Motivating operations and consumer choice

Authored by: Asle Fagerstrøm , Erik Arntzen

The Routledge Companion to Consumer Behavior Analysis

Print publication date:  September  2015
Online publication date:  August  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415729925
eBook ISBN: 9781315850696
Adobe ISBN: 9781317913467


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In consumer research, motivation is most often understood as a means of goal attainment (see Bagozzi & Dholakia, 1999). The assumption is that consumers make choices to produce or yield one or more end-state goals. Goals in a consumer choice situation can be achieved by buying a bicycle for the purpose of transport, joining a fitness club for the purpose of getting fit, or searching out and buying laundry detergent that is both effective and gentle on clothes. This approach to consumer motivation focuses on goals, which are specific outcomes that purchase and consumption can produce. According to Pervin (1989, p. 474), goals can be understood as a “mental image or other end point representation associated with affect toward which action may be directed.” Moreover, understanding the process of consumer motivation from this perspective lies in the meaning of, and the relationship between, goal setting and goal attainment/failure (Bagozzi & Dholakia, 1999). Goal setting is related to the goal that is pursued and the reason the consumer wants to pursue it, while goal attainment/failure is concerned with the consumer’s degree of success or failure in achieving the goals.

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