Chapter 4 Notes: Consumer Behavior
Motivation as a Psychological Force: to understand the types
of human needs and motives and the meaning of goals
- motivation is the driving force within individuals that impels them to action
- this driving force exists because of the result of an unfulfilled need
- innate needs are physiological (biogenic) they include the needs for the vital
things for humans to live, are also known as primary needs or motives
- acquired needs (psychogenic) are needs that we learn in response to our culture
or environment, they are also known as secondary needs or motives
- model of the motivation process page 89 figure 4.2
- acquired needs result from the psychological state and the relationship with
- for example a couple needs a home to live in (innate) , the type of home large,
small, in the city or in the country is not crucial (acquired)
- motives or needs can have a positive or negative direction
- we may feel a driving force toward some object or condition or a driving force
away from some object or condition. i.e working out to avoid health problem
negative outcome, or to look more attractive positive outcome.
- Both drives or motives are referred to as needs, wants, and desires.
- goals are the sought-after results of motivated behavior
- generic goals, the general class of goals that consumers see as a means to fulfill
- product specific goals, the specifically branded product and services that
consumers select for goal fulfillment. For example, a student tells his parent he
wants to become an entrepreneur he has stated a generic goal, if he says he
wants to get his MBA from Harvard business school he has expressed a product
The selection of goals
- for any given need there are many different and appropriate goals
- the individuals selected goal depends on their personal experiences, physical
capacity, prevailing cultural norms and values, and the goals accessibility.
- For example if a women wants to get a nice tan in the sun, but her dermatologist
advises her to avoid direct exposure she may settle for self tanning cosmetic
product. The goal objective has to be socially acceptable and physically
- A positive goal is one toward which behavior is directed, thus, it is referred to as
an approach object. i.e go to college to get an education
- A negative goal is one from which behavior is directed away and is referred to as
an avoidance object. i.e go to college to avoid parents’ nagging that he didn’t go
Rational vs Emotional Motives
- some consumer behaviorists distinguish between so-called rational motives and
- Rationality, assumes that consumers behave rationally by carefully considering
all alternatives and choosing those that give them the greatest utility.
- in marketing rationality means consumers select goals based on totally objective
criteria such as size, weight, price, miles per gallon.
- Emotional motives imply the selection of goals according to personal or
subjective criteria for example pride, fear, and affection.
The Dynamics of Motivation: to understand the dynamics of
motivations arousal of needs, setting of goals, and interrelationship between needs
- needs and goals change and grow, as humans attain their goals they develop
- Some of the reasons why need-driven human activity never ceases include the
1) Needs are never fully satisfied
2) New needs emerge as old needs are satisfied
3) Success and failure influence goals
- Individuals who successfully achieve their foals usually set higher goals for them
selves that is they raise their levels of aspiration.
- defense mechanisms are something that people sometimes adopt to protect
their egos from feels of failure when they do not attain their goals.
Arousal of Motives
1) physiological arousal: a person who is cold may turn up the heat, and make a
note to buy a sweater to wear around the house when its cold
2) emotional arousal: daydreaming results in arousal for example a young woman
who daydreams of torrid romance may spend her free time in internet single
3) cognitive arousal: random thoughts can lead to a cognitive awareness of needs,
for example an advertisement that reminds the person of home may remind that
person to call their parents. Long distance companies **
** advertisements are cues designed to arouse needs **
- there are two opposing philosophies concerned with the arousal of human
1) behaviorist school: considers motivation to be a mechanical process;
behavior responds to a stimulus or reacts to an external stimuli for example
an ice-cream truck
2) cognitive school: believes that all behavior is directed at goal achievement.
Types and Systems of Needs: to learn about several systems of
needs developed by researchers
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
- Maslow’s theory identifies five levels of human needs which rand in order of
importance from lower level (biogenic) to higher level (psychogenic) needs.
- Individuals tend to satisfy lower-level needs before higher level needs emerge
- Maslow’s hierarchy of needs page 98 figure 4.5
An evaluation of the need hierarchy and its marketing applications
- Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory says in effect that dissatisfaction, not
satisfaction, motivates behavior.
- The major problem with the theory is that is cannot be tested empirically
- The hierarchy offers a highly useful framework for marketers;
1) it enables marketers to focus on a need level shared by a large target
2) facilitates product positioning or repositioning
o advertisers use the hierarchy for positioning products, that is deciding
how the product should be perceived by consumers.
o The key to positioning is to find an unsatisfied need
A Trio of Needs
- some psychologists believe in the existence of trio of basic needs
- these needs can be subsumed within Maslow’s need hierarchy
- Individuals desire to control his or her environment
- this need is closely related to the ego need
- individuals experience increased self-esteem when they exercise power over
objects or people
- this need is similar to Maslow’s social need, it suggests that this behavior is
influenced by the desire for friendship, acceptance, and belonging
- people with high affiliation needs tend to be socially dependent on others
- they often select good that they feel will meet approval of friends
- close relation to both the egoistic need and the self-actualization need
- people with a high need for achievement tend to be more self confident, enjoy
taking calculated risks, actively research their environment, and value feedback