Behavioural Economics is mostly a quant thing

Something strange seems to have happened in the world of market research since the publication of Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow and Daniel Ariely’s Predictably Irrational. Market researchers have recognised that the issues raised by Behavioural Economics (often referred to as BE) are highly relevant to market research and raise questions about some of the ways we have been doing business. However, there seem to be a remarkable number of market researchers who seem to asserting that BE is mostly a qual thing, or that the main implications of BE for market research will be a focusing on qual. Whilst I am a fan of qual for all sorts of purposes, I am of the firm belief that BE is mostly a quant thing. BE is based on controlled experiments, the use of very good quant to highlight what people do and interestingly to contrast that with both classical theories (such as the rational consumer) and with what people say they do. Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational is a good place to look at why BE is mostly quant, as it makes its broader cases by reporting a large number of experiments. For example, Ariely takes two samples of young men, […]