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Chapter 5:

Consumer Motivation

Consumer Behavior: A Framework

John C. Mowen
Michael S. Minor
Ten Key Concepts
 Concept of  Opponent-process
Motivation theory
 Consumer needs  Optimum-
stimulation level
 Operant
 Reactance theory
 Classical
 Perceived risk
 Consumer
 Vicarious learning
What is Motivation?
 Motivation refers to an activated
state within a person that leads to
goal-directed behavior.
 It consists of the drives, urges,
wishes, or desires that initiate the
sequence of events leading to a
 Motivation begins with the presence of a stimulus
that spurs the recognition of a need.
 Need recognition occurs when a perceived
discrepancy exists between an actual and a
desired state of being
 Needs can be either innate or learned.
 Needs are never fully satisfied.
 Feelings and emotions (I.e., affect) accompany needs
 Expressive needs involve desires by consumers to
fulfill social and/or aesthetic requirements.
 Utilitarian needs involve desires by consumers to
solve basic problems (e.g. filling a car’s gas tank).
The Structure of Emotions

 Ten Fundamental Emotions People

 Disgust Interest
 Joy Surprise
 Sadness Anger
 Fear Contempt
 Shame Guilt
Some General Theories of
 Maslow hierarchy: physical, safety, belongingness,
ego, and self-actualiation
 McClelland’s Theory of Learned Needs
 Achievement motivation is seeking to get ahead, to strive for
success, and to take responsibility for solving problems.
 Need for affiliation motivates people to make friends, to
become members of groups, and to associate with others.
 Need for power refers to the desire to obtain and exercise
control over others.
 Need for uniqueness refers to desires to perceive ourselves
as original and different.
Classical Conditioning
 A neutral stimulus,
such as a brand
name, is paired with
a stimulus that elicits
a response.
 Through a repetition
of the pairing, the
neutral stimulus
takes on the ability to
elicit the response.
 The conditioned stimulus (CS) is a
previously neutral stimulus which
is repeatedly paired with the
eliciting stimulus.
 The unconditioned stimulus (UCS)
is an eliciting stimulus.
 The conditioned response (CR) is
the response elicited by the CS.
 The unconditioned response (UCR)
is the reflexive response elicited by
the unconditioned stimulus.
Classical Conditioning
Unconditioned/Secondary Stimulus Unconditioned Response


Political Emotions

Conditioned Stimulus Conditioned Response

Requirements for Effective
 The neutral stimulus should precede in
time the appearance of the
unconditioned stimulus.
 The product is paired consistently with
the unconditioned stimulus.
 Both the conditioned stimulus and the
unconditioned stimulus are highly
salient to the consumer.
Applications of Classical
Applications: communications--advertising,
public relations, personal selling.
 Goal: identify powerful positive stimulus and
associate brand with it.
 Examples of powerful, emotion causing stimuli:
 beautiful, sexy people

 patriotic themes, religious symbols

 Music, beautiful scenes

 Also, negative stimuli can be associated with

 Credit card insignia may elicit spending

Operant Conditioning . . .
. . . is the process in which the
frequency of occurrence of a bit of
behavior is modified by the
consequences of the behavior.
 If positively reinforced, the likelihood of
the behavior being repeated increases.
 If punished, the likelihood of the
behavior being repeated decreases.
Reinforcement & Influencing
 A reinforcer is anything that occurs
after a behavior and changes the
likelihood that it will be emitted again.
 Positive reinforcers are positive rewards
that follow immediately after a behavior
 Negative reinforcers are the removal of
an aversive stimulus.
Secondary reinforcers . . .
. . . are a previously neutral stimulus
that acquires reinforcing properties
through its association with a
primary reinforcer.
 Over a period of time, previously
neutral stimuli can become secondary
 In marketing, most reinforcers are
secondary (e.g. a product performing
well, a reduction in price)
A Punisher . . .

. . . is any stimulus whose

presence after a behavior
decreases the likelihood of the
behavior reoccurring.
Extinction & Eliminating

 Once an operant  Extinction is the

response is disappearance of
conditioned, it will a response due to
persist as long as lack of
it is periodically reinforcement.
Schedules of
Reinforcement . . .

. . . determine if a behavior is
reinforced after a certain number
of repetitions or after a certain
length of time has passed.
Example. Slot machines use a
variable schedule based upon
number of pulls of handle.
Discriminative Stimuli . . .

. . . are those
stimuli that occur
in the presence of
a reinforcer and
do not occur in its

Example: point of purchase

display is a discriminative
Stimulus Discrimination
and Generalization
 Stimulus discrimination occurs when an
organism behaves differently depending on
the presence of one of two stimuli. Goal of
differentiation is to cause stimulus

 Stimulus generalization occurs when an

organism reacts similarly to two or more
distinct stimuli. Goal of “knock-off” brands is
to use stimulus generalization.
Shaping Consumer
Responses . . .
. . . is creating
totally new operant
behaviors by
behaviors that
approximate the
Vicarious Learning . . .

