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Chapter 7: Consumer Belief, Attitude,

& Behavior Formation and Change

Consumer Behavior: A Framework

John C. Mowen & Michael Minor

Key Concepts

Beliefs, attitudes, & behavioral intentions Attributes Direct formation of beliefs, etc. Hierarchies of effects The attitude-towardthe-object model

The behavioral intentions model The elaboration likelihood model Balance theory Attitude toward ads Behavioral influence techniques of persuasion

Consumer Beliefs About Product Attributes

Beliefs result from cognitive learning. Beliefs are the knowledge and inferences that a consumer has about objects, their attributes, and their benefits provided.

Objects are the products, people, companies, and things about which people hold beliefs and attitudes. Benefits are the positive outcomes that attributes provide to the consumer. Attributes are the characteristics of an object

Additional Info on Attributes

A halo effect occurs when consumers assume that because a product is good or bad on one product characteristic it is also good or bad on another product characteristic.

Attribute importance

A persons assessment of the significance of an attribute. Influenced by amount of attention directed to the feature. A persons self-concept, advertising, and the salience of the attribute can influence the attention focused on the feature.

Consumer Attitudes

Attitude is the amount of affect or feeling for or against a stimulus Attitudes are stored in long-term memory Beliefs are the cognitive knowledge about an object In high involvement situations, beliefs predict attitudes.

The Functions of Attitudes

Utilitarian Function: use to obtain rewards and avoid punishments. Ego-Defensive Function: selfprotection, e.g., smokers Knowledge Function: simplifies decisions, e.g., brand loyalty Value-Expressive Function: express identify to others. e.g., t-shirts.

Behaviors & Intentions to Behave

Consumer behaviors consist of all the actions taken by consumers related to acquiring, disposing, and using products and services

Behavioral intentions may be defined as the intentions of consumers to behave. Usually measured on 7 or 9 point scale: low likelihood of performing behavior to high likelihood.

Beliefs, Attitudes, and Behaviors May Be Formed in Two Ways:

Direct formation is when a belief, attitude, or behavior is created without either of the other states occurring first. Hierarchy of effects occurs after a belief, attitude, or behavior is formed directly, there is a tendency for the states to build upon each other to create hierarchies

Direct Formation of Beliefs, Attitudes, & Behaviors

Direct belief formation corresponds to the decision-making perspective and cognitive learning. The direct formation of attitudes is linked to the experiential perspective. The direct formation of behavior is linked to the behavioral influence perspective. Operant conditioning and modeling.

Forming Attitudes Directly

Classical conditioning/associative learning-positive affect is attached to object Mere exposure--frequent exposure to stimulus increases liking for it. Derived from Butterfly effect. Moods--mood at the time of exposure to object influences feelings about object.

Directly Forming Behavior

Strong environmental forces can directly influence behavior, such as from the design of the physical environment. Operant conditioning can influence behavior without the formation of beliefs or attitudes.

Hierarchies of Beliefs, Attitudes, and Behaviors

Decision-Making Hierarchies Experiential Hierarchy

Behavioral Influence Hierarchy

Decision making hierarchies

High involvement: beliefs behavior Low involvement: beliefs attitudes

Affect behavior beliefs beliefs affect



Behavioral influence hierarchy


Predicting Consumer Attitudes

Multiattribute models identify how consumers in high-involvement situations (i.e. standard hierarchy of effects) combine their beliefs about product attributes to form attitudes about various brand alternatives, corporations, or other objects.

Attitude-Toward-The-Object Model
Identifies three major factors that are predictive of attitudes:

Salient Beliefs
Strength of the Belief

Ao biei
i 1


Measurement issues

bi: 1 = low probability that object possesses attribute. 9=high likelihood. ei: -3 = negative evaluation of attribute. +3 = positive evaluation of attribute.

Fishbein Attitude Toward Object Model: which college will be chosen by Student Y? Ao = Sum (Bi x Ei)
University/College State U Bi 2 -4 6 18 4 -4 7 14 24 Attribute Ivy Bi 9 8 1 9 Local U Bi 5 -10 3 9 8 -1 4 8 -1

High Price Good Job Easy entry Learn a lot

Ei -2 3 -1 2

-18 24 -3 18 21

Global Attitude Measure: Direct measure of overall affect and feelings regarding object.
Use multiple scales to measure Bad 1 2 3 4 5 Good Negative 1 2 3 4 5 Positive Dislike 1 2 3 4 5 Like Compare results of global measure to results of Attitudetoward-the-object measure.

colleagues to improve on the ability of the attitude-toward-the-object model to predict consumer behavior

The Behavioral Intentions Model . .. . was developed by Fishbein and his . .

