Demographics, Psychographics and Consumer Value Dimensions: a Study of Consumers in a Traditional Asian Society

ABSTRACT - This paper reports the findings of an exploratory study that investigated the relationships between values and demographic variables and between values and psychographic variables in a traditional Asian nation, Bangladesh. The data for this study were obtained from a sample of 121 middle level managers working in the three largest cities in Bangladesh. The results suggest that value dimensions are linked more to culture-dictated core psychographic variables inherent in the consumer than the demographic variables and the learnt, nurtured and adapted psychographic variables. The findings of the study may be useful to any marketer or consumer behaviour researcher having an interest in the fast opening consumer market of Bangladesh.



Citation:

Mohammed Abdur Razzaque (1995) ,"Demographics, Psychographics and Consumer Value Dimensions: a Study of Consumers in a Traditional Asian Society", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 2, eds. Flemming Hansen, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 183-192.

European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 2, 1995      Pages 183-192

DEMOGRAPHICS, PSYCHOGRAPHICS AND CONSUMER VALUE DIMENSIONS: A STUDY OF CONSUMERS IN A TRADITIONAL ASIAN SOCIETY

Mohammed Abdur Razzaque, National University of Singapore

[This paper reports the partial findings of a much larger cross-national study currently being conducted in a number of Asian nations including Bangladesh. The author thankfully acknowledges the assistance of Dr. Tan Boon Wan and Dr. Shaukat A. Brah for their valuable comments and suggestions.]

ABSTRACT -

This paper reports the findings of an exploratory study that investigated the relationships between values and demographic variables and between values and psychographic variables in a traditional Asian nation, Bangladesh. The data for this study were obtained from a sample of 121 middle level managers working in the three largest cities in Bangladesh. The results suggest that value dimensions are linked more to culture-dictated core psychographic variables inherent in the consumer than the demographic variables and the learnt, nurtured and adapted psychographic variables. The findings of the study may be useful to any marketer or consumer behaviour researcher having an interest in the fast opening consumer market of Bangladesh.

INTRODUCTION

The past four decades have witnessed a growing interest in understanding human behaviour concerning its consumption activity. Values are a critical basis for all human perceptions and judgements that underlie consumer decision making involving allocation of resources such as money, time or efforts (Pollay 1986). Hence it is quite natural that consumer value research is gradually becoming popular among consumer behaviour researchers all over the world.

The term value represents a "conception of the desirable" (Kluckhohn et al. 1962; p.125), C "a principle, standard, course of action, or quality considered useful or worthwhile" (Kahle 1983; p.43). According to Rokeach (1973, p.5) a value is "an enduring belief that a specific mode of conduct or end state of existence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end state of existence." He further assumes that human values originate from "culture, society, and its institutions, and personality" (p.14). A number of researchers (Rokeach 1968; Yankelovich 1981) have shown that values have strong influence over all aspects of human behaviour. Once learnt, a value becomes integrated into an organised system of values in which all the values held by a person are ordered in importance with respect to one another (Gutman 1982). Because of these reasons, values influence attitudes and behaviours. An understanding of the concept of values enables researchers to deal with the individuals in a society and to analyse social processes and structure (Feather 1975).

Most of the value research in the field of marketing is confined to the industrially developed nations. While the value orientations of other cultures are useful to know, cross-cultural research is lacking in this area. There is a paucity of research on consumer values in the developing and less developed nations. With a view to contribute to the literature, this research focuses on the structure of the value system of the consumers in one such country C Bangladesh. Specifically, this paper investigates the value system of the middle level managers of Bangladesh and studies its relationship with important demographic and psychographic variables.

