Psychological features of consumer behavior, Economic...

Psychological features of consumer behavior

The study of consumer behavior is one of the sections of the study of human behavior and has a pronounced interdisciplinary nature. To understand, explain and predict the behavior of consumers in different situations, this area of ​​knowledge actively uses the concepts and concepts of the sciences of man and society - psychology, sociology, economics, etc.

The convention of the term "consumer behavior" is noteworthy. In reality, there is simply the behavior of people, and "consumer" it becomes a special angle of the researcher, singling out in the whole complex of man's acts only those actions that concern consumption. " Studying the behavior of consumers in the market of goods - the motives of buying, preferences, attitudes, decision-making process is a necessary subject of economic sciences, mainly marketing, which is a kind of human activity "aimed at meeting needs and needs through exchange"; (Kotler, 2007, page 47).

Consider the history of the development of such a scientific and applied sphere as the behavior of consumers.

Initially, theoretical developments in the field of consumer behavior began in the XIX-XX centuries. within the framework of social science. They include the idea of ​​the commodity fetishism of Karl Marx, the theory of the ostentatious (prestigious) consumption of T. Veblen, the theory of fashion of G. Simmel, the concept of luxury of V. Sombart, and so on. These names are often quoted in studies of consumption problems (Ilyin, 2000, p. 2).

Currently, there are four main approaches to the study of consumer behavior.

1. The economic theory of customer demand is a theoretical analysis of customer demand, based on the concept of rationality, which establishes the relationship between customer demand and objective economic criteria for price and income.

2. Theory of consumer opinions in aggregate demand (Katona) - the approach attaches great importance to subjective factors - customer expectations, relationships, social learning and consciousness, the level of the economic optimum, their measurement and the impact on aggregate customer demand. That is, in this approach, consumer behavior is considered in a social context and subjective factors.

3. The theory of purchasing behavior, as it is studied in the literature on marketing, is largely devoted to solving practical problems of increasing the sales of specific goods using various methods and methods of psychological influence for this purpose. Within the framework of this approach, models of large systems were created (D. Angel, R. Blackwell, P. Miniard, F. Kotler, G. Armstrong, D. Saunders, V. Wong, etc.), which, on the one hand, generalize the accumulated as a result of studies of consumer behavior material and provide a conceptual structure for further research, on the other.

4. Socio-psychological problems of consumer behavior.

Consider the theoretical and empirical developments in the field of consumer behavior, carried out in line with economic, marketing and socio-psychological approaches.

Economic approach

At the heart of the economic study of consumer behavior is the concept of "human rational, economic," assuming the following principles:

the principle of complete information and foresight. Rational consumer is initially given and known economic conditions such as demand, supply, prices, etc. This assumption is also true for future situations in which the share of uncertainty is large, therefore, rational choice is always possible;

the principle of absolute mobility. There are no factors that can slow or make rational choices unavailable;

the principle of pure competition. No one can influence the choice of the consumer, he is independent and does not depend on the choice of any other person. Human action is the result of only his individual choice.

Thus, the main goal of rational consumer behavior is maximizing profit or maximizing utility. Consequently, the behavior of each of the subjects of market relations (consumer, producer) can be viewed as a series of interrelated rational actions with a predetermined purpose. The subject chooses rational goals only in accordance with his natural and reasonable social needs, carefully calculates the optimal way to meet the need. Each consumer seeks to get for his money maximum in terms of quality and quantity of products.

The consequence of this statement is the principle of diminishing utility, considered by economists as the "basic human propensity". When each next unit receives a certain product, satisfaction is weakened; there is saturation of the need. From this it follows that the more goods or money a person has, the less his need for goods or money and the less incentive to multiply what he has. However, empirical observations show that poor people do not always strive to change their position with all their might, and people's wealth does not weaken the incentives to multiply their state.

The literature also describes studies that support the fact that on the basis of rational calculations a very small percentage of goods are purchased, as evidenced by the "effects of irrational behavior when buying goods."

Consumer behavior is not subject to simple patterns of maximizing benefits, rational assessments, calculation and choice. In addition to the functional demand related to the qualities inherent in the commodity, there is a nonfunctional demand due to various psychological reasons - fashion, prestige, the desire to imitate or stand out, the hope to improve the image of "I" and others

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