CHAPTER 5.docx

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Marketing and Consumer Studies
MCS 2600
Karen A.Gough

CHAPTER 5 - CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR PERSONALITYAND CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR • Marketers have always tried to appeal to consumers in terms of their personality characteristics WHAT IS PERSONALITY? • The study of personality has been approached by theorists in a variety of ways • Some have emphasized the dual influence of heredity and early childhood experiences on personality development, others have stressed broader social and environmental influences and the fact that personalities develop over time • Personality defined as those inner psychological characteristics that both determine and reflect how a person responds to his or her environment • NATURE OF PERSONALITY o Three distinct properties are of central importance: personality reflects individual differences, personality is consistent and enduring, and personality can change o Personality Reflects Individual Differences  Inner characteristics that constitute an individuals personality are a unique combination of factors, no two individuals are exactly alike  Similar in some characteristics but not in others  Personality enables us to categorize consumers into different groups on the basis of one or even several traits o Personality is COnsistent and Enduring  Individuals personality tends to be both consistent and enduring  Marketers cannot change consumers personalities to conform to their products o Personality Can Change  Under certain circumstances personalities change  Individuals personality changes not only in response to abrupt events but also as part of a gradual maturing process THEORIES OF PERSONALITY • Three major theories of personality: freudian theory, neo-freudian theory, and trait theory • FREUDIAN THEORY o Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic theory of personality is one of the cornerstones of modern psychology  Built on the premise that unconscious needs or drives, especially sexual or biological, are at the heart of human motivation and personality o Id, Superego, and Ego  Freud proposed that the human personality consists of 3 interacting systems, the id, the superego, and the ego  Id was conceptualized as the warehouse of primitive and impulsive drives (basic psychological needs)  Superego is conceptualized as the individuals internal expression of societies moral and ethical codes of conduct - to see the individual satisfies needs in a socially acceptable fashion  Ego is the individuals conscious control, functions as an internal monitor that attempts to balance the impulsive demands of the id and the sociocultural constraints of the superego o Freud believes an individuals personality is formed as he passes through a number of distinct stages of infant and childhood development - oral, anal, phallic, latent and genital stages o Personality is determined by how well they deal with the crises that are experienced while passing through each of these stages. o Freudian Theory and Product Personality  The application of Freud's psychoanalytic theory to the study of consumer personality results in the belief that human drives are largely unconscious and that consumers are primarily unaware of their true reasons for buying what they buy  See consumers purchases and consumption as a reflection and an extension of the consumers own personality • NEO-FREUDIAN PERSONALITY THEORY o Neo-Freudians believed that social relationships are fundamental to the formation and development of personality o Adler viewed human beings as seeking to attain various rational goals which he called style of life  More emphasis on the individuals efforts to overcome feelings of inferiority o Harry Stack Sullivan stressed that people continuously attempt to establish significant and rewarding relationships with others  Concerned with the individuals efforts to reduce tensions o Karen Horney was also interested in anxiety and her focus was the impact of child-parent relationships and the individuals desire to conquer feelings of anxiety  Proposed that individuals be classified into three personality groups: compliant, aggressive, and detached • Compliant individuals are those who move toward others (loved and wanted) • Aggressive individuals move against others (excel and win admiration) • Detached individuals move away from others (independence, self- reliance, self-sufficiency, and individualism)  Personality test developed on Horney's theory (CAD) has been tested within the context of consumer behaviour  Initial CAD research uncovered a number of tentative relationships between college students' scores and their product and brand usage patterns • TRAIT THEORY o Trait theory constitutes a major departure from the qualitative measures that typify the Freudian and neo-Freudian movements o Orientation of trait theory is primarily quantitative or empirical; it focuses on the measurement of personality it terms of a specific psychological characteristics, called traits o Traits are defined as any distinguishing, relatively enduring way in which one individual differs from another o Trait theorists are concerned with the construction of personality tests that enable them to pinpoint individual differences in terms of specific traits o Single trait personality tests are often developed specifically for use in consumer behaviour studies  Measure consumer innovativeness (how receptive a person is to new consumer-related experiences), consumer materialism (the degree of the consumer's attachment to worldly possessions), and consumer ethnocentrism (the consumers likelihood to accept or reject foreign-made products)  Trait researchers have found that it is generally 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 PERSONALITYAND UNDERSTANDING CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR • Marketers are itnerested in understanding how personality influences consumption behaviour because the knowledge enables them to better understand consumers and to segment and target those consumers who are likely to respond positively to their product or service communications • Consumer Innovativeness and Related Personality Traits o Marketing practicioners try to learn all they can about consumer innovators for the market response of such innovators is often a critical indication of the eventual success or failure of a new product or service o Personality traits that have been useful in differentiating between consumer innovator and noninnovators include consumer innovativeness, dogmatism, social character, need for uniqueness, optimum stimulation level, sensation seeking, and variety novelty seeking o Consumer Innovativeness  Consumer researchers have endeavoured to develop measurement instruments to gauge the level of consumer innovativeness, because such measures of personality traits provide important insights into the nature and boundaries of a consumer's willingness to innovate.  Trait of consumer innovativeness has been linked to the need for stimulation, novelty seeking, and the need for uniqueness  Previous studies of consumer innovativeness have treated this construct as a single personality trait, a recent research effort examining high- technology products, developed a hierarchical model consisting of 3 levels of personality • Global innovativeness: personal trait that exists independent of any context; one that represents the "very nature" of consumers' innovativeness • Domain-specific innovativeness: a more narrowly defined activity within a specific domain or product category • Innovative behaviour: pattern of actions or responses that indicate early acceptance of change and adoption of innovations  Available consumer research indicates a positive relationship between innovative use of the internet and buying online  Other research exploring the association between personality traits and innovative internet behaviour has reported that internet shoppers tend to see themselves as being able to control their own future  Consumer innovativeness can be an important consideration when firms contemplate brand extensions o Consumer Dogmatism  Many marketers are interested in managing consumers' responses to distinctively unfamiliar products or product features, especially marketers of technologically rich products  Consumer dogmatism is a personality trait that measures the degree of rigidity that individuals display toward the unfamiliar and toward information that is contrary to their own established beliefs • Highly dogmatic approaches the unfamiliar defensively and with considerable discomfort and uncertainty • Low dogmatic will readily consider the unfamiliar or opposing beliefs  Low dogmatism consumers are more likely to prefer innovative products to established or traidtional alternatives o Social Character  Personality trait known as social character has its origins in sociological research  Social character is a personality trait that ranges on a continuum from inner-directedness to other-directedness  Inner-directed consumers rely on their own inner values or standards in evaluating new products and are likely to be consumer innovativers  Other-directed consumers tend to look to others for guidance as to what is appropriate or inappropriate  Inner and other directed consumers are attracted to different types of promotional messages o Need for Uniqueness  Conformity to others' expectations or standards, either in appearance or in their possessions, is something to be avoided  We would expect that
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