VALUE RESEARCH

General interest in value research was spearheaded in the late thirties by Lewin (1935), Allport (1937), and Murray (1938). Since then, many researchers from various disciplines of the social sciences such as philosophy, sociology, management and marketing have conducted value research from diverse viewpoints. The importance of value research in the field of management was first demonstrated in the late 1950s and early 1960s (Udy 1959; McMurray 1963; Guth and Taigury 1965). However, the recognition of its importance in the field of marketing and consumer behaviour came only in the early 1970s. In a study involving values and attribute evaluation of automobiles, Scott and Lamont (1973) found that specific values were significantly associated with specific automobile attributes. In another study, also involving automobiles, Vinson and Munson (1976) noted that college students and their parents differed in their personal values and preferred automobile attributes. In yet another study Vinson, Scott and Lamont (1977) found that relationships of values to consumer beliefs, preferences and positions on social issues for two groups of students were significantly different. Carman (1978) established a model of values, lifestyles and consumption behaviour where an individual's lifestyle is directly influenced by his/her values. Research in recent years has shown that values are determinants of consumer behaviour (Kahle 1984; Kahle and Kennedy 1988), and consumption behaviour (Kahle 1983). The relationships between personal values of individuals and their attitudes and actions as consumers have been studied. Researchers have recognised the important role played by personal values in consumer behaviour (Pitts and Woodside 1984). Personal values have been found to influence preference for natural food (Homer and Kahle 1988), travel decisions (Pitts and Woodside 1986), media preferences (Beatty et al. 1985), and usage of mass media (Becker and Connor 1981).

In marketing, several studies involving value research have focused on segmentation issues (Kahle 1986; Kamakura and Novak 1992; Kennedy, Best, and Kahle 1988; Novak and MacEvoy 1990). These studies indicated that values can serve as the basis for market segmentation and as important inputs in the designing of promotional strategies for various market segments. They can also be used to develop marketing programmes. These observations seem to be true for cross-national studies in the field of value research as well. A study by Munson and McIntyre (1979) involving a group of respondents from various cultural backgrounds indicated that market segmentation by specific values and perception of specific product attributes was a viable proposition. Prakash (1984) found that relationships between personal values and expectations from product attributes played a significant role in the purchase of products. This study also noted that consumers from the White and the Black ethnic groups emphasised different value dimensions. Several other studies (Vinson, Munson and Nakanishi 1977; Ness and Stith 1983; Feather 1986; Grunert and Scherhorn 1990) supported the view that personal values of consumers from different ethnic backgrounds vary significantly.

Value Research in Developing Nations

Coinciding with the developed nations' growing interests on the economic and market potentials of the Asian and Pacific countries in recent times, a trend of value research in this region is emerging. Studies on personal values and consumer behaviour of Singaporean Chinese consumers (Mehta and Tan 1987), Malaysian consumers (Kau and Sieh 1990), Taiwanese consumers (Kau and Yang 1993), Hongkong Chinese (de Leon and Selmer 1994) and Chinese consumers in Beijing and Shanghai (Wang, Rao and D'Auria 1994) reported interesting findings useful for the global marketers and marketing researchers.

One can see that most of the studies mentioned above are focused on the Chinese consumers; and three of the five studies were conducted in relatively developed and affluent NIEs. It is also worth noting that while the majority of the respondents in the Singapore study was Christians, those in Taiwan, Hong Kong and PRC were Buddhists. But Asia and the Pacific region consist of several nations representing many races, religions, traditional heritage and cultures and different levels of socio-economic development. People in these countries differ not only in the way they structure their value system and organise them in a hierarchy but also in the way they prioritise them according to their relative perceived importance. There are clearly numerous imperatives in studying and analysing the value systems of people in this diverse geographical region. If "the purpose of a business is not to make profits but to create and keep customers" (Levitt 1983), and if culture and shared values are considered to be the driving forces of corporate success (Peters and Waterman 1982), it becomes mandatory for the international marketer to know the culture and value system of societies beyond the confines of the industrially developed nations and the NIEs. Corporate success in the newly liberalising Asian and the Pacific nations demands that such studies be extended to other countries with growth potentials and include people of other ethnic origins and religions as well.

