Indebtedness of American College Students

Indebtedness of American College Students
MKT 3200 – Consumer Behavior – Fall 2015
Individual Assignment: Indebtedness of American College Students
Instructions
Read the research of Dwyer, McCloud, and Hodson (2011), the blog post of Carrns (2011), comments posted by readers of the blog post of Carrns (2011), as well as other literature related to consumer indebtedness. To complete this assignment, it will be necessary for you to draw from assigned chapter readings, in-class discussions, and published secondary research in fulfilling each of the following requirements:

• Provide background information on consumer indebtedness in the United States
o Provide a definition of consumer indebtedness that is consistent with consumer indebtedness indicators
o It will be necessary to differentiate between overall consumer indebtedness in the United States and the indebtedness of American college students
 Your main focus should be on the indebtedness of American college students
 Note how Dwyer, McCloud, and Hodson (2011) distinguish between different types of debt relevant to American college students
• Namely, education loans and credit-card debt
o Background information should include quantitative details of salient measures of consumer indebtedness as well as how consumer indebtedness in the United States relates to culture as measured by Hofstede
 Present indebtedness levels, trends, etc.
 Relevant dimensions of national culture
• Provide an analysis of the attitudes of American college students toward indebtedness based on the research of Dwyer, McCloud, and Hodson (2011), the blog post of Carrns (2011), and comments posted by readers of the blog post of Carrns (2011)
o Note how Dwyer, McCloud, and Hodson (2011) report findings based on social class, debt status, and demographics
o Try to identify themes present in the reader comments, if possible
 If themes are present, it may be possible to quantify their presence in the reader comments
• E.g., XX% of the commenting readers indicated SPECIFIC_THEME
• Conduct a review of the websites of five American financial institutions that serve American college students
o Report on specific tactics(in terms of stimuli and employed stimulus factors) by which American financial institutionsencourage indebtedness among American college students
 Be specific about the American financial institution you are referring to for each specific tactic
o Report on specific tactics(in terms of stimuli and employed stimulus factors) by which American financial institutionsdiscourage indebtedness among American college students
 Be specific about the American financial institution you are referring to for each specific tactic
• Making reference to the research, blog post, reader comments,AND your website analysis, discuss how attitudes toward indebtedness are learned by American college students
o It may be helpful to think about:
 reference group influences
 consumer socialization
 consumer information processing (including perception and memory)
 learning theories
• Finally, develop separate slogans for advertisements targeted at (1) American college students with promotion-focused motives and (2) American college students with prevention-focused motives
o You can find a definition for “slogan” athttp://www.marketingpower.com/_layouts/Dictionary.aspx?dLetter=S#slogan
o Assume the advertiser wants American college students to minimize their indebtedness and, when indebtedness is necessary, to select inexpensive debt over expensive debt
 You can think about this as an application of social marketing
o Develop one slogan for each target audience
Note:It is expected that your report will have a covering page. Your analysis must not contain any spelling, grammar, or punctuation error(s). With the possible exception of any summary tables or illustrations you include with your report, this assignment is to be completed in paragraph form with full and complete sentences. Tables and illustrations may be best included in your report as appendices. It is expected that you will conduct secondary research to support your arguments. You must properly cite and reference all secondary information sources directly or indirectly incorporated in your analysis; in general, you must adhere to the honor code. Penalties will be imposed if you do not follow these instructions.
List of References
Carrns, A. (2011). College students don’t view debt as burden.Bucks.Retrieved fromhttp://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/15/college-students-surprising-attitude-toward-debt/
Dwyer, R., McCloud, L., &Hodson, R. (2011). Youth debt, mastery, and self-esteem: Class stratified effects of indebtedness on self-concept. Social Science Research, 40: 727-741.

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