Included subjective norms: how other people feel about the behavior. Assesses the consumers attitude toward the overt behavior of purchasing the product rather than toward the object itself. Use consequences of the behavior rather than attributes of object.

When Do Attitudes Predict Behavior?

When consumer involvement is high. measurement must at proper level of abstraction. Cannot predict whether someone will go to church on Sunday by asking them about overall attitude toward church. Must consider subjective norms Situational factors Other brands/objects Attitude strength Mere measurement effect: just asking intention to buy increases likelihood of buying. When measured close in hierarchy to behavior. Surface traits are much like global attitude measures.

Persuasion . . Persuasion is the explicit . attempt to influence beliefs,

attitudes, and/or behaviors.
Communication is defined broadly to include all aspects of the message, including the source of the message, the type of message given, and through what channel it moved (e.g., television, radio, or print media)

The Elaboration Likelihood Model: a decision making approach

to persuasion
. . . is an approach to understanding the persuasion process which illustrates the decision-making path to belief, attitude, and behavior change


Peripheral Routes to Persuasion

Belief and Attitude Change May Take One of Two Routes

The Central Route to persuasion is when the consumer has highinvolvement information processing The Peripheral Route to persuasion is when the consumer has lowinvolvement information processing

The Central Route to Persuasion

Moves through the high involvement hierarchy. The consumer attends more carefully to the message being received and compares it to his or her own attitudinal position. Likely to generate a number of cognitive responses to the communication Central Cues refer to ideas and supporting data that bear directly upon the quality of the arguments developed in the message

Consumer moves through the low involvement hierarchy. Cognitive responses are much less likely to occur, because the consumer is not carefully considering the pros and cons of the issue. Peripheral persuasion cues include such factors as the attractiveness and expertise of the source, the mere number of the arguments presented, and the positive or negative stimuli that form the context within which the message was presented (e.g., pleasant music, source attractiveness, source trustworthiness, etc.) Truth effect. Repeat something often enough, people will come to believe it.

The Peripheral Route to Persuasion

Individual Differences in Route to Persuasion: the Need for Cognition

High Attitude Toward Ad Low Strong arguments

Weak arguments

Low High Need for cognition

Multiattribute Models and the Decision-Making Path

A-T-O model:

Change the perceived evaluation of an attribute Change the belief that an object has a particular attribute add an attribute Influence consumer perceptions of the consequences of a behavior. Influence perceptions of normative influence

Behavioral Intentions Model:

Experiential Path to Attitude Change

Balance Theory Attitudes Toward the Advertisement

Balance Theory . . .
. . . proposes that people have a preference to maintain a balanced state among the cognitive elements if these elements are perceived as forming a system .basic rule: multiplication of the signs of the relations must come out with a positive sign.

Sentiment Connection Person

Unit connection Product

?? to +
Sentiment Connection

Sentiment connection: feeling toward evaluative objects Unit connection: psychological linkage between two evaluative objects. Enhance by increasing the association via attribution and Gestalt principles.

Attitudes Toward the Advertisement . . .

. . . are a consumers general liking or disliking for a particular advertising stimulus during a particular advertising exposure. Will influence attitude toward brand. Measurement: like a global attitude.

The Behavioral Influence Route to Behavior Change

The ecological design of buildings and spaces can strongly affect the behavior of people without them being aware of the influence Strong reinforcers or punishers in the environment can induce people to take actions that they would prefer to avoid. Behavioral influence techniques employ strong norms to influence behavior directly.

Behavioral Influence Techniques:

Ingratiation. . . refers to self-serving

tactics engaged in by one person to make himself or herself more attractive to another. *Similarity *conforming to wishes *offering gifts *express liking *ask advice

Additional Behavioral Influence Tactics

Foot in the door: small request and then large request. Uses self-perception and self-consistency. Door in the face: large request and then small request. Uses the norm of reciprocity. even a penny will help. Based upon desire to present self positively to others. Never, ever lie to consumers.

Ethical issues??

Some Managerial Implications

Positioning/differentiation: position brands based upon key attributes. Environmental analysis: assess and manipulate environment to implement behavioral influence approach. Market research: employ to identify salient attributes and key benefits, measure attitudes, and predict behavioral intentions Marketing mix: identify benefits sought by consumers and develop products to provide them. Develop promotions to communicate to consumers key attributes, to influence beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. Segmentation: Employ benefit segmentation by identifying target markets desiring specific product benefits.