Consumer Behavior: Consumer Attitude Formation and Change CH 6

A learned predisposition to behave in a consistently favorable or unfavorable manner with respect to a given object. Formed before we buy things, are learned, affected by Personal experience, family and friends, media, the Internet, and (increasingly) social media
Need for cognition
craving information and enjoyment of thinking, affect consumer behavior. When high individuals are likely to form positive attitudes in response to promotions that include a lot of detailed, product-related information, while consumers who are relatively low in this need are more likely to form positive attitudes in response to ads that feature attractive models or celebrities, or other peripheral cues about the products advertised.
Tri-component attitude model
maintains that attitudes consist of three components: cognitive (KNOWLEDGE, BELIEFS), affective (FEELINGS, EMOTIONS), and conative (ACTION TENDENCIES). Marketers, on the other hand, mainly think of the affective or emotional component as being attitude. However, marketers do agree that all the three aspects are connected sequentially, i.e., beliefs lead to attitudes, and attitudes lead to behavioral intentions which then leads to behavior. MARKETERS CAN INFLUENCE THE COGNITIVE, AFFECTIVE, OR CONATIVE COMPONENTS IN ORDER TO INFLUENCE BEHAVOR
Cognitive component
consists of a person’s knowledge and perceptions of the features of an attitude object – commonly expressed as beliefs; or whether or not the consumer believes that the attitude object possesses specific attributes.
Affective component
represents the consumer’s emotions and feelings regarding the attitude object, or evaluations (i.e., the extent to which the individual rates the attitude object as “favorable” or “unfavorable,” “good” or “bad”).
Conative component
reflects the likelihood that an individual will undertake a specific action or behave in a particular way with regard to the attitude object – treated as an expression of the consumer’s intention to buy in consumer research.
Multi-attribute Attitude Models
Attitude models that examine the composition of consumer attitudes in terms of selected product attributes or beliefs. Just as the name implies, these are models that breakdown overall attitude into the attributes or beliefs which form an overall opinion.
Attitude-Toward-Object Model
AO = bi ei
i goes from 1 to n

bi = strength of the belief that the attitude object contains the ith attribute
ei = evaluative dimension associated with the ith attribute
This formula tells us that Attitude toward an object is a function of beliefs relating to specific attributes used to evaluate the object and the evaluation (or importances) of the attributes. These two terms are multiplied for each attribute and summed across all the relevant attributes to give an attitude score. So, our attitude toward a Lexus is determined by the beliefs about Lexus on specfic attributes (comfortable ride, gas mileage, acceleration, etc.) and the importances of those attributes. Basically, if we want to change the attitude toward the Lexus (the left side of the equation) we have to change the beliefs or the importances of specific attributes which are on the right side of the equation.

