پویایی های رفتار مصرف کننده : دیدگاه هدف سیستمیک
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|1829||2012||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Consumer Psychology, Volume 22, Issue 2, April 2012, Pages 208–223
Like most behavior, consumer behavior too is goal driven. In turn, goals constitute cognitive constructs that can be chronically active as well as primed by features of the environment. Goal systems theory outlines the principles that characterize the dynamics of goal pursuit and explores their implications for consumer behavior. In this vein, we discuss from a common, goal systemic, perspective a variety of well known phenomena in the realm of consumer behavior including brand loyalty, variety seeking, impulsive buying, preferences, choices and regret. The goal systemic perspective affords guidelines for subsequent research on the dynamic aspects of consummatory behavior as well as offering insights into practical matters in the area of marketing.
Consumer behavior, as any other behavior, is goal-oriented (Baumgartner & Pieters, 2008). When people decide which products and brands to buy and in which quantity, what to eat for breakfast, what kind of soda to drink, whether to take the bus or drive to work, they do so on account of different goals they are attempting to pursue. Motivational and goal-related concepts have been discussed in almost all areas of consumer behavior research including advertising (Pieters & Wedel, 2007), consumer decision-making (Bettman et al., 1998, Fishbach and Dhar, 2005, Fishbach and Dhar, 2008, Higgins, 2002 and Shafir, 2007), product preferences (Bettman, Luce, & Payne 2008), and brand loyalty (Tam, Wood, & Ji, 2009). As Baumgartner and Pieters (2008) stated, “to propose that consumer behavior is goal-directed seems like arguing that water is wet” (p. 367). Despite this recognition, the manner in which goals operate in driving consumer behavior has been largely ignored. Motivational research has targeted specific goals that consumers may have and addressed stable motivational effects [(e.g. evaluation goals vs. learning goals in consumers' attention to advertising Pieters and Wedel (2007), goals of minimizing decision effort and maximizing decision accuracy Bettman et al., 1998 and Chakravarti and Janiszewski, 2003, etc.)], but it paid little attention to the general, dynamic process through which goals exert their effects. As a result, relevant motivational research in consumer behavior has been mainly phenomena and data driven rather than theory driven, and it stopped short of integrating empirical findings within a broader theoretical perspective capable of providing a systematic analysis and a set of testable hypotheses for guiding new research. With the emergence of (what we have termed) the New Look in Motivation in the early 1990s this state of affairs began to change. The new approach developed within the area of social cognition offers a motivation as cognition framework that views motivational constructs as cognitively represented, and hence abiding by the general structural and allocational principles that govern all cognition (see Fishbach and Ferguson, 2007, Kruglanski and Kopetz, 2009a and Kruglanski and Kopetz, 2009b for reviews). Such principles include, among others, the notions of construct accessibility, associative networks, interconnectedness and/or dependence on limited cognitive resources. Premised on the notion that the cognitive treatment confers conceptual and methodological advantages and affords a more systematic study of goal-oriented action, the research inspired by the motivation as cognition approach enables new insights into classic problems of self-regulation and self-control, as well as into more general phenomena related to judgment, decision-making and choice. In what follows, we describe and systematically discuss some of the recent goal-relevant consumer research and attempt to integrate it within a broader theoretical perspective on goal-directed behavior, referred to as the goal-systems theory. This theory, developed by Kruglanski and colleagues (Kruglanski et al., 2002), outlines a dynamic perspective on motivated action centered on the notion of goal-systems. The latter is defined as mental representations of motivational networks composed of interconnected goals and means. In goal systemic terms, motivational phenomena are viewed as the products of cognitive principles in their specific application to motivational constructs. Whether an activated goal will be pursued and the manner of its pursuits depend on several cognitive, motivational and emotional factors such as the desirability of the activated goal, the number of available means, concurrent presence of alternative goals, etc. As will be seen, goal-systems theory offers a theoretical approach and affords specific testable hypotheses, which may allow new insights into traditional phenomena of consumer behavior. Our analysis will emphasize two major and contrasting aspects of such behavior which illustrate its dynamic nature. One of these is stability and consistency represented in phenomena such as brand loyalty, and brand habit. The second refers to the instability of consumer preferences and choices exemplified by phenomena such as variety seeking, impulsive buying and changes in consideration sets. We propose that the goal-systems approach affords the treatment of these seemingly disparate aspects of consumer behavior in an integrative manner derived from the basic motivational principles that underlie the general dynamics of human action. As an advance organizer, we first outline the historical background against which the theory of goal systems was proposed. We subsequently describe the substance of the theory, and consider its implications for consumer behavior. Specifically, our discussion will highlight the dynamic associations between goals and means as well as between multiple goals and consider the consequences of these relations for different phenomena in consumer behavior such as variety seeking, impulsive buying, preferences, choice, and regret.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In the preceding pages, we have suggested that numerous phenomena that characterize consumer behavior reflect the dynamic operation of consumers' goals. Although goal concepts have been long present in theoretical and empirical approaches to consumer behavior, there have been few attempts to integrate these goal-related analyses under a broader conceptual perspective. Research in consumer psychology has been largely phenomena-driven rather than conceptually-driven, and issues such as variety-seeking, impulsive buying, brand habit and loyalty were studied separately and locally rather than as reflecting more general principles of human action. Goal-systems theory offers an integrative cognitively based perspective on these matters grounded in a definition of goals as mental representations of desirable end states and identifying the basic principles of goal-oriented action. In other words, goal systems theory depicts how behaviors, choices, and preferences can be understood as a joint function of basic cognitive and motivational principles. In these terms, classic issues in consumer psychology can be considered within a single conceptual framework. These issues include topics of stability and instability of consumer preferences, generation and consideration of sets of options, choice difficulty and regret. Throughout the paper we have emphasized that stability and instability of choices and preferences (and their consequences) can be understood by applying the general principles that govern the relationship between consumers' goals and their attainment means. Specifically, stability, repetitive choice, brand loyalty and habit may reflect the consequences of unique relationships established between a goal and a means deemed instrumental to its attainment. Based on existing empirical data, we argued that means (i.e., products and brands) acquire instrumentality through a selection processes in which they are regularly chosen and used and therefore perceived to offer the best likelihood of goal attainment. Instrumentality of a product or behavior to a specific consumption goal results in the transfer of positive effect from the goal (valued end-state) to the related product (or behavior), enhancing the evaluation of those means. Thus, past choices and preferences may predict future ones by strengthening the unique associations between an active goal and the corresponding means. As a consequence, when the goal becomes salient, it will automatically activate the representation of such means and initiate its choice. Whereas stability of preferences and choices typically reflect the unique associations between a goal and its attainment means, consumers rarely pursue one goal at the time. Goals can be activated automatically by different features of the environment, raising the possibility that multiple goals may be co-active and impact consumers' action simultaneously. Goal-systems theory suggests that the course of action taken in such situations reflects the operation of non-unique associations, whereby multiple means simultaneously serve the same goal or a given means simultaneously serves multiple goals. This process may result in an instability of consumer choices and preferences. Thus, rather than making choices in line with their previous preferences or intentions, consumers may engage in impulsive buying, or seek variety among products or brands. Whereas these tendencies may appear “irrational” from an outsider's perspective, they may instead reflect a momentary shift in one's goal hierarchies. To conclude, by identifying the general principles of human action, goal-systems theory integrates a broad range of consumer behavior phenomena that have been traditionally approached separately. Such an approach offers a broader theoretical perspective and specific testable hypotheses that promise new insights into the dynamic nature of consumer behavior as well as offering practical implications for marketers.