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Consumer behavior

processes a customer uses to make purchase decisions, as well as to use and dispose of purchased goods or services; also includes factors that influence purchase decisions and product use.

Consumer decision-making process

a five-step process used by consumers when buying goods or services

Need Recognition

result of an imbalance between actual and desired states


recognition of an unfulfilled need and a product that will satisfy it


any unit of input affecting one or more of the five senses

Internal Information Search

the process of recalling past information stored in memory

External Information Search

the process of seeking information in the outside environment

Nonmarketing-controlled information source

a product information source that is not associated with advertising or promotion (Consumer Report)

Marketing-controlled information source

a product information source that originates with marketers promoting the product (Radio, TV, Articles, etc.)

Evoked Set/Consideration Set

a group of brands, resulting from an information search, from which a buyer can choose.

Cognitive Dissonance

inner tension that a consumer experiences after recognizing an inconsistency between behavior and values or opinions


the amount of time and effort a buyer invests in the search, evaluation, and decision processes of consumer behavior

Routine Response Behavior

the type of decision making exhibited by consumers buying frequently purchased, low-cost goods and services; requires little search time (tooth paste)

Limited Decision Making

the type of decision making that requires a moderate amount of time for gathering information and deliberating about an unfamiliar brand in a familiar product category (new type of detergent0

Extensive Decision Making

the most complex type of consumer decision making, used when buying an unfamiliar, expensive product or an infrequently bought item; requires use of several criteria for evaluating options and much time for seeking information (car)


the set of values, norms, attitudes, and other meaningful symbols that shape human behavior and the artifacts, or products, of that behavior as they are transmitted from one generation to the next


the enduring belief that a specific mode of conduct is personally or socially preferable to antoher mode of conduct


a homogeneous group of people who share elements of the overall culture as well as unique elements of their own group

Social class

a gourp of people in a society who are considered nearly equal in status or community esteem, who regularly socialize among themselves both formally and informally, and who share behavioral norms

Reference group

a group in society that influences an individual's purchasing behavior

Primary membership group

a reference group with which people interact regularly in an informal, face-to-face manner, such as family, friends, and coworkers

Secondary membership group

a reference group with which people associate less consistently and more formally than a primary membership group such as professional club or religious club.

Aspirational reference group

a group that someone would like to join


a value or attitude deemed acceptable by a group

Nonaspirational reference group

a group with which an individual does not want to associate with (KKK)

Opinion Leader

an individual who influences the opinions of others (Jennifer Garner Neutrogena)

Socialization process

how cultural values and norms are passed fown to children


a way of organizing and grouping the consistencies of an individual's reactions to situations


how consumers perceive themselves in terms of attitudes, perceptions, beliefs, and self- evaluations

Ideal self-image

The way and individual would like to be

Real self-image

The way an individual actually perceives ones self.


the process by which people select, organize, and interpret stimuli into a meaningful and coherent picture.

Selective exposure

the process whereby a consumer notices certain stimuli and ignores others (notice only 11 out of 2500 noticed products at store)

Selective Distortion

a process whereby a consumer changes or distorts informations that conflicts with his or her beliefs (MP3 better than iPod...)

Selective Retention

a process whereby a consumer remembers only that information that supports their beliefs.


a driving force that causes a person to take action to satisfy specific needs

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

a method classifying human needs and motivations into five categories in ascending order of importance PSSES Physiological, safety, social, esteem, self-actualization


a process that creates changes in behavior, immediate or expected, through experience and practice

Stimulus Generalization

a form of learning that occurs when one response is extended to a second stimulus similar to the first (Kool Aid Pops relies on Kool Aid drink)

Stimulus discrimination

a learned ability to differentiate among similar products (Coke v. Pepsi)


an organized pattern of knowledge that an individual holds as true about his or her word


a learned tendency to respond consistently toward a given object

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