Perspectives on Decision Making: Do consumers consume ‘rationally’

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A 3,000 word individual report that examines data around a recent trend in the consumption process and evaluates underpinning theory in understanding and explaining the trend.
Topic: Perspectives on Decision Making: Do consumers consume ‘rationally’?
If we are to believe the development in modern consumer processes, it could be argued that as consumer choice increases and consumption becomes more complicated, the rationality of our purchasing decisions becomes more ‘irrational’. Consumer phenomena such as postmodern consumption, hedonism, globalisation, standardisation, sub-cultural and psychological purchasing powers (as well as other phenomena) have a role to play in the way we purchase and use services. The following assessment asks you to look into the role of these forces on the rationality of the consumer in your chosen degree area.
This assessment asks for a critical discussion into the above issue in the form of an essay. In particular, you are to use appropriate theory and examples to critically discuss the issue of rational / irrational purchases in modern society.
As a guide think about the following issues:
* What does academic material mean by the concept of ‘Irrational Consumers’?
Does irrational consumption exist in your subject industry? (You need to provide a critical discussion by including and agreeing / critiquing with the theory and references using examples from your chosen industry).
* Who makes consumers irrational? Is it the consumer themselves (how could this be) or is it the organisations who sell services? Justifying again through theory and examples.
* Where does irrationality occur in the decision making process?
* What are the main forces which create irrational consumption?
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