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Unformatted text preview: CHAPTER OBJECTIVES When students have finished reading this chapter they should understand why: Its important for consumer researchers to understand the nature and power of attitudes. Attitudes are more complex than they first appear. We form attitudes in several ways. A need to maintain consistency among all our attitudinal components motivates us to alter one or more of them. We use attitude models to identify specific components and combine them to predict a consumers overall attitude toward a product or brand. CHAPTER SUMMARY One of the most interesting studies in consumer behavior is the study of attitudes. An attitude is a lasting, general evaluation of people (including oneself), objects, advertisements, or issues. These evaluations can be positive or negative. A functional theory of attitudes (developed by Daniel Katz) indicates that attitudes have the following functions: utilitarian, value-expressive, ego-defensive, and knowledge. Attitudes also relate to a persons relationship to his or her social environment. Most researchers agree that an attitude has three basic components: affect (how someone feels), behavior (what someone doesintentions), and cognition (what someone believes). Although all three components of attitudes are important, their relative importance will vary depending on a consumers level of motivation with regard to the attitude object (A o ). Attitude researchers traditionally assumed that attitudes were learned in a fixed sequence, consisting first of the formation of beliefs (cognitions) regarding an attitude object, followed by some evaluation of that object (affect), and then some action (behavior). Depending on the consumers level of involvement and circumstances, however, attitudes can result from other hierarchies of effects as 175 ATTITUDES C H A P T E R 7 Section 2: Consumers as Individuals well. These different hierarchies can be used to predict the outcome of a variety of attitude situations. Several hierarchy formats are described in the chapter. Consumers vary in their commitment to an attitude; the degree of commitment is related to their level of involvement with the attitude object. The degrees can be described as being compliance, identification, or internalization. One organizing principle of attitude formation is the importance of consistency among attitudinal componentsthat is, some parts of an attitude may be altered to be in line with others. Such theoretical approaches to attitudes as cognitive dissonance theory , self-perception theory , social judgment theory , and balance theory stress the vital role of the need for consistency. The complexity of attitudes is underscored by multi-attribute attitude models , where a set of beliefs and evaluations is identified and combined to predict an overall attitude. Factors such as subjective norms and the specificity of attitude scales have been integrated into attitude measures to improve predictability. Marketers now attempt to track attitudes over time to better understand to improve predictability....
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This note was uploaded on 02/25/2012 for the course CSR 332 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Purdue University-West Lafayette.
- Spring '08