This chapter discusses how linear models that assume a causal link from perception, to attitude, to intention and decisions and finally behavior have long dominated consumer behavior research. The theory of planned behavior, the technology acceptance model and the norm activation model are examples of such linear models. These models have in common that consumers are assumed to perceive a product and based on product properties create a summary evaluation whether the product is positive or negative to them. Such an evaluation is labelled an attitude; a construct which holds a central place in the most important of these models. In spite of the broad use of attitudes in consumer research, there is remarkably little agreement on what an attitude actually is. Debate continues to what extent attitudes are cognitive/rational or emotional, to what extent they are stored or recreated every time, whether they are conscious, or unconscious. In addition, the attitude behavior link explains only a limited part of the variation in actual consumer behavior. This suggests that current models miss out on important predictors or are used outside their scope. Alternative explanations, methodological problems and theory development on attitude are needed to provide future improvements. Nevertheless we can use the current models, but we need to be careful and conscious about their limitations when doing so.
|Title of host publication||Consumer Perception of Products Risks and Benefits|
|Editors||Gerard Emilien, Rolf Weitkunat, Frank Lüdicke|
|Place of Publication||Cham|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|