BANGLADESH: A LARGE CONSUMER MARKET

[Although Bangladesh's per-capita income of US$220.00 makes her one of the poorest nations of the world, a population of 112 million people makes her the eighth largest nation in the world. It must be noted that per-capita income of an estimated population of at least 10 million people exceeds US$1000.00. Furthermore, in the context of Bangladesh, where the extended family concept is still in practice, gross household income, rather than per-capita income is a better index of level of consumer affluence. It is estimated that about 3 million households representing 20 million people have a household income exceeding US$2000.00 per annum. Hence the effective market size is much larger than it is generally believed.]

Selection of Bangladesh, a less developed, traditional Asian non-Chinese Muslim society, as the country of focus has been prompted by several reasons. First, like most of other nations in the region, Bangladesh has embarked on a path to liberalise its economy. Furthermore, the awakening of neighbouring India and Myanmar is also expected to have some positive spillover effect on Bangladesh. Bangladesh is a large consumer market with the potential to attract global marketers. It is unlikely that this large consumer market would remain untapped for long. It is widely believed that it is the political instability that has kept the international investors away from Bangladesh. However, the growing awareness of the tangible benefits of political stability exemplified by the ASEAN and other Asian and Pacific nations would eventually force the nation to attain political stability conducive to attract international business. Second, with the gradual loosening of the government control of the market, a free market is slowly emerging. The traditional seller's market is transforming into a buyer's market. Consumerism, which was virtually non-existent even a decade ago, is slowly making headway in Bangladesh. But so little is known about the consumers in Bangladesh that even domestic marketers find it difficult to develop strategies for their products and services.

This investigation of the structure of the value system and its relationships with important demographic and psychographic variables will provide a general understanding of the psyche of the consumers in Bangladesh. Such knowledge would benefit not only the domestic and international marketers but also community leaders and social researchers with an interest in these issues.

METHODOLOGY

Instrument Used for Measuring Values

Researchers have used various instruments to measure values. These include the Rokeach value Survey [RVS](Rokeach 1973), the Personal Value Questionnaire [PVQ] (England 1975), the Values and Lifestyle [VALS] instrument developed at SRI International (Mitchell 1983), and the List of Values [LOV] developed by researchers at the University of Michigan (Veroff, Douvan and Kulka 1981; Kahle 1983). The RVS consists of 18 instrumental and 18 terminal values and requires the respondents to rank each of these 36 values in order of importance. Many researchers find the RVS unappealing for two main reasons. First, respondents may fail to rank the items accurately as there are too many of them. Second, rank ordering of values recommended by Rokeach may yield ipsative or non-independent data (Mehta and Tan 1987), and be considered less informative than interval or ratio scaling (Clawson and Vinson 1977). Use of the PVQ has been found to be more appropriate in devising a managerial style applicable across different cultures (David and Rasool 1988). The VALS is more oriented towards grouping people in terms of life style dimensions than 'values' as defined in this paper. The LOV is similar to RVS in that it assumes that there exists a finite set of values that are universal but vary across individuals in terms of their relative importance. However, unlike the RVS, the LOV is much simpler and more precise as it consists of only nine value items, namely, (i) Self respect, (ii) Self fulfilment, (iii) Sense of accomplishment, (iv) Sense of belonging, (v) Being well-respected, (vi) Security, (vii) Warm relationship with others, (viii) Fun and enjoyment and (ix) Excitement.

While each of the four methods has its strengths and weaknesses, there is no conclusive empirical evidence to prove the superiority of any one method in terms of predictive ability. The selection of the value measurement instrument appears to be dictated by expediency, its ease of use, and the personal liking of the researchers. The nine value items of the LOV are based on the works of Maslow (1954), Rokeach (1973) and Feather (1975). Thus it [LOV] may be considered a condensed but comprehensive instrument. Compared to the more elaborate and lengthy RVS, the shorter and more precise LOV is much easier to administer and analyse

