How did Young Consumers feel about being a Consumer during the COVID-19 Quarantines? An Assessment with the Collage Technique

Sevtap Ünal, Nisa Akın


This study examined how young people’s feelings and thoughts about being a consumer are reflected in their behaviors during the COVID-19 quarantine in terms of the Behavioral Immune System (BIS). BIS refers to individuals being psychologically or behaviorally defensive against contagion. Due to the multidimensional effects of COVID-19 on the world, such as economic, physical, and psychological, this study aimed to address the behavioral and psychological impact of COVID-19 on young people’s consumerism. The study was conducted by interviewing 22 (13 women and nine men) young consumers aged between 19-23, who are university students in Turkey, and the collage technique was used to collect data from the participants. Content analysis and Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique (ZMET) were used to analyze the data. According to the results, the participants experienced both positive and negative emotions, with negative emotions being more intense during the closure period. Participants' negative emotions during the pandemic were determined as anxiety, fear, captivity, loneliness, uncertainty, and laziness, and positive emotions as awakening, hope, and simplification. During the quarantine period, there have been radical changes in the consumption behaviors of young consumers, especially in terms of content and quantity. It was also determined that four deep metaphors (container, transformation/change, resource, and control) were effective in young consumer behavior in this period. In this respect, the study shed light on young consumers' unconscious and hidden feelings, desires, and needs during the pandemic and tried to explain their deep metaphors. The study contributes to the literature by revealing unknown insights into the minds of these young consumers, who will have income and spending authority after the pandemic. It also offers scope for professionals who want to deeply connect with their consumers.


consumer behavior; projective techniques; collage technique; ZMET (Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique); COVID-19

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International Journal of Marketing, Communication and New Media

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DOI: 10.54663/2182-9306

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