Emotions and Feelings in the Decision Making Process
The role of culture, emotions and feelings in the decision making process as defined by the consumer psychology paradigm.
This essay explores the emotions and feelings in the decision making process. It does this by first defining what is meant by the decision making process. It then looks at emotions and feelings in consumer psychology, relating how this impacts on the decision-making process. The essay also views the role of these emotions and feelings in the decision-making process in the South African context, and discusses various ways in which emotions and feelings can be used in a marketing strategy to enhance marketing communication (i.e.: the combination of advertising, the sales force, public relations, packaging and any other technique in which that the company provides itself and its products) and a company’s total product (i.e.: the entire set of characteristics involved in the marketing strategy).
The most perverse and influential assumption in consumer behavior research is that a decision making process precedes purchases (ie: that the consumer goes through a complex process of deciding what and where to purchase, before the actual purchasing itself). Many definitions of the decision making process exist, but most agree that two or more actions occur within it and, therefore, choice must occur. In addition, individual consumer’s evaluative criteria facilitate the forecasting of each alternative’s consequences for the consumer’s goals or objectives. Further, the chosen alternative is determined by an evaluative procedure, and information sought from external sources or retrieved from memory is processed in the application of this evaluation process (Olshavsky & Granbois, 1991). Interestingly, there is evidence that a significant proportion of purchases may not be preceded by a decision process, and that for many purchases, a decision process never occurs.