This study makes use of a slightly augmented version of LOV. It is important to note that values are "global beliefs about desirable end-states underlying attitudinal and behavioural process" (Connor and Becker 1975, p.551) that "transcendentally guide actions and judgements across specific objects and situations" (Rokeach 1968, p. 160). As such, the nine-item LOV appears to be inadequate to portray all the relevant value orientations of consumers in all cultures. While RVS consist of too many value items, LOV contains too few of them. Values influence all human choices in life and thus decide the corresponding human behaviour and provide clues about how a society operates (Beatty et al. 1988). Thus it seems illogical to assume that there exists a rigid set of "universal values" that is equally applicable in all societies and cultures. Societies differ in terms of their "local" interpretation (Geertz 1983) and values are culturally specific constructions (Holt 1994). However, some values are likely to be universal "core values" which combine with other culture-specific values to define the unique value set of a society. In this study the nine value items listed in the LOV are considered to be these "core values." Addition of some culture-specific and tradition-dictated values to these core-values appears to be a logical option in understanding consumer values in any society. In the Bangladesh context, four culture-specific values have been added to the original LOV instrument for the reasons stated in the following paragraph.

TABLE 1

13 AUGMENTED 'LIST OF VALUE' (LOV) ITEMS

Although constitutionally Bangladesh is a secular nation, 87 per cent of her population are Muslims. The predominance of Islamic values is visible in almost all walks of life. From time immemorial Bangladesh formed a part of the Indian Sub-continent. As such, Hinduism influenced several aspects of the cultural and traditional heritage of the people of Bangladesh. To a large extent, Hinduism also endorses Islam's emphasis on living a simple and spiritual life, filial piety, and the well-being of the soul in the world after death. While two hundred years of British rule had played a very important role in moulding the Bangladesh consumer psyche in the Western style, the influence of the strongly ingrained traditional heritage and religious beliefs is distinctly visible in their choice of preferred mode of conduct. In view of these, four new value items, namely spiritual life, filial piety, salvation, and a simple life, were added to the original list of LOV variables to make it contextually more appropriate for Bangladesh. It is expected that the modified LOV will portray the domain of value orientations of the Bangladesh consumers more realistically and broaden the scope of the study. The thirteen value items included in the augmented LOV are shown in Table 1.

The Sample

This study was conducted in early 1992. Data was collected with a survey questionnaire in Bengali, the mother tongue of the people of Bangladesh. The questionnaire included questions on demographic profile of the respondents, statements operationalising psychographic variables and the list of values. It was administered by mail to 249 randomly selected middle level Bangladesh managers in the three largest cities of the country C Dhaka, Chittagong and Khulna. A total of 121 (48.6%) usable questionnaires were returned. The demographic profile of the respondents is summarised in Table 2.

Measurement of Importance of Values

Measuring the importance of values is a thorny issue. While Rokeach (1968) suggested the use of ranking, Munson and McIntyre (1979) advocated the use of Likert type rating scales since the latter (1) yields non-independent data which (2) make the use of parametric statistics inappropriate. One of the drawbacks of the rating approach is that respondents tend to use only one end of the scale as they are not forced to make trade-offs among the various values. Such a tendency makes it difficult to determine a hierarchy of values in their order of importance. Hence if the major purpose of the research is to establish a value hierarchy, ranking values rather than rating them is likely to result in richer interpretation. However, for the present study, where the major objective is to see how the consumers' value orientation and value dimensions are related to their common demographic characteristics and psychographics, the rating of values was considered adequate. In view of this, a six-point Likert-type scale varying from not-at-all-important (1) to extremely important (6) with slightly important (2), quite important (3), important (4), very important (5) as the intermediate points was used to obtain higher order (interval) data. Respondents were asked to indicate the degree of importance they attached to each of the thirteen value items as the guiding principles in their lives. To ensure consistency of their responses, as a measure of double-check, the respondents were also asked to rank each of the values listed in the questionnaire.

