The Phenomenology of a Goal: Consumption Visions Across Consumer Behavior

ABSTRACT - Mental images of future consumption are a largely ignored and thus understudied aspect of consumer behavior. This oversight is unfortunate given importance of mental imaging in human thought processes (cf. MacInnis and Price 1987; Demasio 1994) and the pervasive frequency of future thought (Brann 1991). In this work, we attempt to rectify that oversight and begin the process of theory building in this area. We term anticipatory mental images of future product use consumption visions and define them as self-referent images or mental simulations of the self-relevant consequences of product consumption and the resulting phenomenological experience (thoughts and emotions) associated with those anticipated consequences. As an initial step, this paper seeks to demonstrate consumption visions. In addition, we hold that the phenomenology or lived-experience of a consumer goal is a consumption vision. If this is the case, we should find examples of goals experienced as personalized consumption visions across the various goal-motivated stages and phases of consumer behavior. In order to demonstrate consumption visions and to investigate this fundamental prediction, we conducted a diary study where 15 consumers recorded the anticipatory consumption images they experienced over the course of a week. As theoretically anticipated, we found evidence in the diary data of consumption visions across consumer behavior from preconsumption problem solving to postconsumpiton product dispossession. These findings substantiate the existence of consumption visions and highlight their ubiquity and importance as motivators across consumption. We discuss the implications of consumption visions for marketing managers and present future directions for theory building in this area.



Citation:

Glenn L. Christensen, Jerry C. Olson, and William T. Ross (2003) ,"The Phenomenology of a Goal: Consumption Visions Across Consumer Behavior", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 6, eds. Darach Turley and Stephen Brown, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 108.

European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 6, 2003      Page 108

THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF A GOAL: CONSUMPTION VISIONS ACROSS CONSUMER BEHAVIOR

Glenn L. Christensen, Brigham Young University, USA

Jerry C. Olson, The Pennsylvania State University, USA

William T. Ross, The Pennsylvania State University, USA

ABSTRACT -

Mental images of future consumption are a largely ignored and thus understudied aspect of consumer behavior. This oversight is unfortunate given importance of mental imaging in human thought processes (cf. MacInnis and Price 1987; Demasio 1994) and the pervasive frequency of future thought (Brann 1991). In this work, we attempt to rectify that oversight and begin the process of theory building in this area. We term anticipatory mental images of future product use consumption visions and define them as self-referent images or mental simulations of the self-relevant consequences of product consumption and the resulting phenomenological experience (thoughts and emotions) associated with those anticipated consequences. As an initial step, this paper seeks to demonstrate consumption visions. In addition, we hold that the phenomenology or lived-experience of a consumer goal is a consumption vision. If this is the case, we should find examples of goals experienced as personalized consumption visions across the various goal-motivated stages and phases of consumer behavior. In order to demonstrate consumption visions and to investigate this fundamental prediction, we conducted a diary study where 15 consumers recorded the anticipatory consumption images they experienced over the course of a week. As theoretically anticipated, we found evidence in the diary data of consumption visions across consumer behavior from preconsumption problem solving to postconsumpiton product dispossession. These findings substantiate the existence of consumption visions and highlight their ubiquity and importance as motivators across consumption. We discuss the implications of consumption visions for marketing managers and present future directions for theory building in this area.

References

Brann, Eva T. H. (1991), The World of the Imagination, Savage, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Damasio, Antonio R. (1994), Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons.

MacInnis, Deborah J. and Linda L. Price (1987), "The Role of Imagery in Information Processing: Review and Extensions," Journal of Consumer Research, 13 (March), 473-491.

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Authors

Glenn L. Christensen, Brigham Young University, USA
Jerry C. Olson, The Pennsylvania State University, USA
William T. Ross, The Pennsylvania State University, USA



Volume

E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 6 | 2003



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