Consumer Behavior Models

By Priya Chetty on July 31, 2010

Freudian Psychoanalytical Model

The Freudian model suggests that consumers succumb to their deepest fears and longings which translate into certain purchasing decisions. Freud believed that the human personality is made up of three parts namely the “ID”, “Super Ego” and “The Ego”. The Super Ego is representative of a person’s idealized or mended behavior pattern which often mediates between the extremes.  The Ego serves as a problem solver in case a conflict arises between the Super Ego and the ID. The ID and the Super Ego are on two opposite ends of the spectrum and the Ego helps to dissolve conflicts that may arise between them. The Ego drives an individual’s behavior to satisfy the ID and the Super Ego.

The  Pavlovian Learning Model

It is the most widely accepted theory by psychologists all over the world.  The theory suggests that a buyer’s behavior is related to the learning experiences of the individual. The model takes advantage of the knowledge than a man is capable of leaving, forgetting and discriminating.  Pavlov suggested that a buyer’s behavior can be manipulated by simply influencing their human drives of stimuli and responses of the buyer.

Sociological Model

The sociological model states that an individual is influenced by the society into buying and consuming several products and not completely by the concept of the product’s utility. There are two variations of the sociological model namely that of the Nicosia model of 1966and the Howard and Sheth model of 1969.

Nicosia Model

The model is based on the relationship between the firm and its potential consumers. The organization uses means of communication such as advertisement to reach out to its consumers and the consumers respond to their advertisements by generating a purchase response.

Howard-Sheth Model

This concept became popular because it focused on the importance of inputs to the consumer buying process and suggests ways in which the consumer orders these inputs before making a final decision.

Engel-Kollat-Blackwell Model

The model made an attempt to include many factors which influence the consumer during his decision making process such as values, lifestyle, personality and culture. However, the model did not try to explain what factors shape these items and how differences in the personalities of different individuals can lead to different decision making processes. The model also does not explain how these values can be applied in a way that they can adjust to the different personality types.


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