Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Sam McFarland, John Withey, John O'Connor


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Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


This study focuses on consumer life styles as a basic psychological phenomenon. While life styles are a frequent topic of discussion and an indirect focus of most psychographic research, an examination of the literature on life styles reveals the lack of a firm conceptual foundation. Also, while an examination of various research streams associated with life styles leads to the conclusion that this phenomenon must be defined as multivariate and dynamic, most prior consumer research has been unidimensional and static. Additional issues arise as a result of operational and methodological problems that stem from and add to the conceptual difficulties. The current study sought to merge conceptual basis for life style research. The primary objective of this study was to demonstrate how consumer value orientations might be incorporated into psychographic research in order to enhance descriptions, predictions and our understanding of various consumer life styles. A psychographic instrument was developed which incorporated measures of consumer value orientation, product purchase and use frequency, product attribute preferences, media use habits, and socio-economic characteristics. This instrument was tested against the consumption patterns of beer drinking and fine restaurant patronage for a mixed-sample of students and adults. Using a combination of multiple discriminant and Q-factor analysis, moderate levels of descriptive and predictive success were obtained. The theoretical and practical implications of a personal value-based life style research framework are discussed.


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences