Consumer Sciences Essay

959 words - 4 pages



This research is meant to investigate the motivation-need theories and their implications to consumer behaviour. Abraham Maslow’s needs theory forms the foundation of this study. According to Maslow, the physiological needs (e.g., hunger, thirst) come first, followed by security needs, social needs (affiliation), self-esteem needs (recognition), and finally self-actualization needs. Maslow's basic needs (Maslow, 1943, 1965, 1970) are thought to be structured in such a way that the satisfaction or gratification of the lower-order needs leads to the activation of the next higher-order need in the hierarchy.

ii. THEORIES ...view middle of the document...

The consumer has to "compute" an overall utility for each product class to see whether it satisfies a number of motives, and then compare these overall utilities to make a final choice. To depict these relationships, we suggest a straightforward multi-attribute model. In this model (eq. 1), overall preference or total utility a product class satisfies and the evaluation of these may be written as:

Equation 1

Uj is the utility of product class j that satisfies m motives (Mij), and Vi is the evaluation of the m motives on a favorable-unfavorable scale. Mij can be thought of as a vector of probabilities that the product class j satisfies a specific motive i. These probabilities are strictly zero or above zero, and therefore, only positive. This composite measure, U., is expected to cover the five dimensions outlined above. Thus, the behavior or behavioral intention (BI) of the consumer equals the maximum of Uj (j=1, ..,m) if m product classes are considered,

Equation (2)

Individual consumers differ not only in their evaluation of motivational dimensions (Vi), but also in the saliency of these dimensions over time. Recent gratification of a motivational dimension may lead to a decrease in the evaluation of that motivational dimension. Lack of gratification of a motivational dimension increases the evaluation of that motive (the deprivation/domination principle).

We assume that an intermediate disparity between desired and actual state of the individual has the strongest effect on motivation. For a small disparity an assimilation effect is thought to occur; the disparity is rationalized away. For a large disparity, a contrast effect is more likely; the disparity is too great to be bridged by the acquisition of a product.



This research focuses on using escape theory to explain why people engage in a self-destructive behavior, such as compulsive buying. Escape theory maintains that for some people, self-awareness can be very painful. Usually, these people have self-expectations that are so high they are unable to fulfill...

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