You Are What You Consume

Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Psychology, Abraham Maslow Pages: 6 (2018 words) Published: April 3, 2013

You are what you consume

As human beings, we have to purchase what we need to survive. Consumer behavior focuses on how individual consumers and families or households make decisions to spend their available resources(time, money, effort)on consumption-related items.① It can be explained that what kind of goods they buy, why they purchase, when and where they buy, how often they buy. Meanwhile, consumer behavior depends on a series of factors including motivations, personality, attitudes, and social class standing as well as others.

First of all, motivation is the driving force within individuals that impels them to action. This driving forces produced by a state of tension, which exists as the result of an unfulfilled need. Individuals strive both consciously and subconsciously to reduce this tension through selecting goals and subsequent behavior that they anticipate will fulfill their needs and thus relieve them of the tension they feel. ②According to Maslow's theory ,the hierarch of needs become dominant motivator in the individual consumer behavior. ➢ physiological needs

Physiological needs are the fundamental level for human beings. Without food , water and other necessaries including clothes, shelter who can survive. Nowadays in our world the vast number of people is living in impoverished and devastated situations and therefore they have to confront with hungriness, illness as well as death due to shortage of water, foods and health care. It can be imaged that without satisfying the physiological needs, it is impossible for them to create the concept of purchasing goods thanks to extreme poverty. The main target for them is receiving donations in order to escape death. ➢ Safety and security needs

When the basic level needs are met, requests of safety and security are considered as the driving force to motivate an individual's behavior. Currently seeking for a good health is becoming more crucial in China since Chinese economic situation has developed sharply. People more focus on what kind of approach is feasible to improve the standard of life instead of mere fulfilling fundamental surviving. It can be explained that availability of health care is an essential safety concern. As a result there is a dramatically growing trend in purchasing health foods and various health insurances. Most importantly, people spend more money in participating in joining health clubs or gyms in their leisure time than before. ➢ Social needs

The third level of Maslow's hierarchy includes needs of friendship and belonging as well as affection. Being human beings we absolutely have to establish a warm relationship with others through taking part in diversified social activities such as go to cinema and restaurant , travelling and so on. Especially, different social needs are based on different age groups or financial backgrounds. Compare to young generation, old people are tend to select a cruise trip instead of an adventure journey. At the same time, young people spend more leisure time going to the pub or the night club instead of staying at home like their parents. ➢ Ego needs

These needs can take either an inward or an outward orientation, or both. Inwardly directed ego needs reflect an individual's need for self-acceptance, self-esteem, success ,independence and personal satisfaction with a job well done. Outwardly directed ego needs include the needs for prestige, reputation, status, and recognition from others. ③ In our society individual also show off their ego needs through outstanding consumer behavior. At present, the newspaper or magazine reported that the majority of celebrities spend millions or billions purchasing luxury substances such housing, private jet or ship and so on . ➢ Self-actualization

Being the highest level of needs self-actualization refers to an individual's expectations . Different people own different desires of self-fulfillments. Recently,...

References: 1. Consumer Behavior Tenth Edition Leon G.Schiffman , Leslie Lazar Kanuk , Joseph Wisenblit, p23
2. Consumer Behavior Tenth Edition Leon G.Schiffman , Leslie Lazar Kanuk , Joseph Wisenblit, p116
3. Consumer Behavior Tenth Edition Leon G.Schiffman , Leslie Lazar Kanuk , Joseph Wisenblit, p118
4. Consumer Behavior Tenth Edition Leon G.Schiffman , Leslie Lazar Kanuk , Joseph Wisenblit, p163
5. Consumer Behavior Tenth Edition Leon G.Schiffman , Leslie Lazar Kanuk , Joseph Wisenblit, p246
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