Rationality of University Students: A Behavioral Economics and Consumer Behavior Perspective

By Hana Volfova, Jan Salamoun and Roberto Bergami.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Communication

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 19, 2015 $US5.00

This paper maps decision-making amongst university students, according to theories of consumer behavior described in existing literature. To determine the rationality (or irrationality) of decision-making, a number of exploratory experiments were conducted during a semester-long study program in consumer behavior with a small number of Faculty of Economics students at a university in the Czech Republic. These experiments focused on a number of interdisciplinary factors: decoy effect; risk perception; price anchor; psychological accounting; the effect of unavailability; and the placebo effect. The analysis of the data from these exploratory experiments reveals basic patterns of irrational decision-making behavior. The results from these studies appear to correlate with studies in other countries, suggesting common determinants of rationality (or irrationality), regardless of geographical differences. It is argued that because human behavior may be easily influenced and, to some degree, controlled, the results from these studies have interdisciplinary applications beyond the traditional spheres of marketing and consumer behavior.

Keywords: Consumer Behaviour, Rationality, Behavioural Economics

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Communication, Volume 10, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.1-15. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 19, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 441.617KB)).

Hana Volfova

Assistant Professor, Department of Trade and Tourism, Faculty of Economics, University of South Bohemia, Ceske Budejoivce, Czech Republic

Jan Salamoun

Assistant Professor, Department of Trade and Tourism, Faculty of Economics, University of South Bohemia, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic

Dr. Roberto Bergami

Senior Lecturer, College of Business, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victroria, Australia