Factors Affecting Rational Choice

2729 Words Nov 30th, 2011 11 Pages
Factors Affecting Rational Choice

Most consumer behavior analyses and programs seek to dig out consumers’ needs and wants, which direct their purchasing and decision behaviors. Consumer behavior and choice are complex, inherently dynamic and potentially affected by a number of factors. According to this, it seems that the rational choice theory should make some adjustments to be adopted to this increasingly more dynamic reality and marketing environment and thus set a realistic and stable base for consumer behavior analysis.

1. Brief introduction about rational choice theory
1.1 Rational choice theory as an economic notion
“Rationality” can also be substituted by other technical terms, such as utility, probability, product, optimization,
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These three types of aim are consumption goals, which focus on the benefits offered by products and service instead of their attribute; criterion goals, which mean the level of optimization is always the only criterion of suitable choice; and process goals that treat the choosing and consuming process itself as an end. For instance, consumers sometimes would like to expend least time and efforts for shopping and take the products satisfying their basic needs just because they try to avoid the negative emotions emerge from the purchasing process. That is to say, people with different purchase goals may be lead to different behavior models and utility optimization can seldom be achieved according to this.
b) Psychological factors
Without psychological elements like emotions, attitudes and perceptions human are incomplete. Rational choice theory ignores this natural principle. Individual behaves by the perception of the situation. Even twin brothers would have different lifestyles and values.
In modern society, people are exposed to various kinds of stimuli. Seeing advertisements, surfing the internet and even reading newspapers can cause individuals to act in a totally different way as their expectation and habits. Sometimes, stimuli can be misleading; people’s decision will be far away from rational. That is the reason why overconsumption and hedonism exist.
When consumers make buying decisions about the selection, consumption and disposal, they are