Module 2



Personality can be defined as those inner psychological characteristics that both determine and reflect how a person responds to his or her environment. Inner characteristics includes specific
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qualities attributes Traits factors and mannerisms

(that distinguish one individual from other individuals)

Nature of Personality
 Personality  Personality  Personality

reflects individual differences is consistent and enduring can change

Theories of Personality

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Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of personality Id, Superego, and Ego

Freudian Theory and “Product Personality”

Unconscious vs. Conscious

Theories of Personality

NEO – FREUDIAN Personality Theory
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Theory given by Freud’s colleagues ‘Social Relationships’ -> Personality Alfred Adler: feelings of inferiority Harry Stack Sullivan: reduce tension Karen Horney: ‘CAD’ individuals

Compliant – move towards others Aggressive – move against others Detached – move away from others

Theories of Personality

TRAIT Theory
Trait: any distinguishing, relatively enduring way in which one individual differs from another. Focus on – measurement of personality i.e., quantitative or empirical approach “Single-trait personality tests”

Consumer innovativeness: how receptive a person is to new experience? Consumer materialism: attachment to ‘worldly possessions’ Consumer ethnocentrism: likelihood towards ‘foreign-made products’


Personality is linked to purchase of broad product category

Personality & Consumer Behavior

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Consumer Innovativeness & Personality Traits
Consumer innovativeness: first to try new products, services or practices Dogmatism: measures degree of rigidity (may be toward the unfamiliar or contrary to their beliefs)
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Low in Dogmatism (open-minded): prefer innovative products High in Dogmatism (close-minded): established choice Social Character: Inner-directedness: ‘inner’ values & stds – innovators – stress on product features & personal benefits Other-directedness: other’s advice – non-innovators – social acceptance


Personality & Consumer Behavior

Consumer Innovativeness & Personality Traits (Contd…)

Optimal stimulation Level: High OSLs are innovators

Lifestyles = OSL scores: consumers are satisfied Lifestyles > OSL scores (understimulated): consumers are bored Lifestyles < OSL scores (overstimulated): consumers seek relief or rest.

Variety-Novelty Seeking: Variety seeking scores (high vs. low)

Exploratory purchase behavior: switching brands to experience new and possibly better alternatives Vicarious exploration: securing information about a new or different alternative & then day dreaming Use innovativeness: using an already adopted products in a new or novel way



Personality & Consumer Behavior

Cognitive Personality Factors:

Need for Cognition (NC): person’s craving for or enjoyment of thinking.
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High NC: responsive towards descriptive ads Low NC: attractive towards background & peripheral aspects of an ad, such as, models / celebrities

Visualizers vs. Verbalizers:

Visualizers: visual info Verbalizers: verbal / written info

Personality & Consumer Behavior

From Consumer Materialism to Compulsive Consumption

Consumer Materialism
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Value acquiring & showing-off possessions Self-centered & selfish Lifestyles full of possessions i.e., desire to have lots of things Many possessions don’t give greater personal satisfaction A deep interest in a particular object / category A willingness to secure additional examples Considerable amt. of discretionary time & money to search out the objects / product Involvement not only in product, also in process of acquiring

Fixated Consumption Behavior (collectors / hobbyists)
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Compulsive Consumption Behavior (addicted, eg., drugs)

The act of buying may alter a negative mood to a more positive one

Brand Personality

Brand personification

Tries to recast consumer’s perception of the attributes of a product or service into a ‘human-like character’.

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Product Personality & Gender Product & Color Dimensions of a Brand’s personality
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Sincerity – like honest, cheerful… Excitement – like daring, spirited… Competence – like reliable, intelligent… Sophistication – like upper class, charming… Ruggedness – like tough, strong…

Self & Self-Image

One or Multiple Selves
Individual is likely to act differently with different people & in different situations. Acting exactly the same in all situations or roles – a sign of abnormal or unhealthy person. Self images are unique

Types of Self-Image
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Actual self-image: how consumers see themselves? Ideal self-image: how consumers would like to see themselves Social self-image: how consumers feel others see them? Ideal social self-image: how consumers would like others to see them? Expected self-image: how consumers expect to see themselves at some specified future time?

Self & Self-Image

Extended Self
A gift from parents / grand parents

Altering the Self
To become different or improves self Self altering products