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Engineered to SellEuropean Émigrés and the Making of Consumer Capitalism$
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Jan L. Logemann

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226660011

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226660295.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 13 June 2021

From Mass Persuasion to Engineered Consent: The Impact of “European” Psychology on the Cognitive Turn in Marketing Thought

From Mass Persuasion to Engineered Consent: The Impact of “European” Psychology on the Cognitive Turn in Marketing Thought

Chapter:
(p.73) Three From Mass Persuasion to Engineered Consent: The Impact of “European” Psychology on the Cognitive Turn in Marketing Thought
Source:
Engineered to Sell
Author(s):

Jan L. Logemann

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226660295.003.0005

Over the course of the 1930s and 40s, consumers came to be seen as a diverse and socially contextualized group, which was not as easily swayed by mass media messages. Consumer behavior and attitudes were increasingly understood as complex phenomena, which required analysis drawing on a variety of approaches from individual, and social psychology to the probing of cognitive and perception processes. This was part of a larger story of transatlantic exchanges in the social sciences. Paul Lazarsfeld and his Vienna School elaborated conceptions of consumer motivations and offered new survey methodologies. Other émigré social scientists such as Berlin-trained psychologists Kurt Lewin and George Katona were instrumental in transforming ideas about the social psychology of consumption and about the formation and impact of consumer attitudes. Leading protagonists of Gestalt psychology also fled to the United States during the 1930s where their work informed a growing interest in cognitive processes among marketing psychologists. Transatlantic knowledge transfers thus fundamentally altered midcentury consumer psychology.

Keywords:   Social and Gestalt Psychology in Marketing, Kurt Lewin, Transatlantic Knowledge Transfers, George Katona, Paul Lazarsfeld

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