The Influence of Personality in Consumer Behavior

Topics: Personality psychology, Big Five personality traits, Psychology Pages: 8 (2464 words) Published: November 12, 2008

Personality is defined by Schiffman (2008) as that the unique dynamic organization of characteristics of a particular person, physical and psychological, which influence behavior and responses to the social and physical environment. It seems that consumer purchases are always influenced by their personality as many marketers thought. Therefore, many marketers make use of personality traits into the advertisement of products. However, some experts highlighted that the influence of personality related to the heredity and the experience of early childhood. Meanwhile, other experts stressed that personality also changed in the various environmental influences from different periods. In fact, some parts of personality are unique to certain person while some parts of it can be found from many persons (Chaudhuri, 2006). In general, there are three significant and evitable characteristics to describe the nature of personality (Schiffman et al., 2008). The first one is that personality can reflect the differences of individual. For example, the twins look alike exactly from their faces while they may be quite different in terms of their personality. Moreover, personality is consistent and enduring because that a consistent kind of behavior would endure over time. The last point is that personality can change. In stances, one person may have various patterns of personality in the different period of life based on the gradual maturing process.

Why Personality Influents Consumers’ Behavior

The reason that personality impacts consumers’ behavior can be found from the main four theories of personality. The most important one is Freudian theory which comes from the Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of personality (Schiffman et al., 2008). The precondition of Freudian theory claimed that unconscious needs were the key reason of human’s behavior and person’s personality. Also, Sigmund Freud argued that human personality was formed by three interacting systems including the id, the superego, and the ego. Meanwhile, he emphasized that human used these three relative systems to make decision. That is the reason that personality influent consumer’s behavior by explaining Freud’s theory. It should be noted the definition of three system that Freud mentioned. The id presents the most primitive part of personality, the basic need of human, and its dominating principle of pleasure. However, superego is the highest level of expressing moral and ethical of individual behavior in personality. Equally, superego restrains the impulsive forces of the id and pursues the perfect values of society. In the other words, superego as the moral and ethnical element in personality contains two parts involving self-ideality and conscience and it dominated by perfect principle. Comparing with the two mentioned above, the ego grades between the id and the superego in terms of the ego is the conscious control of individuals. Additionally, the ego has an ability of adjusting the impulsive drives of the id and the super-control of the superego. Furthermore, Freud found that the development of personality would change over time. Following the age growing, the personality characteristics of human will develop from the oral stage to genital stage through different stages.

The second theory is Neo-Freudian personality theory which developed further the work of Freud’s theory although it disagreed with Freud’s discussion that personality was primarily instinctive in nature (Schiffman et al., 2008). However, Neo-Freudian theory believed that the key influence of formation and development of personality is not like what Freud said, but the social relationships. Nevertheless, there were many scholars used their research to support this theory, such as, Alfred Adler and Harry Stack Sutherland. The former person Alfred Adler explored that human beings are always pursuing to get rational goals, and the later one Harry emphasized that people...
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