Decision Making Process Of Consumer Behaviour.

3492 words - 14 pages

Decision making is a focal interest in consumer-behavior research; consumers constantly make decisions about the selection, consumption, and disposal of products. Many of the most important decisions consumers face involve making difficult trade-offs such as price versus safety in purchasing an automobile, quality of life versus longevity in some health care choices, or risk versus return in selecting investments for a child's educational expenses or for retirement. This monograph focuses on what makes some trade-offs more emotionally difficult than others and examines how variations in emotional trade-off difficulty affect how decision makers go about deciding and what decision is ultimately made.A typical consumer choice, such as the simplified automobile purchase decision illustrated in Table 1.1, involves a set of alternatives defined by attributes or consequences. For instance, the alternative labeled Car A is expected to offer the consequences of very good safety protection in an accident and a $30,000 price tag, while Car B offers average safety but a lower price. There is a conflict between the attributes safety and price in choosing between Car A and Car B in that the decision maker can have a lower price or more safety but not both. Resolving such conflicts between decisions attributes, that is, deciding whether to accept less of one goal in order to get more of another, is a fundamental aspect of any choice.Table 1.1 Example Decision Matrix Price Safety StylingCar A $30,000 Very Good AverageCar B $20,000 Average GoodCar C $40,000 Good Very PoorWe believe and will argue in this monograph that the price-safety trade-off associated with the decision illustrated in Table 1.1 has the potential for generating negative emotion in the decision maker. Emotional trade-offs are a crucial, central component of some of the decisions we must make. The cancer patient deciding between a surgical procedure with some mortality risk but better odds of long-term survival and a radiation treatment with no immediate mortality risk but less favorable long-term odds is likely to be consumed with the emotional component of the "simple" trade-off between short- and long-term life expectancy. The academic considering uprooting her family in order to change jobs may struggle with a trade-off between her own career prospects and her family's expected happiness. In each of these cases, decision trade-offs are likely to be emotional because no matter how one imagines resolving the relevant trade-offs, highly negative potential outcomes can be generated. These sorts of decisions are often among the most crucial we must make, at both the personal and societal levels.While some decisions are virtually defined by emotion-laden trade-offs, many other seemingly mundane decisions also have some emotional component. Even an inexpensive child's toy or kitchen appliance may have implications for the safety of oneself or one's family, and therefore the relevant attributes...

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