The Behavior of Consumers’ Attitudes

  • Gordon R. Foxall


Attitude research forms a formidable body of social scientific knowledge. Eagly and Chaiken’s (1993) The Psychology of Attitudes, which swiftly established itself as the “bible” of attitude theory and practice, attests vitally to this, as does the literature to be found in the relevant pure and applied journals. Yet the very conceptualization on which this intellectual corpus is built is not without difficulties. To refer to the tendency or inclination to behave consistently in some particular way as an “attitude” or as corresponding to an “attitude” is to use the term metaphorically. “Attitude” implied originally the literal leaning of a building or a bodily posture and has only comparatively recently been used to describe behavioral dispositions, opinions or their underlying patterns of thought. Figurative uses of words are seldom as rigorously circumscribed as their literal applications and there is a range of definitions of attitude in psychology and marketing. There is some agreement that the term refers to “a learned predisposition to respond in a consistently favorable or unfavorable manner with respect to a given object” (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975, p. 6, italics in original) but, as they authors demonstrate, even this is a highly ambiguous statement and permits a variety of methodologies and explanations of behavior.1


Behavioral Intention Behavioral Control Plan Behavior Attitude Object Normative Belief 
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© Gordon R. Foxall 2005

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  • Gordon R. Foxall

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