Selection of Psychographic Variables

Values are internalised human dimensions that are reflected in human actions and lifestyles. The relative importance that an individual consumer attaches to various values in his/her value set may be considered to manifest in his/her overt consumption behaviour and psychographic profile, reflecting his/her lifestyle, actions and opinions. An understanding of the relationship between the internalised value dimensions and the overt lifestyle dimensions is, thus, very important. Ten psychographic variables, namely status consciousness, religiosity, sociability, social responsibility, conservatism, influence on others, contemporary mindedness, trying something new, risk taking and materialism, were included in the study. Many researchers (for example, Plummer 1974; Wells and Tigert 1971) in consumer behaviour and related areas made use of a number of psychographic variables to develop lifestyle classification. These variables encompass numerous characteristics related to people's activities, interests and opinions (AIO) and are aimed at portraying the "whole person" interacting with his or her environment (Kotler 1994, p.182). It is difficult, if not impossible, to develop a list of variables describing the "whole person." Of necessity, discretion must be exercised in selecting them. However, care must be taken to see that the selected variables at least include those aspects of the respondents AIO that fairly describe his/her general pattern of interaction in his/her given environment. Keeping this in mind, the choice of the psychographic variables used in this study was based on the subjective judgement of the researcher. Prima facie, these variables appeared to have good links with values. Since this study was designed to be exploratory in nature, the choice of these variables was considered appropriate. Each of these variables was operationalised through multiple statements (ranging from 3 to 5) using a five-point Likert-type scale ranging from 'strongly agree' (1) to 'strongly disagree' (5) with a neutral 'neither agree nor disagree' (3) point. Some of the statements were reverse coded to reduce the respondents' tendency to use only one end of the scale. Further, to reduce the probability of obtaining stereotyped responses, statements defining the different constructs were mixed in a random pattern. Table 3 presents basic data on the ten composite variables and the statements used to operationalise them.

TABLE 2

DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILE OF RESPONDENTS

RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS

Table 4 consolidates the basic importance data on the thirteen value items. Although the overall pattern of responses to the list of value items reveals some clear differences, there are similarities among some items as well. It is also worth noting that the rankings given to each of the value items by the modal group of respondents are not much different from the rankings of the mean importance scores. The consistency of the two different rankings indicates that the use of rating scale in the current study did not distort the respondents' perceived value importance hierarchy.

Extant research shows that the nine LOV value items can be reduced to a smaller number of underlying value dimensions (Corfman, Lehman, and Narayanan 1991; Han 1991; Homer and Kahle 1988; Kau and Yang 1993; Kennedy, Best and Kahle 1988; Swenson and Herche 1994). The reduced number of factors and their respective structures, however, vary from study to study. Close scrutiny of the respondent's pattern of responses to the listed variables suggests the existence of a smaller number of 'true values'. Factor analysis was performed to reduce the 13 value items to a smaller number of broader value dimensions or factors. Principal component analysis was used to extract these factors. Only those variables with loadings greater than 0.35 were used to summarise the factors. The factors were rotated orthogonally using the varimax method. A minimum eigenvalue of 1.00 was used as the criterion for selecting the number of factors. Five factors were identified each of which was meaningfully labelled. These factors accounted for 64.5% of the variance. Table 5 presents the rotated factor structure and the loadings and communality values of each of the value items constituting the factors.

TABLE 3

COMPOSITION OF PSYCHOGRAPHIC VARIABLES: MEANS AND STATMENT CORRELATIONS WITH COMPOSITES

TABLE 4

IMPORTANCE RATINGS OF THE 13 VALUE ITEMS INCLUDED IN THE STUDY

While the relationships of demographic (antecedent) variables on the five composite value factors were examined through the use of analysis of variance (ANOVA), the relationships between these value factors and the ten psychographic variables were analysed through the product moment correlation coefficients. These required the determination of composite scores for the factors that were obtained by summing scores on variables that loaded highly on each factor. One problem with this approach is that variables with larger standard deviations contribute more heavily to the factor scores (Tabachnic and Fidell 1989). However, in this study, the differences between the largest and the smallest standard deviations of the variables defining each of the five factors were very small and were deemed unlikely to bias the factor scores in one way or the other.

