Considers the economic aspects of food consumption patterns by looking at the relationship between value structures and personality profiles as a means for assessing consumers′ basic need orientations, and at eating behaviour as a compensatory strategy when other‐than‐physiological needs are frustrated. Seeks to demonstrate that the concept of values is a promising tool for ascertaining the conditions under which consumer behaviour phenomena might occur. Introduces the concepts of values and compensatory eating behaviour in order to demonstrate their relevance for consumer behaviour research, and describes how these concepts can be measured. Presents some first results from an empirical study, conducted in West Germany, and concludes with some remarks on the implications of its findings.
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