This paper examines the psychological influences on consumer behavior by analyzing Yakup Durmaz’s paper “The Impact of Psychological Factors on Consumer Buying Behavior and an Empirical Application in Turkey”. In the study, Durmaz surveyed 1400 participants from different regions in Turkey to investigate the psychological factors that have the greatest influence consumers to buy in three sections. The first part of the study defines general concepts. The second part discusses the psychological factors that influence buying from a theoretical perspective. The last part analyzes and interprets the findings of the study (Durmaz, 2014).
Summary of the Article
Marketing revolves around consumer needs and ends when these needs have been satisfied. The methods marketers use to persuade consumers significantly influence their buying. The main factors that influence consumer behavior can be grouped into psychological, personal, social and cultural factors (Durmaz, 2014). Consumer behavior can be considered physical, emotional and psychological activities that people partake before making a decision to purchase a product. Understanding the factors that influence consumers’ behavior is important for the success of any business because it leads to effective marketing that capitalizes on sales. The most significant psychological factors that influence people to purchase goods and services have been categorized into personal motivation, beliefs, learning, perception and attitudes (Durmaz, 2014).
In the article, motivation was considered an internal drive that makes individuals engage in goal-directed behavior in order to satisfy a need. The buying process starts when consumers recognize a need, which can be defined as the lack of an important service or commodity (Durmaz, 2014). People may be motivated to purchase a product for different reasons that include keeping up with others, for pride, style or for convenience. If businesses understand the factors that elicit motivation, they can come up with marketing methods that influence buyers to think about the product, interact with it, and assess information on the advertisement and brand (Durmaz, 2014).
The theories trying to explain motivation discussed in the article include Maslow’s theory, drive reduction theory and balance theory. Maslow’s theory posits that human needs are hierarchically arranged from the most basic to higher needs. People only start to look for ways to satisfy higher needs after the basic needs have been satisfied. The balance theory of motivation is a cognitive theory that examines how inconsistent attitudes can act as motivators that make individuals to be persuaded (Durmaz, 2014). The theory suggests that people develop attitudes towards emotional and social relationship with events, ideas, objects and other people. The organization of the relationships often predicts whether the relationships are in balance or not. Drive theory suggests that human behavior is aimed at lowering the tension that is linked to unpleasant events or motives. The unpleasant motives are caused by tissue problems (Durmaz, 2014).
A second psychological factor that influences consumer behavior is perception. Perception is the force that makes us aware of our surrounding, which we associate with a meaning after processing the information received. Individuals perceive their surrounding differently, and an individual can never perceive 100 percent of the events in his/her environment (Durmaz, 2014). This explains why some people will buy certain products and not others. The third psychological factor is learning. Learning is the description of the changes in behavior that emanates from experience. Our perception of all the events we encounter is normally shaped by our previous experiences (Durmaz, 2014).
Beliefs and attitudes also influence consumer preference, and they refer to the abstract thoughts that an individual holds about an object or idea. The beliefs and attitudes people have towards something are of great interest to marketers because they affect the likelihood of consumers buying a certain product (Durmaz, 2014). The findings of the study by Durmaz was in line with the above concepts. The researcher found that sellers do not significantly influence the decision by consumers to buy goods and services. This means that psychological factors unique to consumers play the most significant role (Durmaz, 2014).
Consumer Behavior Elements and Learning Objectives
The learning objective on consumer behavior is to determine the factors that influence people to buy certain commodities. Motivation is the main consumer behavior element that plays the most significant role in determining whether an individual will purchase a certain product (Hoyer, MacInnis, & Pieters, 2013). According to Hoyer, Maclnnis, and Pieter (2013) motivation is the key factor that moves people, and provide the energy needed to attain a goal. Motivated consumers are energized and willing to take part in activities meant to achieve certain goals. For instance, consumers who learn that the much-anticipated product will be released the following morning may spend the all night at the store waiting to purchase the product (Hoyer, MacInnis, & Pieters, 2013).
When consumers are motivated, they engage in high-effort behavior. For instance, an individual that is motivated to purchase a certain brand of car may spend time researching it online or visit the showroom. Motivation is also the key factor that influences the manner in which consumers analyze information and make decisions. Highly motivated consumers are more likely to pay close attention towards achieving a goal, and this may be evident in actions such as critically evaluating information before making a decision to purchase a product (Hoyer, MacInnis, & Pieters, 2013).
A Critique of the Article
The article is relevant to the learning objectives because it provides a comprehensive discussion of the psychological factors that influence consumer behavior. Psychological factors are one of the key influences that determine whether consumers will purchase a certain product or not because it affects their thought processes. Durmaz’s article is based on primary research and this provides empirical evidence that backups the theories and concepts discussed in the article. The researcher found that psychological factors influence the decision of consumers to purchase a certain product. This is a suggestion that consumer are never entirely rational when making a decision to buy a product. The knowledge of the psychological factors that influence a consumer is important to the learning objectives and marketers because it enable the designing of adverts and marketing strategies that consumers find appealing.
The main lesson learned in this course is that for businesses to succeed, it is important to know the factors that influence consumers’ taste and preferences in order to maximize sales. In addition, the knowledge of the factors that influence consumer behavior enable businesses to satisfy the needs of consumers. Hence, businesses should include elements of customer satisfaction in their marketing strategies and product design.
Durmaz, Y. (2014). The impact of psychological factors on consumer buying behavior . Asian Social Science, 10(6), 194-204.
Hoyer, W. D., MacInnis, D. J., & Pieters, R. (2013). Consumer Behavior. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.