The behavioural or conative component refers to a

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Unformatted text preview: bout an object. A child, for instance, may love the smell of freshly baked cookies in a retail 34 store. The behavioural or conative component refers to a person’s action or behavioural tendencies toward an object or activity. The way a consumer makes the effort to buy and eat her preferred chocolate illustrates this point [Zikmund, 2000:386; Hawkins et al., 2001:394; and Kotler, 2000:175]. The components of attitudes are shown in figure 2.7. Figure 2.7: Attitude components and manifestations Initiator Component Component manifestation Affective Emotions or feelings about specific attributes or overall object Stimuli Products Situations o Retailers o Sales personnel o Advertising Cognitive Beliefs about specific attributes or overall object Behavioural Overall orientation toward object Behavioural intentions with respect to specific attributes or overall o o Attitude Source: Hawkins, D.I., Best, R.J., Coney, K.A., 2001, Consumer behavior, 8th edition, U.S.A.: McGraw-Hill, p. 395. The first two components, namely affective and cognitive, are conceptualised as determinants of attitudes – a person’s overall evaluation of a product or activity is seen as being determined by the person’s beliefs and / or feelings about the product or activity. For some products, attitudes will be more dependent on beliefs, such as buying a toothbrush, whilst other products may be more dependent on feelings, such as going to a music concert. The behavioural component, however, is not seen as a determinant of attitudes but a manifestation. In other words, a consumer’s behavioural intentions will depend on the other two components and the varying extents of their influence [Kim et al., 1998:145; Brassington & Pettitt, 1997:108; and Hawkins et al., 2001:399]. A critical aspect of these components that needs mentioning, is that they tend to be consistent. In other words, a change in one component results in a change in the other two. This does, however, depend on the influence of other factors [Hawkins et al., 2001:399]. For example, a consumer cannot turn a favourable belief and feeling (“I like eating ice cream”) into an action due to the lack of ability (“... but I don’t have enough 35 money to buy any.”). Other cases in point might see a child not buying any ice cream because he does not know where it is located in the store or the store has run out of ice cream or even because of a parent’s influence. Attitudes can be used to predict consumer behaviour. During the years many approaches, such as psychometrics and scale development, have been developed in attempting to measure attitudes [De Meuse & Hostager, 2001:33; Riggio, 2000:707; Ghalam, 1997:13; and Manolis & Levin, 1997:666]. Attitudes are usually good predictors when they are measured at a time relatively close to when the behaviour is to take place generally speaking. To demonstrate this, consider asking a child what he plans on doing for the weekend on a Friday. His reply should be relatively accurate. However, his answer would be less accurate if were asked the same question a month earlier. This suggests that the ability to predict future behaviour...
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