Table 6 presents significant ANOVA results. Antecedent variables constituted the independent variables while the factors were the dependent variables. The results showed that of the six demographic variables, only age was significantly associated with all the five value dimensions. Individual value dimensions revealed different patterns of relationships with the five other antecedent variables. However, none of the five broad-based values (factors) was associated with all six antecedent variables. 'Spiritual orientation'(F5) was the only value dimension that was found to be significantly related to most (five) of the demographic variables studied whereas 'hedonism'(F4) was related to the fewest (two) of them. Managers who were older, married, had relatively lower level of education, who had lower income and who belonged to extended families were found to score higher on spirituality. In the Bangladesh society, maintaining a large family with low income is indeed a frustrating experience which often prompts people to take recourse to corrupt practices. However, all the religious beliefs practised in the country dictate people to shun such practices. Turning to spirituality for salvation in the after-world could be viewed as a mechanism to resolve the conflict between religious belief and worldly practice. The younger respondents, and respondents with medium to higher income scored significantly higher on 'hedonism'. This should not come as a surprise since the new generation of people who are relatively affluent and are more exposed to the western lifestyle tend to consider the traditional living outmoded. They consider themselves the citizens of a global community rather than those of an impoverished nation.

While the 'gratification'(F1) dimension appeared to be related to age, gender, education and household income, the 'harmony'(F3) dimension showed significant association with age, gender, marital status and family composition. Managers who are highly educated, relatively older, male, and in the higher income group, scored higher on the 'gratification' factor. Gratification, which can be equated with self actualisation, is an issue that people are unlikely to consider in the early or middle part of their career. Hence, the findings are, to some extent, self explanatory. The older and married respondents belonging to extended families appeared to emphasise the importance of 'harmony' dimension. On the contrary, the 'love and tranquillity'(F2) dimension was emphasised by managers who are younger, unmarried, and members of nuclear families. Perhaps both the 'love and tranquillity' and the 'harmony' dimensions are indicative of similar value orientations of two generations of people who have interpreted the finer and tender aspects of life very differently.

In their study using the nine LOV items, Kau and Yang (1990) noted that the patterns of choice of values in Singapore and Taiwan include, in order of preference, 'Harmony,' 'Respect,' 'Achievement ' and 'Hedonism.' They further reported that the choice patterns of values in the USA and West Germany were also the same. The pattern of choice in Bangladesh, however, differs substantially. The Bangladesh respondents emphasised 'Gratification' followed by 'Love and tranquillity,' 'Harmony' being the third preference. 'Hedonism' emerged as the fourth in the value hierarchy. One should note that a direct comparison of the findings of this study with that of Kau and Yang is difficult (and perhaps inappropriate) because the two studies differed in their structure, composition of the samples, and sample sizes. However, it is worth noting that there is a one-to-one correspondence between the broad-based values labelled 'Harmony' and 'Hedonism' in both the studies; and the values labelled 'Gratification' and 'Love and Tranquillity' in this study compare favourably with 'Achievement' and 'Respect,' respectively, in the Kau and Yang study.

TABLE 5

ROTATED FACTOR STRUCTURE OF THE VALUES USED IN THE STUDY

Table 7 presents Pearson's product moment correlations between ten psychographic variables reflecting respondents' behaviour and the five composite factors. Of the total 50 correlations, 31 were significant beyond 0.05 level. While the correlations of two of the ten variables C religiosity and sociability C were significant across all five value dimensions (factors), two others C status consciousness and influence on others C correlated significantly with the 'Gratification' dimension only. Social responsibility, materialism and conservatism correlated with four of the five value dimensions. While risk taking correlated with three of the five value dimensions, the remaining two C contemporary mindedness and trying something new C showed significant correlation with only two of them.

A number of psychographic variables correlated negatively with some of the value dimensions. For example, the variable 'risk taking' correlated negatively with the 'love and tranquillity' and 'spiritual orientation' dimensions; both 'religiosity' and 'conservatism' correlated negatively with the 'gratification' and 'hedonism' dimensions; and both 'contemporary mindedness' and 'trying something new' correlated negatively with the 'spiritual orientation' dimension.

