Consumer Attitude Formation
Attitudes are learned though there are different approaches on how learning works as is acquired by individuals. Following factors lead to consumer attitude formation:
- Economic Factors
- Family Factors
- Social Factors
- Political Factors
- Psychological Factors
- Personality Factors
- Reference Group Factors
Table of Contents
A person’s attitude towards a host of issues such as pleasure, work, marriage, working woman etc is influenced by economic factors such as his economic status in the society, rate of inflation in the economy, government economic policies and the country’s economic condition.
During childhood, a person spent in major part of his time in the family. Thus, he learns from the family-members who provide him with readymade attitudes on a variety of issues such as education, work, health, religion, politics, economics etc. Every family installs or attempts to install such attitudes among its members as are considered appropriate to its socio-economic status in the society.
Therefore, a person from a middle class family may hold a different attitude, towards spending than a person from an affluent family. In the later years of life, however, any person whom we admire, respect or fear may have greater influence on our attitudes.
Societies differ in terms of language, culture, norms, values, and beliefs etc, all of which influence a person’s attitude. For example, people in India generally hold different attitude towards communism from the people of China. Similarly, Indians and Americans differ in their attitude towards religion.
Thus, people belonging to a nation develop attitudes, which would be in tune with the needs of the society.
Politics plays a crucial role in the administration of a country. Therefore, political factors such as ideologies of the political parties, political stability and the behaviour of the political leaders greatly affect the attitudes of the people.
The psychological makeup of a person is made up of his perceptions, ideas, beliefs, values, information etc. It has a crucial role in determining a person’s attitude.
For example, if a person perceives that generally all antiseptic lotions have irritating effect, he is likely to develop a negative attitude towards all antiseptic lotions, though in fact one that doctor prescribed may not have irritating effect.
Personality factors are important in attitude formation. However, many personality factors/characteristics are themselves determined by group and social factors. Many research studies show positive relation between a consumer’s personality variables and particular attitudes.
But since a consumer’s personality is influenced by various groups and social factors as well as heredity factors, in understanding attitude formation, these factors particularly the former ones have to be analysed.
Reference Group Factors
Members of the reference group also plays a role in influencing consumer’s attitudes or behaviour. The reference groups serve important inputs to a consumer’s learning of his attitudes and awareness of alternative behaviours and life styles.
In this process of socialization, the consumer will learn the value system norms, the desired behaviour patterns of the society etc.