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Chapter 6

ADM 3321 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Harry Stack Sullivan, Ernest Dichter, Brand Equity

Course Code
ADM 3321
Michael Mulvey

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Chapter 6
Personality, Lifestyles, and Values
The concept of personality refers to a person’s unique psychological
makeup and how it consistently influences the way he or she responds to the
Some researchers feel that people do not exhibit a consistent personality
across different situations; they argue that this is merely a convenient way
to think about other people.
Situational factors often play a large role in determining behaviour.
Consumer Behaviour on the Couch: Freudian Theory
!Sigmund Freud developed the idea that much of human behaviour
stems from a fundamental conflict between a person’s desire to
gratify his or her physical needs add the necessity to function as a
responsible member of society.
!This struggle is carried out in the mind among three symbolic self
!Freudian Systems: id, ego, superego
!!The id is the component of the self entirely oriented
toward immediate gratification.
!!It operates according to the pleasure principle:
behaviour is guided by the primary desire to maximize
pleasure and avoid pain.
!!The id is selfish and illogical.
!!It directs a person’s psychic energy toward pleasurable
acts without regard for any possible consequences.
!!The superego is the counterweight to the id.
!!This system is essentially the person’s conscience.
!!It internalizes society’s rules and works to prevent the
id from seeking selfish gratification.
!!The ego is system that mediates between the id and the
superego; between temptation and virtue.
!!The ego tries to balance these two opposing forces
according to the reality principle.
!!It finds ways to gratify the id that is acceptable to the
outside world.

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!!These conflicts occur on an unconscious level, so the
person is not necessarily aware of the underlying
reasons for behaviour.
o!Freud’s work highlights the potential importance of
unconscious motives underlying purchases.
o!The implication is that consumers cannot necessarily tell us
their true motivations for choosing a product, even if we can
devise a sensitive way to ask them directly.
o!The Freudian perspectives hints at the possibility that the ego
relies on the symbolism in the products to compromise
between the demands of the id and the prohibitions of the
o!The connection between product symbolism and motivation:
the product stands for, or represents, a consumer’s true goal,
one that is socially unacceptable or unattainable; by acquiring
the product, the person is able to experience vicariously the
forbidden fruit.
!Sometimes A Cigar is Just a Cigar
o!Most Freudian applications in marketing are related to the
ways in which products might channel unconscious urges,
such as those involving sexuality and aggression.
!!E.g. sports car as a substitute for sexual gratification for
many men.
o!Others focus on male-oriented symbolism – the phallic symbol
– that appeals to women.
o!Many pop applications of Freud’s ideas revolve around the use
of objects that resemble sex organs (such as cigars, trees,
swords for men, and tunnel for women).
o!Freud’s analysis of dreams: communicating repressed desires
through symbols.
Motivational Research
!This approach is largely based on psychoanalytic (Freudian)
interpretations, with a heavy emphasis on unconscious motives.
!A basic assumption is that socially unacceptable needs are
channeled into acceptable outlets.
!Motivational research relies on in-depth interviews with individual
o!This technique uses relatively few consumers but probes
deeply into each person’s purchase motivations.

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o!An in-depth interview might take several hours and is based
on the assumption that the respondent cannot immediately
articulate his or her latent, or underlying, motives; these can
be derived only after meticulous questioning and
interpretation on the part of a carefully trained interviewer.
!Major motives for consumption as identified by Ernest
Dichter (Motive: Associated Products)
1.!Power/masculinity/virility: power tools, coffee, razor, toy guns
2.!Security: ice cream, hospital care
3.!Eroticism: sweets, gloves
4.!Moral purity/cleanliness: White bread, cotton fabrics
5.!Social acceptance: companionship (ice cream, coffee)
6.!Individuality: gourmet foods, vodka, perfume
7.!Status: scotch, luxury cars
8.!Femininity: cakes and cookies, dolls, silk
9.!Reward: candy, alcohol, ice cream
10.!Mastery over environment: kitchen appliances, boats, sporting
11.!Disalienation (a desire to feel a connectedness to things):
home decorating, skiing, morning radio broadcasts
12.!Magic/mystery: soups (have healing powers), paints (change
the mood of a room), unwrapping of gifts
!Oppositions towards motivational research:
o!On one hand, social critics have attacked this school of
thought for giving advertisers the power to manipulate
o!On the other hand, many consumer researchers feel the
research has lacked sufficient rigour and validity, since
interpretations are subjective and indirect.
!Because conclusions are based on the analyst’s own judgment and
are derived from discussions with a small number of people, some
research are dubious as to the degree to which these results can be
generalized to a large market.
!In addition, because the original motivational researchers were
heavily influenced by orthodox Freudian theory, their
interpretations usually carried strong sexual overtones.
o!This emphasis tends to overlook other plausible causes for
!Appeals of motivational research:
o!Cost efficiency
!!Less expensive than large scale quantitative surveys
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