four views on consumer decision making


consumer decIsion making models

Decision is the selection of an action from two or more choices. Generally, decision making is regarded as a cognitive process of selecting one from two or more alternative choices; because it is argued that we usually take decisions, after properly evaluating the situations and circumstances.

However, there are four different arguments on this. This is known as Four Views on Consumer Decision Making. These are Economic view, Passive view, Cognitive View and Emotional View.

The four views explain why individuals behave as they do. The views are also called as Models of consumer decision making. They are Economic Model, Passive Model, Cognitive Model and Emotional Model.

Economic Model/ Economic View

Economic model is a rational model. As per this view, consumers make decisions in a rational manner, after considering everything about the product. Here, the consumer, examines and evaluates the benefits and defects of the product before making a buying decision. It assumes that, consumer is aware of all product alternatives and he compares various products, evaluates benefits and defects and take a purchase decision on the basis of all these.

There are some arguments against this view.

·      Man cannot always be rational in purchase decisions.

·      People are limited by skills, habits, values, perceptions and not always be rational and logical.

·      Economic model is suitable for a market condition where there is perfect competition. Consumers live in a world of imperfect competition.

Therefore, Economic model is considered unrealistic.

Passive Model/ Passive View

As per this view, consumers are passive and basically submissive to the advertisements and other strategies of marketers. This means that, consumers respond directly to the sales and advertisement appeals and make decisions as a response to the promotional efforts of marketers.

Passive model is opposite to the rational model. There are some arguments against this model also:

·      Consumers have the ability to collect information and take purchase decisions accordingly.

·      Consumers are capable of evaluating information about product alternatives and then can make wise purchases.

·      We cannot say that the consumers are always buying things only because of the marketing efforts of the marketers.

Therefore, the passive model is also considered unrealistic.

Cognitive Model/Cognitive View

Cognitive view portrays the consumer as a thinking man. This model states that the consumers make purchase decisions on the basis of their own interest and understanding of the market. In this model, consumers are taking decisions neither fully according to their own investigative thinking nor attracted completely by the promotional efforts of marketers; but they make decisions based on their own interest and the understanding of demand.

As per this view, the consumer mainly considers the risks associated with the purchase; such as personal risk, financial risk, social risk etc. However, we cannot say that the consumer considers all RISKS and its consequences in detail. Practically consumers do not collect and evaluate all information and related risk factors. Thus, the cognitive decision becomes more practical. Therefore, cognitive view is considered the best of the four models, of consumer decision making.

Emotional Model/Emotional View  

Emotional model says that when consumers make decisions, usually they become emotional with purchases or possessions and as a consequence make purchases impulsively. It means that consumers use less time to think about whether the product is necessary for them or not. As per this view, at the time of purchasing a luxury product, consumers make more impulsive purchases when they relate themselves with a product or service. A person who buys a Rolls-Royce car never think of its price, but thinks about the purchase and possession of the car.

The emotional view or model states that all consumers are emotional and act upon their emotions while making a purchase decision. They take less time to think whether the product is necessary for them or not, but develop negative or positive emotions related with the product. Products that bring negative emotions are avoided and products that bring positive emotions are bought.





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