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PhD in Business and Management - Effects of brand quality on consumers’ willingness to pay: a behavioural-economic discounting framework.

   Cardiff Business School

  Prof Gordon Foxall  Friday, March 31, 2023  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Effects of brand quality on consumers’ willingness to pay: a behavioural-economic discounting framework.

Supervisor: Professor Gordon Foxall, Cardiff University.

Consultant co-researchers: Professor Jorge M. Oliveira-Castro, University of Brasilia. Professor Rafael Barreiros Porto, School of Business, University of Brasilia. 

When choosing among different brands (products/services) with varying quality levels offered at different prices, consumers face alternatives that vary on two dimensions. This choice context contains similarities to situations of intertemporal choices or temporal discounting, where the person must choose between obtaining a smaller reward sooner or a larger reward later. In such temporal choices, the value of a reward (i.e., subjective value) decreases as a function of increases in the delay to receive it, which has been described in the literature as delay discounting.

The parallel between intertemporal choices and quality-price choices is drawn on the assumption that both can be characterized as bidimensional choices, where increases in the magnitude of a reward (i.e., reinforcing consequence) is correlated to increases in cost (i.e., punishing consequences). Intertemporal choices typically offer larger rewards (i.e., increased reinforcer magnitude) associated to larger delays (i.e., increased punishment), whereas quality-price choices present higher-quality products or services (i.e., increased reinforcer magnitude) associated to higher prices (i.e., increased punishment). 

The main purpose of the present research is to examine the relation between product quality and price, within a behavioural-economic discounting framework. Two studies will be conducted to investigate the effects of changes in product quality upon the price consumers pay (Study 1, using consumer panel data) or are willing to pay (Study 2, using questionnaire with consumer purchase tasks). The level of quality of products will be conceptualize according to a model of consumer behaviour, which interprets “quality” of a product as the level of reinforcement it offers consumers. The level of reinforcement can be measured by quantifying contingencies programmed by marketing managers or a social group. 


Previous experience in

  • Quantitative Research
  • marketing,
  • behavioural economics, psychology, quantitative research methods
  • knowledge of SPSS or similar


Applications are invited from exceptional candidates with a first class or strong upper second class honours degree, or appropriate Master’s degree. The University values diversity and equality at all levels and we encourage applications from all sections of the community, irrespective of age, disability, sex, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation. In line with our commitment to supporting and promoting equality, diversity and inclusion, and to increase recruitment of currently underrepresented groups, applications from Black British, Asian British, minority ethnicity British and mixed race British candidates are particularly encouraged and welcomed. Study is available as either ‘1+3’ (i.e. one full time year of research training Masters followed by three years of full-time Doctoral study), or ‘+3’ (i.e. three years of full-time doctoral study), depending on the needs of the applicant.

Please visit here for further information about the PhD Programme at Cardiff Business School.

Please see references section for further details on how to apply. Applications should be made online, please visit the Business School website and click "apply now" Business Studies - Study - Cardiff University

Funding Notes

This project is not funded, applications from self-funded home and international students are welcome. Outstanding applicants from ANY country may be considered for one of the available University scholarships. The start date is 1st October 2023.
Applications are open until 31st March 2023, however if sufficient applications are received we reserve the right to close the application early.
For more information about scholarships, entry requirements and application process please visit our website


When applying, please specify the project title and supervisor of this project and whether you are self-funded or are applying for funding (within or external to the University).
The application must contain the following documents:
1. Covering letter: The covering letter must name the project being applied for and should be addressed to the supervisor. It must set out your reasons and motivation for applying to study at Cardiff University; your understanding, and expectations of doctoral study; and your academic interests generally, and particularly how these relate to the description of the project supplied. The covering letter should be no more than two pages.
2. Academic / Professional Qualifications: Where appropriate, this should also include proof of English Language Competency (6.5 IELTS minimum).
3. References: All applications require two academic references to be submitted in support. Candidates must approach referees themselves and include the references with their application.
4. Curriculum Vitae: This should be no longer than two pages.
5. Research Proposal: The proposal should build directly on the project description that has been supplied. The proposal should be up to a maximum of 1000 words, not including bibliographic references. We suggest that you use the following five headings in your research proposal:
• Your reflections on the title, aims and purpose of the research;
• An overview of some key research literature relevant to the study;
• Your proposals for developing the design and methods of the study;
• A description of potential outcomes of the project for understanding, knowledge, policy and practice (as appropriate to the topic);
• Bibliographic references
This program is available in English only. To request information in Welsh, please contact the Postgraduate Recruitment Team (

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