no date). Theories of Motivation: A Closer Look at Some Important Theories of Motivation. Retrieved 12 March 2014, from

Management Study Guide (no date). Psychological Factors affecting Consumer Behaviour. Retrieved 12 March 2014, from

Radwan, M.F. (no date). Social proof theory. Retrieved 12 March 2014, from



How do businessmen make use of the consumer needs?


       In order to attract consumers to buy the products, it is important to understand the needs of consumers. Accordingly, people needs can be divided into five categories, including physiological, safety, belongingness, esteem, and self-actualization, and this is referred to the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (Consumer behaviour: a needs perspective, no date). This theory states that individuals have to satisfy each of the needs stage by stage, with physiological need is the lowest level and self-actualization is the highest level. Let’s have a look of the examples of advertisement that used the principle of this theory.

This is the advertisement which made use of the safety needs from the hierarchy:

Clothing can be referred to the belongingness needs:

       Is it true that people needs are directly proportional to the people consumption? Oleson, M. (2004) showed that there is an obvious relationship between money attitude and needs. According to this study, it is found that money attitudes were most related to safety and esteem needs and least related to physiological, love, and actualization needs. Moreover, it also indicated that there is a sex difference in this correlation. In terms of men, money attitude was most related to safety needs, while money attitude of women was most related to esteem needs. Thus, we can predict that men are more likely to spend money to buy safety-related products, whereas women are more likely to buy esteem-related items.



       Besides decorating different advertisements in terms of hierarchy needs, Nelson, J. (2011) also highlighted that businessmen would make advertisements in Facebook to promote their brand. As described above, belongingness is one of the needs that people trying to satisfied. Therefore, Facebook can provide a suitable platform for people to keep contact with friends, family, and mates and this can enhance the relationship between them (needs of belongingness). Thus, merchants make use of this thing and make advertisements in Facebook in order to gain more customers. 



Consumer behaviour: a needs perspective (no date). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Retrieved 4th March 2014, from

Nelson, J. (2011). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Purchasing. Retrieved 4th March 2014, from

Oleson, M. (2004). Exploring the relationship between money attitudes and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. International Journal of Consumer Studies28(1), 83-92.



When you are shopping in a mall, what makes you want to buy the product? Practicability of that product? Nice appearance of that product? Good attitude of the salesperson? Usually, you will buy that product because it is useful to you. Sometimes, however, you were “persuaded” by the salespeople as you fell into their trap initially.


This kind of selling strategy can be referred to a social psychology concept, compliance, which can be defined as a change in behavior consistent with a communication source’s direct request (Cherry, K., 2013). In terms of this concept, one of the factor which easily put consumers into a trap is called reciprocity. This is the psychological strategy which mainly used by the salespeople. Under the reciprocity norm, it is assumed that if someone does something for others, others will do something in return (Gerrig, R. J., Zimbardo, P. G. 19th ed., 2010, p. 527). Imagine, we will usually not buy a cloth which cost you 1000 pounds. We might, however, probably consider if the salesperson said that he give you a 70% Discount. In this circumstance, consumers will usually experience a deep deliberation whether they should buy that products. This kind of selling skill is referred to door in the face technique, a situation in which people will often agree with the “smaller” request in comparison with the “big” one (Gerrig, R. J., Zimbardo, P. G. 19th ed., 2010, p. 527). Several studies support that people will usually accept moderate request than larger demand (Ajzen, I., & Fishbein, M., 1977; Cialdini, R. B. et al., 1975; Guéguen, N., 2011).


Moreover, beside reciprocity, another variable which will also make consumers fell into the trap is called commitment. This factor make use of one selling skill, foot in the door technique, which can be referred to a situation that once people promise the moderate request, they will easily agree to a larger request further (Gerrig, R. J., Zimbardo, P. G. 19th ed., 2010, p. 528).


In summary, it is prevalent that we will always “psychologically defeated” by the salesperson. although we know the skills used by the salespeople, we will still fall into their trap easily. Thus, to become an astute consumer, we should take the practicability of that product into consideration rather than “psychologically” persuaded by the salespeople. 


Ajzen, I., & Fishbein, M. (1977). Attitude-behavior relations: A theoretical analysis and review of empirical research. Psychological bulletin, 84(5), 888.


Cherry, K. (2013). Compliance – Psychology definition of the week. Retrieved 25 February 2014, from


Cialdini, R. B., Vincent, J. E., Lewis, S. K., Catalan, J., Wheeler, D., & Darby, B. L. (1975). Reciprocal concessions procedure for inducing compliance: The door-in-the-face technique. Journal of personality and Social Psychology, 31(2), 206.