Theory of reasoned action
Like tri-component model, incorporates the cognitive, affective, and conative components. It adds the measurement of subjective norms (feelings about what relevant others would think about the action) that influence a person’s intention to act before gauging the level of intention. The subjective norms that are distinctive to this model are the two lower blocks on the right. A consumer has beliefs about what others think they should do and also have differing levels of how likely they will follow those beliefs, also known as their motivation to comply with the referents. This subjective norm is now combined with the consumer’s personal attitude toward a behavior to form an intention to perform a behavior. This intention may or may not lead to the actual behavior.
Theory of trying-to-consume
emphasizes impediments to consuming even when the attitude is positive. A person trying to consume faces two types of obstacles that may prevent the desired outcome: 1. Personal impediments and 2. Environmental impediments. Consumers who fail to try to consume do not recognize all the consumption options available or prefer to self-sacrifice or delay gratification.
Attitude-toward-the-ad model
proposes that the feelings consumers form when they see and hear ads significantly impact their attitudes towards the brands advertised. how do your attitudes toward the ad influence the attitude toward the brand?
BALANCE THEORY (Resolving conflicting attitudes)
FUNCTIONAL APPROACH (changing motivational function)
The first three theories deal with the situation when attitude change occurs before behavior
the last two theories deal with when attitude change happens based on prior behavior.
Altering Components of the Multiattribute Model
Using Attributes- Changing relative evaluation of attributes, Adding a new attribute, Designing a new product with new attributes
Changing Beliefs – Changing brand beliefs, Changing overall brand image – cause related marketing, Changing Beliefs about Competitors’ Brands – comparative advertising
Using Attributes to Influence Attitudes
Ways – Add a new attribute to an existing brand, Change perceived importance of an attribute, Develop totally new products with new features
attitude-toward-object model maintains that a consumer’s evaluation of a product is a function of: 1. The extent to which the product has (or lacks) each of a given set of attributes. 2. The importance of each of these attributes to the consumer. Consumers generally have more favorable attitudes toward those brands that they believe have better performance on the attributes that they view as important than other brands.
Altering Consumer Beliefs & Attitudes
Changing attitudes about products and brands is difficult because consumers frequently resist evidence that challenges strongly held attitudes or beliefs and tend to interpret any ambiguous information in ways that reinforce their preexisting attitudes. Marketers may try to change beliefs or perceptions about the brand itself (the most common form of advertising appeal); alter consumers’ overall perceptions of the brand; or change beliefs about competing brands.
The Assimilation Contrast Theory
When consumers view a message they either look at it as being close to their own position (assimilation effect) or they look at it as being different from their position (contrast effect). Radical messages are more likely to trigger a contrast effect.
Relates to changing beliefs. Marketers have to be careful that they don’t use extreme messages to create major changes in beliefs in one step. Consumers are more likely to reject such extreme messages. It is much better to build a brand image gradually over time and change beliefs of consumers more gradually.
Marketers should try to change beliefs gradually over time. Radical changes through extreme messages will most often be rejected by consumers. Gradual changes are more likely to be assimilated into the belief system of the individual.
Functional Approach
Changing attitudes by appealing to consumers’ motivations/reasons or functions behind their attitudes. Attitudes are classified into four functions: the utilitarian function, ego-defensive function, value-expressive function, and knowledge function.
Utilitarian Approach
stems from the belief that consumers’ attitudes reflect the utilities that brands provide. When a product has been useful or enabled us to perform certain tasks in the past, our attitude toward it tends to be favorable.
Ego-defensive approach
maintains that people form attitudes in order to protect themselves from sensing doubt and to replace uncertainty with feelings of security and confidence
Value-expressive function
maintains that attitudes reflect consumers’ values and beliefs.
Knowledge function
holds that people form attitudes because they have a strong need to understand the characters of the people, events, and objects they encounter.
BALANCE THEORY – Resolving Conflicting Attitudes
Cognitive Dissonance Theory
Holds that discomfort or dissonance occurs when a consumer holds conflicting thoughts about a belief or an attitude object. occurs after the consumer has done something, let’s say purchase a product or accepted admission to a college. They begin to create an attitude around their behavior which is often based on dissonance or discomfort.
Attribution Theory
A theory concerned with how people assign causality to events and form or alter their attitudes as an outcome of assessing their own or other people’s behavior.
related to the question we have after a behavior of “Why did I do that?” This process of making inferences about behavior can lead to attitude formation and change. Attributions toward Others
Attributions toward Things
How We Test Our Attributions (Distinctiveness, Consistency over time, Consistency over modality, Consensus)
Cognitive dissonance
occurs when a consumer holds conflicting thoughts about a belief or an attitude object.
Post-purchase dissonance
When cognitive dissonance occurs after a purchase. Because expensive and important purchases require compromise and choice among similar alternatives (e.g., similar homes in the same community), post-purchase dissonance in such instances commonly occurs, and leaves consumers with an uneasy feeling about their behavior (the purchase decision).
Ways consumers reduce dissonance
1. Rationalize their decisions.
2. Seek advertisements that support their choices (while avoiding dissonance-creating competitive ads).
3. Try to “sell” friends on the positive features of the purchase made (i.e., “the consumer as a sales
4. Look to satisfied owners for reassurance (e.g., meet homeowners in the community where the
newly purchased house is located).
Ways marketers reduce dissonance
Marketers use many techniques to reduce dissonance after major purchases. The more contact the company has with the consumer and the more reassurance they provide after a major purchase the less the dissonance is likely to be.
Internal Attribution
attributing results to actions of self.
External Attribution
attributing results to things beyond one’s control.
Defensive Attribution
best of both worlds.
Self-perception attribution
reflects the way people see themselves in the causalities they form about prior behaviors and the attitudes they develop thereafter.
Self-perception theory
is the inferences or judgment as to the causes of your behavior. Did something happen, like you won an award, because you were really good, because the competition was weak, or because the judges were rushed? We are constantly examining our behavior and often try to stay consistent. This is considered the foot-in-the-door technique, the fact that if you say yes to something, you will probably say yes to a similar act later on to remain consistent in your behavior.

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