Psychological factors that affect consumer behaviour include motivation, perception, learning, beliefs and attitudes. Motive is the internal driving force that adjusts human activities into meeting the needs or achieving a particular aim. Motivation therefore, is the drive to seek satisfaction for a need that is sufficiently pressing. It comprises of urges, wishes, desires and drives that instigates the series of events that lead to a behaviour. In any decision making process, several motives plays part. Motivation starts with the occurrence of a stimulus that stimulates the recognition of a need (Saxena et al 2002). Need recognition comes up when there is a perceived discrepancy between an actual and a desired nature of being. Needs can either be inborn or learned, they are never fully satisfied and are accompanied by feelings and emotions.
Perception means the acceptance of reality. Perception is the process of selecting, organizing, and interpreting information (input) to come up with a meaningful picture of the world. Knowledge and feelings, whether negative or positive, influence individual’s perception and thus decision making and behaviour (Quester et al 2007). Learning is the process that changes the behaviour of an individual as a result of experience. Skills and knowledge are associated with learning and predestined changes in behaviour. It is therefore necessary to provide adequate information concerning the product or service. Belief is the expressive thought that one holds about something. Attitude is a person’s consistent favourable and unfavourable assessments, feelings and tendencies towards an idea or object. People learn their direction through experience and social interactions (Ratnehwar, Mick and Huffman 2000).
Consumers make various decisions in their daily lives. Various models have been designed to understand why consumers make this decisions and how the decisions apply to their behaviour. The consumer as a decision maker is looked at in different perspectives by different researchers (Quester et al 2007). The economists view consumers as rational decision makers, while other researchers view them as uninvolved, passive decision makers. There is yet another group that views them as cognitive decision makers. These are the three models of consumer decision making. In relation to the consumer behaviour, habitual decision makers tend to have low purchase involvement and possess no external information, limited decision makers evaluates limited choices with a certain amount of external information, while extended decision makers possess large number of choices with the assistance of extensive information acquired from both internal and external sources (Deaton and Muellbaue 1980).
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