ERIC Number: ED419078
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998
The Costs and Benefits of Lifelong Learning: Consumer Behavior.
Shirk, John C.
Most adults are both learners and consumers of goods and services across their life span. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the body of literature that analyzes consumer behavior in the light of lifelong learning. Learning activities, whether formal or experiential, have both costs and benefits. Interviews with hundreds of persons, varying in ages, educational status, and socioeconomic status, revealed many types of consumer behavior and many different types of learning. Some people pursued formal education and degrees for practical reasons, whereas others engaged in all types of projects that provided them with practical benefits as well as the satisfaction of learning and of having completed a project. More educated persons are more likely to engage in educational experiences than less-educated persons, although less-educated persons also benefit from maturity and experience. As persons move through the lifespan, they are often less consumer oriented and more inner driven. These changes can result in less consumption (even among those whose incomes do not diminish) and more pursuit of personal learning projects in contrast to acquiring goods. More research is needed to determine the effect of these trends on the economy, especially as the population ages. (Contains 69 references.) (KC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A