ABC Models of Attitudes Paper

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Question: Most researchers agree that an attitude has three components. List and briefly describe those three components.

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Consumer Behavior

10th Edition

Michael Solomon




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The ABC Models of Attitudes When Subaru of America began work on new marketing strategy, the automaker discovered that even though most auto buyers had heard of the brand

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OBJECTIVE 2 The ABC Model of Attitudes Attitudes are more When Subaru of America began work on a new marketing strat- complex than they first egy, the automaker discovered that even though most auto appear. buyers had heard of the brand, very few had strong emotional connections to it. However, Subaru owners expressed strong passion and even love for the brand. To ramp up this emotional connection for nonown- ers, the new campaign targets people who are in three different stages of buying a car- what Subaru calls the heart, the head, and the wallet. The heart stage focuses on the love owners show for their cars; commercials share personal stories of their attachment. The head-stage ads, in contrast, present the rational side of specific models as they emphasize how the cars benefit their owners in terms of reliability, economy, and so on. Then, the wallet ads deal with the financial details of actually buying a Subaru; these include special offers from local dealers. Like the Subaru campaign, an attitude has three components: affect, behavior, and cognition. Affect describes how a consumer feels about an attitude object. Behavior re- fers to his intentions to take action about it (but, as we will discuss at a later point, an intention does not always result in an actual behavior). Cognition is what he believes to be true about the attitude object. You can remember these three components of an attitude as the ABC model of attitudes. The ABC model emphasizes the interrelationships among knowing, feeling, and do- ing. We can't determine consumers' attitudes toward a product if we just identify their cognitions (beliefs) about it. For example, a researcher may find that shoppers “know" a 6 CHAPTER 7 Attitudes and Persuasion 251 particular camcorder has an 8:1 power zoom lens, auto focus, and a flying erase head, but simply knowing this doesn't indicate whether they feel these attributes are good, bad, or irrelevant, or whether they would actually buy the camcorder. Hierarchies of Effects Which comes first: knowing, feeling, or doing? It turns out that each element may lead things off, depending on the situation. Attitude researchers developed the concept of a hierarchy of effects to explain the relative impact of the three components. Each hier- archy specifies that a fixed sequence of steps occurs en route to an attitude. Figure 7.1 summarizes these three different hierarchies. The Standard Learning Hierarchy Think→ Feel → Do: The standard learning hierarchy assumes that a person approaches a product decision as a problem-solving process. First, she forms beliefs about a product as she accumulates knowledge (beliefs) regarding relevant attributes. Next, she evalu- ates these beliefs and forms a feeling about the product (affect).? Then she engages in a relevant behavior, such as when she buys a product that offers the attributes she feels good about. This hierarchy assumes that a consumer is highly involved when she makes a purchase decision. She's motivated to seek out a lot of information, carefully weigh alternatives, and come to a thoughtful decision. er from early coffee bez e to help cecuritat he died blic er, struct QUOUSE The Low-Involvement Hierarchy Do Feel Think: The low-involvement hierarchy of effects assumes that the con- sumer initially doesn't have a strong preference for one brand over another; instead, she acts on the basis of limited knowledge and forms an evaluation only after she has bought the product. The attitude is likely to come about through behavioral learning, as good or bad experiences reinforce her initial choice. The possibility that consumers simply don't care enough about many decisions to carefully assemble a set of product beliefs and then evaluate them is important. This implies that all of our concern about influencing beliefs and carefully communicating information about product attributes may often be wasted. Consumers aren't necessar- ily going to pay attention anyway; they are more likely to respond to simple stimulus- response connections when they make purchase decisions. For example, a consumer who chooses among paper towels might remember that “Bounty is the quicker picker- upper” rather than systematically comparing all the brands on the shelf. Get a life! onfront Standard Learning Hierarchy: w Behavior ATTITUDE Based on cognitive information processing Cognition Affect Low-Involvement Hierarchy: Affect ATTITUDE Based on behavioral learning processes Behavior Cognition Experiential Hierarchy: Cognition ATTITUDE Based on hedonic consumption Behavior Affect Figure 7.1 HIERARCHIES OF EFFECTS la t The notion of consumers' low involvement is a bitter pill for some marketers to swal- low. Who wants to admit that what they market is not very important to the people who buy it? A brand manager for, say, a brand of bubble gum or cat food may find it hard to be- lieve that consumers don't put that much thought into purchasing her product, because she herself spends many of her waking (and perhaps sleeping) hours thinking about it. For marketers, the ironic silver lining to this low-involvement cloud is that under these conditions, consumers are not motivated to process a lot of complex, brand-related information. Instead, they will be swayed by principles of behavioral learning, such as the simple responses that conditioned brand names or point-of-purchase displays elicit (discussed in Chapter 3). The Experiential Hierarchy Feel Think Do: According to the experiential hierarchy of effects, we act on the basis of our emotional reactions. The experiential perspective highlights the idea that intangible product attributes, such as package design, advertising, brand names, and the nature of the setting in which the experience occurs, can help shape our attitudes toward a brand. We may base these reactions on hedonic motivations, such as whether using the product is exciting (like the Nintendo Wii). Even the emotions the communicator expresses have an impact. A smile is infec- tious; in a process we term emotional contagion, messages that happy people deliver en- hance our attitude toward the product. Numerous studies demonstrate that the mood a person is in when she sees or hears a marketing message influences how she will process CHAPTER 7 Attit the ad, the likelihood that she will remember the information she sees, and how she will feel about the advertised item and related products in the future.! 11 OBJECTIVE 3 How Do We Form Attitudes? We form attitudes in several ways. We all have lots of attitudes, and we don't usually question how we got them. Certainly, you're not born with the heartfelt con- viction that, say, Pepsi is better than Coke, or that alternative music liberates the soul. From where do these attitudes come? We form an attitude in several different ways, depending on the particular hierarchy of effects that operates. As we saw in Chapter 3, we may form an attitude toward a brand due to classical conditioning: A marketer repeatedly pairs an attitude object such as the Pepsi name with a catchy jingle (“You're in the Pepsi Generation”). Or we can form an attitude due to instrumental conditioning: The marketer reinforces us when we consume the attitude object (e.g., you take a swig of Pepsi and it quenches your thirst). Or this learning can result from a very complex cognitive process. For example, a teenager may model the behavior of friends and media endorsers, such as Beyoncé, who drink Pepsi because they believe that this will allow them to fit in with the desirable lifestyle that Pepsi commercials portray.
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Component’s of Attitudes
Student’s Name
Institutional Affiliation



The attitude is a set of behaviors, beliefs, and emotions that are possessed towards a
particular object, person, idea, opinion, or event. It develops depending on the interest of the
purpose. Attitude formation depends on experience, social roles, and norms, observations, and
conditions. Attitudes rely on three components, namely;
(i). Behavioral
(ii). Cognitive
(iii). Affective
The elements remain represented in the form of the ABC model of positions. "A" stands
for practical or useful, B for behavioral and c for cognitive. These three components are
discussed below.
Cognitive Com...

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