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Research Guides

Communication Studies: Consumer Behavior & Demographics

This subject guide is a starting point for communication-related research, including mass media, speech communication, and more.

Consumers & Demographics

Image: Women doing their grocery shopping keep tabs on Pres. Eisenhower's decision to seek a second term by using a portable radio as they filled their shopping carts, in Philadelphia, Pa., Feb. 29, 1956.  From left are: Shirley Kelly, Margaret Gullifer and Rosemary powers.  They didn't say how they would vote.  (AP Images, AP Photo/Sam Myers)

TV Broadcasting Directories

Media directories list the newspapers, radio stations, TV stations available in the U.S. at a specific time. 

Consumer behavior & lifestyles

Data published in Articles

Use secondary sources to find audience data and demographics.  Authors of contemporary books and journal articles have often found and published the data in their own publications.  Search these databases for starters:

For example, to find articles related to who watches television.  Do searches on:

  • television and audience
  • television and viewer*
  • television and (viewers or viewership)
  • "i love lucy" and (viewer* or rating*)
  • (teenager* or youth) and television

Searching is a bit of an art so be creative and use a variety of search terms and strategies in order to find the best articles on your topic.

Another option is to browse through trade magazines.  Start with these:

Data/Statistics Sources