4. Individual Decision Making Under Low Effort

A. Introduction

The following are some of the strategies we use when making quick judgments:

  1. Representative Heuristics
  2. Availability Heuristics
  3. Anchoring and Adjustment Heuristics

B. Bounded Rationality

No matter how intelligent or resourceful we are, we are bound to make mistakes.

Decision makers have to work under three unavoidable constraints:

  1. Only a limited information is available
  2. The decision maker has limited cognitive resources
  3. The decision maker has limited time

C. Decision Fatigue

  • The phenomenon in which an individual’s quality of decisions deteriorates after a long session of decision making.

  • The result? Ego depletion, or loss of self-control or willpower.

D. Heuristics and Biases

Heuristics are mental shortcuts that help us make decisions quickly and efficiently.

Biases are systematic errors in judgment that lead to suboptimal decisions.

  • A tendency towards or against something

E. Simplifying Strategies

  1. Habitual Decision Making
  2. Limited problem solving
  3. Extended problem solving

Common simplifying strategies

  1. Product or brand signals
    • Decision based on the brand’s specific features or benefits, or its overall performance.
  2. Market beliefs
    • Assumptions about companies, products, and stores.

4B. Family Decision Making

A. Evolving Families

The family cycle (FLC) concept attempts to explain consumer behaviour patterns as individuals go through various life transitions at each stage of the family life cycle.

Why is it important?

  • These transition are critical hence the consumption patterns tend to change.

B. Process How do families make decisions?

It is important to understand the roles played by the various members of the family to influence the decision making process.

1. Different roles in Decision Making in a Family

  1. Initiator: The person who first brings up the idea of buying a product or service.

  2. Gatekeeper: The person who controls the flow of information to the rest of the family.

  3. Influencer: The person who has the most influence on the family’s decision.

  4. Buyer: The person who actually makes the purchase.

  5. User: The person who actually uses the product or service.

2. Factors affecting gender dynamics

  1. Gender stereotype: Over-generalization about the characteristics and roles of an entire gender.

  2. Spousal influence: The influence of one spouse on the other.

  3. Experience: The more experience a person has, the more likely they are to be the initiator, gatekeeper, and influencer.

  4. Socioeconomic status: Economic and social standing based on income, education and occupation.

3. Decision Types

  1. Autonomic decisions
  2. Syncretic decisions
    1. Consensual decisions
    2. Accomodative decisions

Conflicts in syncretic decisions depends on:

  1. Interpersonal needs
  2. Product involvement and utility
  3. Power
  4. Responsibility

3. Children’s Role

  1. Expertise claim
  2. Contract
  3. Emotional blackmail
  4. Ruse
  5. Partnership

C. Final Remarks

  1. Marketers need to take into account the diversity of families
  2. Families are collective decision-making units
  3. Children are being socialized into their role as consumers and are gaining more importance and power in the consumption process.
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