Modelling Research on Consumer Attitude Toward Car Brands

Modelling Research on Consumer Attitude Toward Car Brands

Vlad (Uta) Daniela Steluta (Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/ijsem.2014040101


A quantitative research of consumer behaviour usually takes under consideration the following processes: perception, information/ learning, motivation, attitude and actual behaviour. From all this dynamic processes that define consumer behaviour, attitude is the one process relatively stable in time, with a very strong affective and cognitive component. In attempt to model attitude research one need to take under consideration external factors that influence attitude formation as well as this attitude influences the consumers buying decision. In order to particularize the research it was chosen a durable good – cars and the most known brands of cars in Romania. In the research conducted on a representative sample at Ploiesti city level, results validates the model proposed by author.
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Consumer behaviour is a fundamental domain of marketing. Thorough understanding of the mechanisms that determine consumer behaviour underpins all marketing activities and provides the tools to know how the consumer thinks and analyse marketing issues in the concrete context of the market.

The main purpose of research is highlighting the importance of attitude in the consumer behaviour research with the results obtained can support the creation of a model of effective research consumer attitudes. Diversity of opinions of specialists on the content of this concept require highlighting both common elements and presenting a personal view on the formation and changing consumer attitudes.

Jung (1921) defined attitude as “the readiness of psychic to act or react in a certain way”. Walters (1974) defines attitude as a relatively stable way by which a consumer perceptions and motivations are organized by objective analysis of different events or circumstances relating to market.

Shiffman (2007) defines attitude as “an expression of inner feelings that reflect whether a person is favourably or unfavourably predisposed to some “object” (e.g., a brand, a service, or a retail establishment)”. Many authors (Catoiu & Teodorescu, 2003) agree that attitude is a latent dimension of the consumer behaviour. The most known and accepted definition of attitude was formulated by WT Campbell: “a syndrome of constant reactions to social objects”

This syndrome has been associated with the fallowing dimensions:

  • 1.

    Conditions: favorable or unfavourable disposition towards a particular social object;

  • 2.

    Cognitive: knowledge and ignorance expressed by that object;

  • 3.

    Conative: intention to act or behave in a certain way towards an object.

Many models were created based on the 3 components of attitude, well known as the multi-attribute representations of attitude structure. Holbrook (1978) states that these models represent the conative dimension of attitude as a result of an affective dimension which in turn depends on a set of cognitive elements (beliefs about the extend on which a brand posses a certain attribute).

From all various multi-attribute models, few of them were well delimited in theory.

First, attitude-toward-object model, was developed by Martin Fishbein (1967) which considered that consumer’s attitude toward an product or a specific brand is influenced by the presence or absence and the evaluation of certain, specific beliefs about a the product/ brand and its attributes. Fishbein stated that a consumer tends to have a positive attitude and in consequence purchase a brand that he believes it has an appropriate level of attributes evaluated as positive.

Another model is attitude-toward-behaviour model, developed by the Fishbein and Ajzen (1975). The model underlines that the individual attitude reflects the behavioural tendency or pattern of action with respect to an object, rather than the attitude toward the object itself. Later, the authors developed from these model two complementary models: theory-of-reasoned-action model (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980) and theory-of-planned-behaviour model (Ajzen, 1986). Both models consider that intentions and actual behaviour are influenced not only by the attitude toward behaviour but also by subjective norm. Subjective norms (Vallerand, Deshaises, Cuerrier, Pelletier, Mongeau, 1992) are a function of a person’s (normative) beliefs regarding that each referent thinks he or she should do and the motivation to comply with these referents. More recently, Chris T. Allen (1993) states that including consumer emotional experiences into the multi-attribute model can enhance their predictability on motives and preferences.

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