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Attitude and Change

Attitude and Change

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Published by: archanasingh17 on Nov 02, 2009
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© Copy Right: Rai University
11.623.3 145
CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR
LESSON 16:ATTITUDE FORMATION AND CHANGE
Introduction
How do people, especially young students like you, form yourinitial general attitudes toward “things”? Consider your attitudetoward clothing you wear such as casual wear, and formal wear.On a more specific level, how do you form attitudes towardWoodlands, or Will life style, or Lee casual wear, or Allen Sollyformal clothing? Also, what about where such clothing ispurchased? Would you buy your casual wear, and formalclothing at Shopper’s Stop, Lifestyle, or The Metropolitan? Howdo family members and friends, celebrities admired by you,advertisements, influence the formation of you attitudesconcerning consuming or not consuming each of these types of apparel items? Why do some attitudes seem to persist indefi-nitely, while others change very often? The answer to all thesequestions are of great importance to marketers, since withoutknowing how attitudes are formed, they are unable to under-stand or to influence consumer attitudes or behaviour.The above is also true of attitude change, i.e., attitude changesare learned; they are influenced by personal experience and othersources of information, and personality affects both thereceptivity and the speed with which attitudes are likely to bealtered.
Objectives
After completing this lesson you should be able to:
Understand the concept of formation of attitudes
Identify the circumstances and reasons for attitude changes
Formulate strategies for changing attitudes
1. How are attitudes formed?
We examine attitude formation by dividing into three areas:how attitudes are learned, the sources of influence on attitudeformation, and the impact of personality on attitude forma-tion.1.How attitudes are learned:1)The shift from having no attitude toward a givenobject to having an attitude is learned. The learningmay come from information exposure, consumers’own cognition (knowledge or belief), or experience.2)Consumers may form an attitude before or after apurchase.2.Sources of influence on attitude formation: personalexperience, friends and family, direct marketing, or massmedia.3.Personality factors: such as high/low need for cognition(information seeking), and social status consciousness
1.1 Learning of Attitudes
By formation of attitude, we mean a situation, where there is ashift from having no attitude towards a given object to havingsome attitude toward it. This shift from no attitude to anattitude or the formation of attitude is a result of learning.Attitudes are generally formed through:
Repeated exposure to novel social objects,
Classical conditioning,
Operant conditioning and
Exposure to live and symbolic models.Consumers generally purchase new products that are associatedwith a favorably viewed brand name. Their favorable attitudetoward the brand name is frequently the result of repeatedsatisfaction with other products produced by the same com-pany. In terms of 
classical conditioning
, an established brandname is an
unconditioned stimulus
that has resulted in a favorablebrand attitude through past positive reinforcement. A newproduct, which is yet to be linked to the established brand,would be the
conditioned impulse
. For example, by giving a newanti-wrinkle lotion the benefit of its well-known and respectedfamily name, Johnson & Johnson may be counting on anextension of the favorable attitude already associated with thebrand name to the new product. They are counting on stimulusgeneralization from the brand name to the new product. It hasbeen shown by research that the “fit” between a parent brandlike in the case of J&J and a brand extension, for instance, J&J’santi-wrinkle, is a function of two factors: (1) the similaritybetween the pre-existing product categories already associatedwith the parent brand and the new extension, and (2) the “fit”or match between the images of the parent brand and the newextension.At times, attitudes follow the purchase and consumption of aproduct. For example, a consumer may purchase a brand-nameproduct without having a prior attitude towards it, because it isthe only product available like the last bottle of shampoo in ahotel store). Consumers sometimes make trial purchases of new brands from product categories in which they have littlepersonal involvement. If they find the purchased brand to besatisfactory, then they are likely to develop a favorable attitudetoward it.Life is too complicated to predict what attitudes will persist andwhich will change but early socialization experiences do shapeattitudes.
1.2 Sources of Influence on Attitude Formation
The formation of consumer attitudes is strongly influenced by
 personal experience, the influence of family and friends,direct marketing,
and
mass media.
Attitudes towards goodsand services are primarily formed through the consumer’s directexperience
 
146 11.623.3
© Copy Right: Rai University
CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR
Activity 1
1.What sources influenced you attitude about this coursebefore classes started?2.Has your initial attitude changed since the course started?If so, how?
 
© Copy Right: Rai University
11.623.3 147
CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR
1.3 Personality Factors
We know that the personality of each individual is different andit plays a very crucial role in formation of attitude. Say forexample, if you have a high need for cognition, i.e., you cravefor information and enjoy thinking. Then you are likely to forma positive attitude in response to ads or direct mail that are richin product related information. On the other hand, your friendRavi, who is relatively low in need for cognition, is more likelyto form positive attitudes in response to ads that feature anattractive model or well-known celebrity.
Activity 2
Describe a situation in which you acquired an attitude toward anew product through exposure to an advertisement for thatproduct. Describe a situation where you formed an attitudetoward a product or brand on the basis of personal influence.
2. Attitude Change and Persuasion
Activity 3
A.
Using the Internet, find two advertisements that are tryingto persuade you. Try to find an advertisement that is tryingto persuade you to buy something and one that is trying topersuade you to
do
something (e.g., vote for someone,donate money to something).
B.
Determine what processing route the ads are trying to useand how effective it might be. Also try to generate someideas about how a consumer could resist theadvertisement’s persuasive tactics.

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