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Group 2 : Niteish (P16031), Abhisek (P16039), Sreejan (P16051), Kurian (P16054),

Ashutosh (P16033), Navneet (P16013)

SUMMARY: Consumer Attitudes Revisited


It is important to understand the concept of attitude and the process of attitude for the researchers
and managers, who are interested in altering consumers evaluation of marketing objects to
influence their preferences and tendencies to engage in the particular behavior. The diversity stems
from two issues surrounding the attitude concept: the first is whether attitude is a stable object-
related association stored and then evoked in memory, or a temporary evaluation of an object
constructed in situ at the time of a judgment; The second and interrelated issue is whether attitude
formation is a strictly cognitive process, stemming from analytical, deliberative evaluative
categorization. Functional theory supports the idea that attitudes are stored in the memory in the
form of object-related associations, thus are relatively stable and evoked in memory when needed.
In contradiction to the functional view on attitudes, constructive views suggest that consumers are
evaluating objects by on the spot decisions, without engaging in memory-based processing; simply
by using their perception and decision context as an information source. There is reasonable
agreement that as a construct, attitude represents a summary evaluation of a psychological object
captured in such attribute dimensions as goodbad, harmfulbeneficial, pleasantunpleasant, and
likeabledislikeable.

Functional theory defined the concept of attitude as a predisposed tendency to respond towards an
object favorably.' According to this view, consumers possess a state of readiness to respond to
classes of objects, which is enduring and stored in the memory. Its classical version assumes that
people hold attitudes because they are functional, serving psychological motivations and needs.
People form attitudes to organize, structure and summarize large amounts of information about an
object. All attitudes serve the function of knowledge. The notion that people hold attitudes because
they are functional implies that, after their first exposure to stimuli, consumers form an attitude
which they store in memory and, when prompted retrieve their attitudinal responses in memory.
Deliberative or rule-based models assume that attitudes are formed from cognitive beliefs that are
stored in explicit memory.

Spontaneous or associative models, in contrast, assume that attitudes are evoked automatically
through association, and relate mostly to affective factors such as emotions or feelings. Attitudes
formed through direct experience are more readily accessible in memory and more strongly
associated with behavior than those formed indirectly. Although functional theory assumes that
attitudes are stored in the memory, it allows for situational parameters to operate as cues for
memory-based attitude retrieval. Functional theory treats attitudes as memory-based, object
related associations which are evoked spontaneously, and acknowledges the possibility that the
elicitation of these attitudes may vary across situations and individuals

Constructive Theory assumes that attitude formation is part of a greater discussion in economics
and psychology regarding whether well-defined preferences exist or whether they are constructed
at the time of valuation. It assumes that consumers do not retrieve their attitudes in memory, but
compute on the spot according to their contextual goals. It suggests that goals generate temporary
motivations, which may determine the salience and diagnosticity of internal and external
information in the process of attitude construction. Despite having associations with behavioral
decision-making, it should not be confused with behaviorism, as it acknowledges the intermediate
Group 2 : Niteish (P16031), Abhisek (P16039), Sreejan (P16051), Kurian (P16054),
Ashutosh (P16033), Navneet (P16013)

role of cognitive processing in attitude formation. The significant difference between functional and
constructive attitude theories is the focus on perception rather than cognition. When cognitive
demands are high, consumers focus on perceptually salient options in an attempt to minimize their
cognitive effort. The EV model is a multi-attribute model of attitude formation and measurement. A
persons attitude towards an object is a result of their salient (cognitive) beliefs about the object and
the evaluative aspect of those beliefs. The models essentially conceptualize attitudes as the result of
different levels of effort (involvement) devoted to cognitive processing. Theories of attitude
formation based on the primacy of cognition are closely related to functional theory and deliberative
models of attitude formation.

The modern Pavlovian theory argues against the modern primacy of affect theories contending that
conditioning involves contingency awareness, defined as the individuals learning that the
conditioned stimulus precedes the unconditioned stimulus in classical conditioning experiments.
Consumers adopt different processing strategies to form attitudes, i.e., systematic deliberative,
associativespontaneous or heuristic, which reflect parallel but different qualities of cognitive
processing. Adoption of any strategy depends on the goal and the context of evaluation and is
moderated by the human perceptual system. The perceptual system facilitates processing fluency
and augments the effects of attitude priming along with facilitating attention and selectivity during
information acquisition and hence reducing effort from the cognitive system. The existence of
alternative processes, underlying the process of attitude formation under different circumstances is
needed to be recognized.