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Psychographics is the study of personality, values, opinions, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles. Because this area of research focuses on interests, attitudes, and opinions, psychographic factors are also called IAO variables. Psychographic studies of individuals or communities can be valuable in the fields of marketing, demographics, opinion research, prediction, and social research in general. They can be contrasted with demographic variables (such as age and gender), behavioral variables (such as usage rate or loyalty), and organizational demographics variables (sometimes called firmographic variables), such as industry, number of employees, and functional area.
Psychographics is often confused with demographics, where historical generations may be defined both by demographics, such as the years in which a particular generation is born or even the fertility rates of that generation's parents, but also by psychographic variables like attitudes, personality formation, and cultural touchstones. For example, the traditional approaches to defining the Baby Boom Generation or Generation X or Millennials have relied on both demographic variables (classifying individuals based on birth years) and psychographic variables (such as beliefs, attitudes, values and behaviors).
When a relatively complete profile of a person or group's psychographic make-up is constructed, this is called a "psychographic profile". Psychographic profiles are used in market segmentation as well as in advertising. Some categories of psychographic factors used in market segmentation include:
- activity, interest, opinion (AIOs)
Psychographics can also be seen as an equivalent of the concept of "culture" when it is used for segmentation at a national level.
- "Who Is Your Next Customer?". Booz Allen Hamilton Inc, Strategy+Business. 28 September 2007.