The financial support of the Faculty Research Fund at Fordham University is acknowledged.
An ethnographic study of consumer financial sophistication†
Article first published online: 20 JUN 2014
Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Journal of Consumer Behaviour
Volume 13, Issue 5, pages 328–341, September/October 2014
How to Cite
2014), An ethnographic study of consumer financial sophistication, J. Consumer Behav., 13, pages 328–341. doi: 10.1002/cb.1472, (
- Issue published online: 25 SEP 2014
- Article first published online: 20 JUN 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 12 FEB 2014
- Manuscript Revised: 22 DEC 2013
- Manuscript Received: 29 DEC 2012
Existing research profiling consumer financial sophistication has examined specific decision errors that consumers may make in financial matters. While these errors have been replicated in multiple studies over the years, most have emerged from highly controlled experimental settings or through consumer surveys that measure only specific categories of financial behavior. This paper extends existing research on financial sophistication by utilizing an ethnographic study conducted over a 5-year time period. Results indicate that while some of the traditional categories of decision errors defined in earlier research affect consumers, decision errors not thoroughly examined in previous academic studies can have a notable and growing effect on consumers' financial decisions. Emerging categories of financial decision errors are identified, and shifts in consumers' financial behavior resulting from the financial crisis are profiled. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.