All behavior is goal oriented. Goals are the sought, after results of motivated behavior. The form or direction that behavior takes-the goal that is selected-is a result of thinking processes (cognition) and previous learning (example: experience). There are two types of goals: generic goals and product-specific goals. A generic goal is a general category of goal that may fulfill a certain need; a product-specific goal is a specifically branded or labeled product that the individual sees as a way to fulfill a need. Product-specific needs are sometimes referred to as wants.
Innate needs-those an individual is born with-are physiological (biogenic) in nature; they include all the factors required to sustain physical life (example: food, water, clothing, shelter, sex, and physical safety). Acquired needs-those an individual develops after birth-are primarily psychological (psychogenic); they include love, acceptance, esteem, and self-fulfillment. For any given need, there are many different and appropriate goals. The specific goal selected depends on the individual’s experiences, physical capacity, prevailing cultural norms and values, and the goal's accessibility in the physical and social environment.
Needs and goals are interdependent and change in response to the individual's physical condition, environment, interaction with other people, and experiences, As needs become satisfied, new, higher-order needs emerge that must be fulfilled.
Failure to achieve a goal often results in feelings of frustration. Individuals react to frustration in two ways: "fight" or “flight." They may cope by finding a way around the obstacle that prohibits goal attainment or by adopting a substitute goal (fight); or they may adopt a defense mechanism that enables them to protect their self-esteem (flight). Defense mechanisms include aggression, regression, rationalization, withdrawal, projection, daydreaming, identification, and repression.
Motives cannot easily be inferred from consumer behavior. People with different needs may seek fulfillment through selection of the same goals; people with the same needs may seek fulfillment through different goals. Although some psychologists have suggested that individuals have different need priorities, others believe that most human beings experience the same basic needs, to which they assign a similar priority ranking. Maslow's hierarchy-of-needs theory proposes five levels of human needs: physiological needs, safely needs, social needs, egoistic needs, and self-actualization needs. Other needs widely integrated into consumer advertising include the needs for power, affiliation, and achievement.
There are three commonly used methods for identifying and "measuring" human motives: observation and inference, subjective reports, and qualitative research (including projective techniques). None of these methods is completely reliable by itself. Therefore, researchers often use a combination of two or three techniques in tandem to assess the presence or strength of consumer motives. Motivational research is qualitative research designed to delve below the consumer's level of conscious awareness. Despite some shortcomings, motivational research has proved to be of great value to marketers concerned with developing new ideas and new copy appeals.
The ethical issues regarding motivation and consumption behavior are focused on the promotion by some rnarketers of undesirable behaviors (example: smoking, drinking. gambling, compulsive buying), and the targeting...