The results presented in Table 7 give the impression that of the five broad-based value dimensions identified in the study, only two C the 'Spiritual orientation' and the 'Gratification' dimensions C are related to eight and seven, respectively, of the ten psychographic variables included in the study. The mean scores of these psychographic variables (see Table 3) indicate that the Bangladesh consumers represented by the sample studied included respondents who exhibited collectivism (sociability, social responsibility) as opposed to individualism (status consciousness, materialism and influence on others), and conservatism (religiosity, conservatism, and risk taking) as opposed to venturesomeness (contemporary mindedness, trying something new) more than any thing else. Collectivism may be explained by the fact that Bangladesh, inhabited by one race speaking one language, represents a homogenous society where, one-way or another, everyone seems to be related; while conservatism may be explained by the virtues of living a simple, spartan and moral life advocated by the tenets of the major religions practised in the country. The respondents' traditional, conservative and spartan style of upbringing might have affected their value formation.

With a view to study the relationship between value dimensions and psychographic variables, Mehta and Tan (1987) used the RVS Scale (resulting in eight value dimensions) and twelve psychographic variables (ten of which were very similar to those used in this study) to study young Singaporean Chinese consumers. Although the two studies are not comparable in a strict sense, it is worth noting that Mehta and Tan (1987) found that value dimensions such as 'Gratification: social and personal', and 'Spiritual orientation' correlated significantly with variables such as social responsibility, sociability, religiosity, materialism and risk aversion, among others.

TABLE 6

RESULTS OF ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE: ANTECEDENT VARIABLES AND VALUE DIMENSION FACTORS

TABLE 7

CORRELATIONS BETWEEN PSYCHOGRAPHIC VARIABLES AND VALUE DIMENSIONS

CONCLUSION

This exploratory study indicates that several demographic and psychographic variables are correlated with a number of value dimensions. The demographic variable "age", and the psychographic variables "religiosity", "sociability", "social responsibility" and "conservatism" were significantly related to most (at least four) of the value dimensions. The demographic variables "marital status", "household income" and "family composition"; and the psychographic variable "risk taking" seemed to be significantly related to three of the five value dimensions identified in the study. The remaining demographic variables, "gender" and "education"; and the psychographic variables "contemporary mindedness", "trying something new", "status consciousness" and "influence on others" appeared to have significant relationship with two or fewer of the value dimensions. The results suggest that value dimensions are linked more to culture-dictated core psychographic variables inherent in an individual than the learnt, nurtured and adapted psychographic variables and demographic variables. It thus appears that the core psychographic values more than anything else reveal the value dimensions of people in a given culture. Kahle and Kennedy (1988) had also concluded that values in principle provide more information than mere demographics.

It has been noted that people make purchases for the benefit of value fulfilment (Kahle and Kennedy 1988). Gutman (1990, pp. 153-154) observed that "values add meaning to benefits" and "relatively few values act as arbiters of choice in many consumer choice situations." While the role of values may be more obvious for highly involved choices such as life insurance, automobiles or housing, for less-involved consumer purchases the role may be less obvious. The same values may be linked to a wide variety of benefits consumers seek in consuming products, and, as such, take on different meanings depending on the benefits to which they are linked. Kau and Yang (1990) noted that "certain values are preferred more by people residing in one country as compared to another country, owing possibly to differences in culture and other factors." All these indicate that a knowledge of the relationship between values and consumer choice can help marketers and advertisers in formulating and executing advertising and promotion strategies.

The linkage between value dimensions and psychographic variables identified in this study helps to understand the psychographic characteristics and idiosyncrasies of the middle level managers of Bangladesh who constitute a large and relatively affluent segment of consumers. The results will enable better marketing decision making, for example, in the areas of segmentation, advertising and promotion. However, the findings reported here should be evaluated with caution since the study made use of a small sample drawn from a relatively affluent and elite group of consumers (managers). The value orientation and general psychographic characteristics of this group may not be representative of the general population. However, the marketers may want to take note of the research findings in designing strategies to communicate the "value fulfilment" aspect of making a purchase in the context of Bangladesh.

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Authors

Mohammed Abdur Razzaque, National University of Singapore



Volume

E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 2 | 1995



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