Gerrig, R. J., Zimbardo, P. G. (19th ed). (2010). Psychology and Life. Boston: Pearson.


Guéguen, N., Jacob, C., & Meineri, S. (2011). Effects of the Door-in-the-Face technique on restaurant customers’ behavior. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 30(3), 759-761.

“Celebrity Effect” in advertisement

 photo heidi-montag-collection.jpg              

Obviously, there’s a lot of advertisements used celebrities to promote the brand and product. As all of us expected, people might pay more attention or even buy the product rapidly after watching those kinds of advertisements. The rationale for this occurrence might mainly due to the physical attractiveness and reputation of those well-know persons (Rafique, M., 2012). However, this might not be the only reason. Maybe we could say that advertisers made use of the psychological concept to persuade the consumers to buy their product.


We could explain this kind of phenomenon in terms of elaboration likelihood model, which is a theory that defines how likely people will focus their cognitive process to read a message and they will then follow the central or peripheral routes to persuasion (Gerrig, R. J., Zimbardo, P. G. 19th ed., 2010, p. 525). According to this model, there are two kinds of routes that lead people to persuasion, which are central and peripheral routes. On one hand, central routes refer to a situation in which people consider the persuasive messages seriously in order to make the decision of their buying behaviour. On the contrary, peripheral routes means people don’t think about the advertising message deeply. Instead, they focus on the cursory cues in the circumstance. Therefore, advertisers make use of the people’s peripheral routes to persuasion. In other words, they recruit the celebrities take part in the product advertisement in order to let consumers do not take the products into deep consideration and just focus on their ‘idol’. This makes sense as we mentioned above that the physical appearance and the standing of the celebrities play an important role in the buyers consumption behaviour.


From the above, we can clearly see that using celebrities as a selling point is a very powerful way in advertising. Eventually, we might question about that,  “Do we really need that things? Or just celebrity effect?” 





Gerrig, R. J., Zimbardo, P. G. (19th ed). (2010). Psychology and Life. Boston: Pearson.


Rafique, M. (2012). Impact of Celebrity Advertisement on Customers’ Brand Perception and Purchase Intention. Asian Journal of Business and Management Sciences, 1(11), 53-67.


Which one do you want? Coke or Pepsi?


Most of us should enjoy having soft drink during meals.  Obviously, coke is one of the most prevalent beverage that we might choose. Now, imagine you are going to the supermarket or restaurant, which brand of coke that you will buy or order? Coca cola? Or Pepsi?  It seems usually people will choose Coca cola rather than Pepsi.  How was that?

Paracha, J. et al., (2012) carried out a study to investigate whether people will prefer coca cola or Pepsi.  As a result, among 400 participants, 259 of them possess a preference towards coca cola, whereas only 141 of them choose Pepsi. Beside showing  this difference, this study also displayed that most of the participants think taste is one of the important factor that make them choose their preference. Moreover, among both group of participants (Coca cola and Pepsi), most of them recognized price is also a vital reason for them to buy a drink. Beside taste and price, LyndseyEhgoetz (2013) also noticed that taste is not the only factor, but also way of marketing their brand. Accordingly, Coca-Cola has 75,149,476 followers on Facebook, while Pepsi just has 28,776,425. Social media is one of the most important way to establish the engagement with customers.  As Baer. J, (no date) highlighted, daily story feedback is one of the way that might lead you success in your business. He mentioned that “the more fans that click “like” and comment, the more likely your future updates are to be seen in their News Feed, dramatically increasing your actual Facebook audience” .  Lastly, advertisement is also important for leading a brand to success. Although both of them engaged in advertising in order to promote their own enterprise, Pepsi  made a serious mistake in their advertisement due to racism.


As a consumer, when we are considering whether we want to buy a drink, we will definitely take our own preference and its popularity into consideration. As we mentioned above, there is 75,149,476 followers on Facebook, which is much more than Pepsi. Therefore, people might prefer coca cola due to its reputation. However, it is important to note that even Coca cola has more followers, Tanner, K. (2013) noted that this may due to own perference. She mentioned that there is a study used blind people as participants to investigate whether Coca cola or Pepsi are better suited to people flavour. Although result indicated that there were more people prefer Pepsi, there are still a lot of people prefer Coca Cola nowadays. She used the term placebo effect to explain this phenomenon, where people might think they were drinking coca cola which make them recognize coke is better than Pepsi. Therefore, besides taste, price, ways of advertisement, and social media marketing, people own preference would still be a reason for them to choose coke rather than Pepsi.



