Consumer behavior


How do consumers choose?

Sustainability is important to you, but you would rather not pay extra for sustainable food or to acquire solar panels. You want to save money to purchase a house, but can’t resist the temptation of buying the latest smartphone model. You want to look forward to a worry-free retirement, but really don’t feel like delving into financial matters. You resolve to finally get serious with a healthy lifestyle, but can’t help popping into the fast-food cafeteria the very next day. How can we motivate consumers to make choices that, in the end, are better for themselves and for society as a whole?

Our experienced consumer researchers are experts in performing high-quality (policy) research into consumer issues. Our work is commissioned by public authorities, non-profit organizations, and the private sector. With our versatile team of postdoctoral researchers, we can draw on the latest insights from psychology, marketing studies and behavioral economics. We also actively contribute to these insights through regular publications in leading scientific journals.


Which themes do we investigate?

We investigate a highly diverse range of issues. Our main themes are:

  1. Financial behavior
  2. Sustainability
  3. Nutrition and health
  4. Advertising and media

To give some examples of previously conducted studies: how can you encourage consumers to set aside money with a view to future unexpected expenditures? Does the  designation “child benefit” increase the likelihood that parents will actually spend the benefit on their children? How can you best motivate consumers to buy products with a smaller ecological footprint? Do consumers recognize advertising on social media and does this determine the extent to which they are influenced by such advertising?

Our approach

Human behavior is complex. To effectively change behavior specific knowledge is required of both the causes of behavior and of the techniques to effectively engage with these causes. That is why we deliver tailored research.

Tailored research

We want to understand why consumers do or do not make certain choices; what drives them and what inhibits them to do so? Suppose, for instance, that consumers appear to not use certain information when making choices. Is that because they do not understand the information; or because they think the information is unimportant or unreliable; or do they simply have too little attention for the information, or even none at all, at the moment of making their choices?

The first step in our research project is therefore to better understand what the problem is. After that we can choose the research method that best suits the issue.

For example, we could start by fielding surveys (questionnaires) through the LISS panel or by conducting in-depth interviews among your consumer target group, aimed at identifying specific drives and inhibitors. We can then combine the latest insights with our extensive knowledge on behavioral change to develop (more) effective interventions and products, and to test these by means of thorough online or field experiments. For this we use the latest methods in the field of data collection and research methodology, combined with advanced data analysis techniques.

In this way, you are assured of solid and reliable research results.


You will receive a clear (interactive) research report containing the most important information about the research methodology and the results, plus specific recommendations for your (policy) question.

Our research projects usually result in publicly available research reports.

Further information? Please contact us.

Meet our team
dr. Millie Elsen
dr. Millie Elsen
Senior researcher
dr. Roxanne van Giesen
dr. Roxanne van Giesen
Senior researcher
dr. Lieke Heil
dr. Lieke Heil