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Chapter 6 Attitudes and Intentions

What Is an Attitude?
Attitude is a persons overall evaluation of a concept.
Evaluations are affective responses created by:
Affective systems Cognitive systems

Overall evaluation is formed when consumers integrate knowledge, meanings, or beliefs about the attitude concept (integration process).
Analyzes the personal relevance of the concept and determines whether it is favorable or unfavorable.

Evaluations may be stored in memory.


What is an Attitude? cont.

Whether an attitude will affect interpretation or integration processes depends on its:
Accessibility in memory (or probability of activation), influenced by:
Salience or importance. Frequency of prior activation. Strength of the association between a concept and its attitude.

Attitudes can be measured by asking consumers to evaluate the concept of interest.


Attitudes Toward What?

Various physical and social objects Intangible objects Behaviors or actions


Levels of Attitude Concepts

Concepts vary in their levels of specificity:
Product class Product form Brand Model Brand/model general situation Brand/model specific situation

Marketers must measure the attitude concept at the level of specificity most relevant to the marketing problem.

Exhibit 6.1 - Levels of Specificity of an Attitude Concept


What is an Attitude? - Marketing Implications

Brand equity involves a strong, positive brand attitude based on favorable meanings and beliefs that are accessible in memory.
Creates a strong, favorable consumer-brand relationship. Can be built, borrowed, or bought.

Attitude tracking studies

Marketers can use measures of consumers attitudes to indicate the success of marketing strategies.

Attitudes Toward Objects

Salient beliefs
Activated beliefs. Only salient beliefs about an object create a persons attitude toward that object. Many factors influence which beliefs about an object will be activated in a situation and thus become salient determinants of Ao (attitude toward objects). Salient beliefs vary over time or situations for some products.

The Multiattribute Attitude Model

Multiattribute attitude models focus on consumers beliefs about multiple product or brand attributes. Martin Fishbeins model is most influential in marketing.


The Multiattribute Attitude Model (cont.)

Key proposition
Evaluations of salient beliefs cause overall attitude.

Overall attitude is a function of two factors

Strengths of the salient beliefs associated with the object. Evaluation of those beliefs.


The Multiattribute Attitude Model (cont.)

AO = attitude toward the object bi = strength of the belief that the object has attribute i ei = evaluation of attribute i n = number of salient beliefs about the object

The Multiattribute Attitude Model (cont.)

Model components
Belief strength is the perceived probability of association between an object and its relative attributes.
Affected by past consumer experiences. Number of salient beliefs about an attitude object unlikely to exceed seven to nine.

Belief evaluation reflects how favorably the consumer perceives that attribute.
Not necessarily fixed over time or constant across different situations

Attitudes Toward Objects Marketing Implications

Understanding your customers. Diagnosis of marketing strategies. Understanding situational influences.


Attitude-Change Strategies
Add a new salient belief about the attitude object. Increase the strength of an existing positive belief. Improve the evaluation of a strongly held belief. Make an existing favorable belief more salient.


Attitudes Toward Behavior

Most research has found rather weak relationships between attitudes toward an object and specific single behaviors. It is not possible to predict with accuracy any specific behavior based on knowing a persons overall attitude toward the object of the behavior.


Exhibit 6.6 - The Theory of Reasoned Action


The Theory of Reasoned Action cont.

Any reasonably complex voluntary behavior is determined by the persons intention to perform that behavior.
Assumes consumers:
Consciously consider the consequences of alternative behaviors. Choose the one that leads to the most desirable consequences.

Outcome is an intention to engage in the selected behavior. The theory is not relevant for extremely simple or involuntary behaviors.


The Theory of Reasoned Action cont.

Model components
Behaviors are specific actions directed at some target object. Behavioral intention is a proposition connecting self and a future action. Attitude toward the behavior or action reflects the consumers overall evaluation of performing the behavior. The subjective or social norm component reflects consumers perceptions of what other people want them to do.

Attitudes Toward Behavior Marketing Implications

Situational context has powerful influences on consumers behavioral intentions. To develop effective strategies
Determine whether the attitude toward the behavior or action or the subjective norm component has the major influence on behavioral intentions.

Measures of consumers intentions may not be perfect indicators of the actual intentions that determine the behavior.

Intentions and Behaviors

To accurately predict behaviors, marketers should measure consumers intentions at the same level of abstraction and specificity as the action, target, and time components of the behavior. Situation context also should be specified when it is important.


Intentions and Behaviors (cont.)

Factors that reduce or weaken the relationship between measured behavioral intentions and observed behavior:
Intervening time Different levels of specificity Unforeseen environmental event Unforeseen situational context Degree of voluntary control Stability of intentions New information

Intentions and Behaviors (cont.)

Despite less-than-perfect accuracy, measures of purchase intentions are often the best way to predict future purchase behaviors. Certain behaviors just cannot be accurately predicted from beliefs, attitudes, and intentions.


Attitude is a consumers overall evaluation of an object. Attitude objects vary in levels of abstraction and specificity. Discussed consumers attitudes toward objects and described Fishbeins multiattribute model.


Summary (cont.)
The theory of reasoned action identifies consumers attitudes toward performing behaviors and social influences as the basis for behavioral intentions. The problems of using measures of behavioral intentions to predict actual behaviors were discussed.


Summary (cont.)
Consumers activated knowledge is the basic factor underlying their attitudes, subjective norms, and intentions, and ultimately their behaviors. Activated salient beliefs and the resulting attitudes and intentions are sensitive to situational factors in the environment, including marketing strategies.