Baer. J. (no date). 6 Critically Undervalued Social Media Success Metrics. Retrieved 12 February 2014, from

LyndseyEhgoetz (2013). Coca-Cola Vs Pepsi: The Difference Is More Than Just Flavour!. Retrieved 12 February 2014, from

Paracha, J., Munam, A., Waqas, M., Raza Khan, A., & Ahmad, S. (2012). Consumer Preference Coca Cola Versus Pepsi-Cola. Global Journal of Business & Management Research12(12).

Tanner, K. (2013). Brand Loyalty: Why do people think they prefer Coca-Cola?.  Retrieved 12 February, 2014, from

What did I learn from here?

I have to say I am really enjoy learning in this module. The most impressed thing is that we can find topics and discuss it with other. In fact, active learning is one of the most efficient learning method. It is not just motivating us to study harder, but by observing others presentation, we can acquire the learning strategies from others (Ten Benefits of Active Learning Drawn from Theory, no date). In this module, I have been talked about the topic about chunking, group studying, outdoor learning, and eventually small class learning.


Firstly, chunking is one of the method to assist memory in learning. The reason for me to chose this topic is because I am really impressed by the area of memory when I was studying psychology in undergraduate degree. Moreover, I commonly use this way for memorizing in order to gain a greater academic result. Therefore, I really want to know the effectiveness of chunking. As a result, the information I found indicated that it is useful for students to improve their reading skills. In addition, one finding also displayed that chunking is handy when we are acquiring new languages.


Then, the topic that I have been covered is group studying. In terms of my views, however, group studying is not that effective by comparing with individual studying. Because I prefer to work alone rather than in a group. Thus, the rationale for me to chose this topic is because I am curious what are the advantages and disadvantages of group studying. Consequently, the evidences that I have found showed that group studying possess more advantages than drawbacks and it is generally recognized by most of the students and teachers. On one hand, students would be more motivated in learning. Moreover, they can develop responsibility attitude in cooperation. On the other hand, teachers also thought that group studying is beneficial. Accordingly, they recognized that students can cultivate friendship and communication skills and thus students can study in a more enjoyable way. Still, some limitations are also stated. A study showed that some students complained that the responsibility of task work is not evenly distributed in a group. Furthermore, some teachers also thought that it takes a lot of time to allocate students to a different group.


Thirdly, it is about the outdoor learning. Mostly, Hong Kong educational system is arranged indoor learning rather than outdoor learning in school. Based on my opinion, it is boring to learn in a classroom. It will be more interesting to learn outside as students and teachers would have more interaction. From my blog of outdoor learning, the majority of the information that I have found showed that outdoor learning is beneficial. It is not only can develop student’s passionate in learning, but it can also cultivate students to become the real-world problem solver. Finally, however, I still found one study which exhibited that outdoor learning is not benefit to all of the students. It showed that the effectiveness of outdoor studying is depends on student’s temperament. From the study, it displayed that withdraw temperament is not suitable in outdoor learning.


Lastly, I have been talk about the class size matter in learning. Personally, I will absolutely agree with the implementation of small class learning (SCL). I have been studying in a large class before and I found that it is difficult for students to be concentrated. Therefore, the objective for me to choose this topic is to explore the effectiveness of SCL. Obviously, a lot of studies supported that SCL would enhance student’s academic performance. It is also generally recognized by both students and teachers. In terms of students, they feel that it is easier to pay attention to the class and they can be equally taught because teachers can spend more time on different students. In the light of teachers, they would feel more comfortable and enthusiastic in teaching students. Moreover, they would get to know more about different students and they can allocate time on different students. However, not all of the students thought SCL is the best educational system. Based on the findings, one student thought that class size is not as important as teacher’s teaching quality. They think that teaching plays a more important role in learning achievement. Therefore, SCL seems not benefit to all kind of students.


Although from this module we have learned a lot of information from different educational issues, it is apparent that educational system is not well-suited for everyone. In fact, we should try to be more critical in learning system in order to find a more beneficial learning ways to help students to improve their academic performance. However, it is not possible to fulfill every students needs, Therefore, I think students need to be independent and try to adapt to their own learning circumstance. Despite exploring drawbacks in a learning system is an effective way to improve learning outcome, it is not possible to improve all of the limitations. Therefore, students should find the ways to overcome the difficulties in their learning environment as well.


Finally, I hope all of you would enjoy my blogs in the pass few weeks.



Ten Benefits of Active Learning Drawn from Theory (no date). Retrieved 7 December 2013, from