. . . is the
phenomenon where
people observe the
actions of others to
develop “patterns
of behavior.”
Three important ideas:
 People are viewed as symbolic
beings who foresee the probable
consequences of their behavior.
 People learn by watching the actions
of others and the consequences of
these actions (i.e. vicarious
 People have the ability to regulate
their own behavior.
Factors Increasing a
Model’s Effectiveness
 The model is physically attractive.
 The model is credible.
 The model is successful.
 The model is similar to the observer.
 The model is shown overcoming
difficulties and then succeeding.
Three Major Uses of
Social-Learning Theory
 A model’s actions can be used to
create entirely new types of behaviors
 A model can be used to decrease the
likelihood that an undesired behavior
will occur
 The model can be used to facilitate
the occurrence of a previously learned
Midrange Theories of
 Opponent-Process Theory
 Optimum Stimulation Levels
 The Desire to Maintain Behavioral
 The Motivation to Avoid Risk
 The Motivation to Attribute Causality
Opponent-Process Theory
. . . explains that two things occur when a person receives
a stimulus that elicits an immediate positive or negative
emotional reaction:
 The immediate positive or negative emotional

reaction is felt.
 A second emotional reaction occurs that has a feeling

opposite to that initially experienced.

 The combination of the two emotional reactions

results in the overall feeling experienced by the

 Explains addictive behaviors

 Explains priming—the effects of a small exposure to a

Optimum Stimulation
. . . is a person’s preferred amount of physiological
activation or arousal.
 Activation may vary from very low levels (e.g. sleep) to
very high levels (e.g. severe panic).
 Individuals are motivated to maintain an optimum level of
stimulation and will take action to correct the level when it
becomes to high or too low.
 Accounts for high vs. low sensation seeking people.
 Accounts for variety seeking
 Accounts for hedonic consumption—I.e., the need of
people to create fantasies, gain feelings through the
senses, and obtain emotional arousal.
The Desire to Maintain
Behavioral Freedom
 Psychological reactance is the motivational
state resulting from the response to threats to
behavioral freedom.
 Two types of threats can lead to reactance:
 Social threats involve external pressure from other people
to induce a consumer to do something
 Impersonal threats are barriers that restrict the ability to
buy a particular product or service
 Frequent in marketing: e.g., pushy salesperson
 Scarcity effects: scarce products are valued more.
Limited time offer, limited supply.
The Motivation to Avoid
 Perceived risk is a consumer’s perception of the
overall negativity of a course of action based
upon as assessment of the possible negative
outcomes and of the likelihood that these
outcomes will occur.
 Perceived risk consists of two major concepts -
the negative outcomes of a decision and the
probability these outcomes will occur.
7 Types of Consumer
 Financial
 Performance
 Physical
 Psychological
 Social
 Time
 Opportunity Loss
Factors Influencing Risk
 Characteristics of the person—e.g.,
need for stimulation
 Nature of the task
 Voluntary risks are perceived as less
risky than involuntary tasks.
 Characteristics of the product—price
 Salience of negative outcomes
Six risk-reduction
 Be brand loyal and  Seek out information in
order to make a well
consistently purchase informed decision.
the same brand.  Buy the most expensive
 Buy through brand brand, which is likely to
image and purchase a have high quality.
quality national brand.
 Buy the least expensive
brand in order to reduce
 Buy through store financial risk.
image from a retailer
that you trust.
The Motivation to Attribute
Attribution theory describes the processes through
which people make determinations of the causality
of action.
 Internal attribution is when a consumer decides

that an endorser recommended the product

because he or she actually liked the product.
 External attribution is when a consumer decides

that an endorser recommended the product

because he or she was paid for endorsing it.
 Discounting occurs if external pressures exist that could
provoke someone to act in a particular way - so actions would
be expected given the circumstances.
 The augmenting principle states that when a person moves
against the forces of the environment to do something
unexpected, the belief that the action represents the person’s
actual opinions, feelings, and desires is increased.
 Fundamental Attribution error: One consistent finding is
that people are biased to make internal attributions to others.
Applications of attribution

 endorsers: seek to get consumers to

perceive internal motives for making
 satisfaction: seek to get consumers to
perceive external reasons for product
 sales promotion: find ways to avoid
consumers attributing the cause of the
purchase to the sale rather than to the
excellence of the product.
Managerial Applications of
 Positioning/differentiation: use discriminative stimuli
distinguish one brand from another.
 Environmental analysis: identify the reinforcers and
punishers that impact consumers; identify factors that
influence risk perception.
 Market research: measure motivational needs (e.g.,
McClelland’s needs and need for arousal), measure risk
 Marketing mix: use motivational needs to design
products (e.g., safe cars) and to develop promotional
strategy that meets needs. Develop messages to
influence consumer attributions. Use in-store
promotions to prime consumers.
 Segmentation: Segment market based upon
motivational needs.