Fully funded PhD Studentship The psychology of consumer choice: empirical differences between memory and stimuli-based purchases and the implications for the competitive structure of markets

The School of Business and Economics at Loughborough University invites excellent applications for the above PhD Studentship starting October 2013.

The Studentship is open to home/EU and international/overseas students. It will run for 3 years and it includes:

  • A stipend of £13,726 p.a. plus fees paid at the home/EU rate for three years

* Please note that international/overseas students will be required to find funding to cover the difference between home/EU fees.

About the project:

Consumers tend to purchase goods and services on the basis of an unconscious trade-off between information they hold in memory and the exposure to stimuli present in the environment. At times, one aspect will dominate: for example, we might purchase a new phone based on what we know about that brand, but we might buy a chocolate bar simply because it is on special, with little or limited cognitive effort. Marketers are interested in understanding the circumstances under which one aspect might prevail, answering questions such as:

  • “Are there any specific goods or services for which consumers will be less sensitive to stimuli and are more likely to draw on the information held in memory when making a purchase?”


  • “How can brands adjust their competitive strategies in response to the predominance of memory processes or stimuli response underpinning purchase decisions?”

The project will involve the analysis of multiple sets of panel data capturing consumer knowledge and purchases for the same product category over time. It will seek generalisable patterns that can help clarify which recurring characteristics of a market match memory and stimuli based purchase decisions.

Supervisory team:

Dr Lara Stocchi, Lecturer in Marketing
Professor Thorsten Gruber, Chair in Marketing and Service Management

How to apply

Candidates are requested to submit:

  • An application form
  • A curriculum vitae
  • A cover letter explaining your interest in, and aptitude for, the topic of this research project. In particular we would like to learn about:
  • Why are you attracted to this particular research opportunity?
  • What qualities do you think you can bring to the project?
  • How does the studentship fit with you career aspirations?
  • A 2,000 word research proposal based on the topic of the research project. We ask you to specify a research question, clearly identify a gap in the academic literature and generally develop a roadmap for this research.
  • Copies of your transcripts/certificates
  • Two academic references.

For enquiries and details on how to apply please contact:

Tracey Preston
01509 228276

Please quote SBEPCC13 on your application

Studentship application deadline: 19th July 2013

For further details please contact:
Dr Lara Stocchi (L.Stocchi@lboro.ac.uk), or Professor Thorsten Gruber (T.Gruber@lboro.ac.uk)

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