Originally published in High Plains Applied Anthropologist, Vol. 21, No. 2, Fall 2001. A revised version was published in Marketing Educators, Vol. 2, No. 2, Summer 2001. An earlier version was published in North American Journal of Psychology, Vol. 2, No. 2,2000.
Various approaches have been developed to teach consumer behavior, such as a psychological approach, a sociological approach, an economic approach, and a market research approach, among others. It is obviously that different approaches may not share the same focuses, for example, the psychological approach stresses the consumers’ psychological processes in terms of consumption decision making and post-consumption evaluation (Statt 1997); the market research approach stresses the linkages between the study of consumer behavior and the practice of marketing research (Finch 1997). There is no "black and white" cut off to determine which approach is better but the teaching outcomes may be significantly influenced by the approach that individual instructors adopt. In most cases it is up to the individual instructors to decide which approach or combined several approaches should be adopted according to his or her experiences, knowledge, and preferences to gain the best outcome. In his teaching practice, the author has adopted and developed an anthropological approach to consumer studies, which he would like to share with his colleagues in marketing education world.
Table 1 Student Evaluation Responses (Fall 2002)
Selected Evaluation Items Course Average College Average Rolling Average*
Problem-solving skills learned 5.00 4.26 4.29
Ability to write 5.00 4.23 4.08
Comments on papers 5.00 4.26 4.51
Goals and organization 4.67 4.34 4.12
Text and materials 4.67 4.14 3.97
* Rolling average is the average for all course evaluations on file.
Using the Food Service Sector as Learning Sites
Conclusions and Suggestions for Future Improvement
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