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Chapter 5

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University of Guelph
Marketing and Consumer Studies
MCS 2600
Lianne Foti

Chapter 5: Personality Personality- inner psychological characteristics that determine and reflect how a person responds to his/her environment Inner Characteristics- specific qualities, attributes, traits, factors, and mannerisms that distinguish one individual from other individuals Nature of Personality: 1. Personality reflects individual differences -no two individuals are exactly alike -personality allows consumers to be categorized in different groups based on traits 2. Personality is consistent and enduring -help marketers explain or predict consumer behaviour - consumption behaviour often varies because of psychological, sociocultural, environmental, and situational factors that affect behaviour (people’s needs, motives attitudes, reactions, group pressures, change behaviour) 3. Personality can change - may be altered by major life events (marriage, child birth, death, change of job) -gradual maturing process creates change -personality stereotypes shift (women becoming more masculine ) Theories of Personality 1. Freudian Theory: unconscious needs or drives are at the heart of human motivation (instinctual and sexual by nature) -personality formed when they pass through distinct stages of infant and childhood development (oral, anal, phallic, latent & genital stages) ID- warehouse of primitive/instinctual needs for which individuals seek immediate satisfaction SUPEREGO- individual’s internal expression of society’s moral and ethical codes of conduct EGO- individual’s conscious control that balances the demands of the id and superego 2. Neo-Freudian Personality Theory: social relationships are fundamental to the formation and development of personality Alfred Adler- viewed humans as seeking to attain various rational goals, style of life and placed emphasis on individuals effort to overcome feelings of inferiority -Harry Stack Sullivan- believed people establish relationships with others to reduce tensions (anxiety) -Karen Horney’s- focused on impact of child-parent relationships and individuals desire to conquer feelings of anxiety -developed three personality groups: 1. Compliant- move towards others (desire to be loved, wanted, appreciated) 2. Aggressive-move against others (desire to excel and win admiration) 3. Detached- move away from others (desire independence, self-reliance, freedom from obligations) 3. Trait Theory: quantitative approach to personality as a set of psychological traits Trait- any distinguishing, relatively enduring way an individual differs from another -personality is linked to broad product categories and NOT specific brands -trait theorists are concerned with the construction of personality tests that enable them to pinpoint individual differences in terms of specific traits -single-trait personality tests- typically for use in consumer behaviour studies -measures traits such as consumer innovativeness ( how receptive a persona is to new consumer-related experiences) , consumer materialism (degree to the consumers attachment to “worldly possessions”, andconsumer ethnocentrism (consumer’s likelihood to accept/reject foreign-made products) -trait researchers found it’s more realistic to expect personality to be linked to how consumers make their choices and to the purchase or consumption of a broad product category rather than a specific brand (ie. more likely to be relationship between trait and whether an individual regularly eats peanut butter sandwiches then between trait and brand of peanut butter purchased) Personality and Understanding Consumer Behaviour -understanding how personality influences consumption behaviour helps target consumers that are likely to respond positively to product or service communications Consumer innovators- willingness to innovate; open to new ideas and products -global innovativeness- personal trait that exists independent of any context; one that represents the “very nature” of consumers’ innovativeness -domain-specific innovativeness- more narrowly defined activity within a specific domain or product category -innovative behaviour- pattern of actions/responses that indicate early acceptance of change and adoption of innovativeness (ie. being first to buy new product) A “GENERAL” CONSUMER INNOVATIVENESS SCALE 1. I would rather stick to a brand I usually buy than try something I am not very sure of. 2. When I go to a restaurant, I feel it is safer to order dishes I am familiar with. A DOMAIN-SPECIFIC CONSUMER INNOVATIVENESS SCALE 1. Compared to my friends, I own few rock albums. 2. In general, I am the last in my circle of friends to know the titles of the latest rock albums. Dogmatism- trait that reflects degree of rigidity (versus openness) a person displays toward the unfamiliar and toward information that is contrary to their own established beliefs -person who is highly dogmatic approaches unfamiliar defensively and with considerable discomfort and uncertainty Social Character: Inner-directedness- rely on own values or standards when evaluating products, more likely to be innovators, prefer ads that stress product features and personal benefits Other-directedness- look to others, less likely to be innovators, prefer ads that feature approving social environment or social acceptance Need for uniqueness- consumers who avoid conforming to expectations or standards of others Optimum stimulation level- measures level or amount of novelty or complexity that individuals seek in their personal experiences -High OSL consumers tend to accept risky and novel products more readily than low OSL c
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