Doctorate in Business and Socioeconomic Sciences

Sustainable Consumer Behavior

A country’s economy is driven, at the end, by consumer demands and consumer decisions. The fact that the so-called developed countries consume too much and leave an infeasible ecological footprint may be traced back, at least to a certain extent, to a myriad of decisions taken by consumers every day.

Environmental psychology: Although we know that our consumption level is much too high and requires a drastic change, the actual behavioral consequences seem to be marginal, in spite of a high level of awareness. Therefore, further research is needed on

  • why this is the case (in particular socio-economic aspects and issues of environmental and/or social psychology)
  • what this does to people
  • and how an appropriate change might look like
  • and how it could be communicated in order to reach acceptance, or which marketing strategies would be promising.

Gamification is the use of game elements and game design approaches in a non-game system context to motivate users intrinsically, to facilitate goal achievement, and to induce behavioral changes. It is an emerging research topic that attracts attention from researchers from fields as diverse as business (especially marketing), education, neuroscience, information systems, human-computer interaction, and psychology. Despite the steadily growing number of publications on gamification, the concept and its applications are still elusive and previous research provides conflicting results on the effectiveness and efficiency of gamification. Potential PhD topics include the assessment of the effectiveness and efficiency of gamification applications in the context of education or in industrial settings.