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Consumer Behavior Essay: Consumption Event Of Having A Meal At Michelin Star


To prepare this consumer behavior essay, pick a single consumption event, such as going to a restaurant, buying a car, buying a new outfit, or any similar choice situation you like and: 1, describe how each of the 3 perspectives applies to your chosen situation. 2, compare the perspectives to one another 3, provide your own view on which types on consumption situations are best matched to certain perspectives and why, making use of your own example. Make sure to demonstrate an understanding of the literature by applying it.

The word-limit is 2000 words not including the bibliography.


The concept of consumer behaviour critically discussed in this consumer behavior essay refers to the process where different individuals, groups or organisations select, buy and use the products/services of their choice for satisfying their needs and wants (Roeand Bruwer, 2017). The discussion would focus on determining consumer behaviour depending on a specific consumer event and understand the application of three different perspectives. The three perspectives comprise of economic, sociological, psychoanalytical, and these will be used to understand what drives the behaviour of the consumers in purchasing a particular item. There are different aspects that have been highlighted as quintessential in understanding how customers behave before purchasing a product and the marketing approach undertaken by a company is one of them. The discussion intends to understand the influence of three different perspectives and establish a link with the different consumption situations that might be encountered by an individual.

Choice of Consumption Event

The consumption event chosen here is going to a restaurant because before the final decision to visit and buy a meal, several sub-decisions are involved in contributing towards the formation of the final choice. The consumption event here depicts the choice of the learner to have a meal at a Michelin Star restaurant and identify how the three perspectives aid or prevent them from accessing this particular purchasing decision. According to Carrigan (2017), the choice of an individual is bounded by rationality, several pieces of information and the time constraints witnessed by the consumer. Furthermore, the three perspectives identified also have an important role to play in influencing the final decision undertaken by the individual. Eventually, the idea here is to ensure that the utility is maximised so that the consumers can find a worthwhile experience for the expenditure.

Application of the Three Perspectives

According to D'Orazioand Giulioni (2017), the economic perspective depicts the preferences and budget of the consumer before they decide upon expenditure. These two are often determined as contradictory as well because the balance is often difficult to maintain as a consumer might have expensive preferences but low budget or the other way around. Such circumstances often make it difficult to make a consumption choice. For example, the learner wants to go to a Michelin star restaurant but cannot afford it due to budgetary constraints so they would ensure to go to a restaurant that would fit into their budget but with maximum utility. It can be said that the availability of economic capital defines their taste and affordance of the things that can be consumed (Alí et al., 2021). Being free to choose whatever items a consumer wants is an indicator of economic well-being and development. Majority of the consumers belong to the category of earning from wages and spending money on essentials and rarely on leisure, status and other aspect. Thus, a consumption event as basic as going to restaurant can be addressed as both leisure and essential activity depending on the circumstances of the consumer.

The sociological perspective presents the idea that consumer choices and purchasing behaviour is heavily influenced by the society and the norms existing in them (Mehta et al., 2020). A consumer’s behaviour may also be influenced by their social circle and acquaintances who continue to recommend them good events or places that would suit their likeliness. For example, the learner might desire to go to a Michelin starred restaurant because he has been constantly recommended by his peers, friends, colleagues, family and other acquaintances. The desire to visit this restaurant would be boosted with the recommendations of others. This is one of the reasons why numerous brands around the world consider word of mouth to be a strong point at marketing activities. The social class of the learner would have to play an important part in the final decision because if they make money from their wages then, they are likely to avoid going to a Michelin-starred restaurant. However, if the learn has sufficient relation to capital and operates business making sufficient money, then they are likely to go to the restaurant because they are used to such activities of impulse decision-making. Meanwhile, the occurrence of a crisis is also likely to impact that situation of going to an expensive restaurant for a one time meal.

According to Itsede (2017), the psychoanalytical theory focuses mostly on the unconscious mind of the consumers while making choices instead of the conscious ones because it is based on the idea that the past experiences determine the behaviour of an individual because it is lodged in the unconscious mind. The three levels of consciousness as discussed by Freud equally contributes towards influencing one’s buying decisions and behaviours. The psychoanalytical theory defines that individual consumers have some deep motives that drive them to make certain decisions. For example, the consumption event here is the learner wanting to go to a Michelin starred restaurant but he does not have the economic means to support this particular experience but at the same time the unconscious desire to eat at that restaurant is likely to drive an impulsive choice in the learner. Thus, it is important to consider the fact that human beings derive enjoyment from following their desire and even though it might mislead them into a bad financial decision, they would still derive sufficient satisfaction from the decision (Salvatore et al., 2021). It can be said that consumer choices that occur from a psychoanalytical perspective are likely to be less satisfactory (Itsede, 2017). It is eventually a desire that has been repressed for a long time can drive choice among consumers.

Comparison of the Three Perspectives
The comparison between the three perspectives not only show the differences in them that highly affect the consumer purchasing decisions but at the same time, sufficiently work on highlighting the differences as well. For example, the psychoanalytical perspective and sociological perspective supports the idea of impulsive decision making depending on the social class of an individual (Caramia, 2018). As long as an individual is familiar with higher standards of living and can afford it, then implications of psychoanalytical theory is less likely to be negative. All of the three perspectives are interrelated and support each other in one way or the other. Meanwhile, the key difference is that no matter how intense the desire is available in someone to make a specific purchase, the social class of an individual is likely to prevent them from acquiring it. Social class is known for having impounding effects on the expenditure of consumers mainly because of the segregation that takes place among the personal disposable income of different individuals (Rizvandi et al., 2019). Eventually, it is the individuals who have the maximum financial potential can afford the consequences of psychoanalytical perspective on purchases while the remaining ones bounded by social class are likely to witness economic constraints. Here, among both the perspective the finances and economic habits of the consumers have an important role to play because it defines their ability to purchase and their social class.

It is also assumed that an outlook on ethical consumption is also switched by the different perspectives. While the sociological perspective may encourage individuals to indulge in sustainable purchases in their life but the economic constraints would prompt them from making financial decisions that suits their survival (Carrigan, 2017). For example, there would be social circles of numerous consumers who would be recommending them to purchase from sustainable brands in terms of clothing items instead of purchasing from fast fashion brands. However, the individual may still end up purchasing from fast fashion brands because it is economical for them and aligns well with their personal disposable income accordingly. Meanwhile, the key difference between the three perspectives is the existence of maximum utility because consumers are addressed as rational agents who are seeking to maximise utility with the help of their purchase (Hillerand Woodall, 2019). Thus, most of the financial decisions undertaken by them are likely to remain economically beneficial for their lifestyles instead of being driven by desire and extreme urge to indulge in impulse buying behaviour. However, it is the marketing activities of the several brands in existence that are constantly trying to increase the impulse buying decisions of the consumers preventing them from indulging in ethical purchase, and increase utility. This is the reason why majority of the brands in recent times are constantly trying to appeal to the psychoanalytical perspective of the consumers to ensure their innate desire is concentrated enough to prompt them in impulse buying behaviour.

Link Between Different Consumption Situations and the Perspectives
The aforementioned perspectives and their link with the situation of availing a meal at a Michelin Star restaurant may not significantly align with other consumption situations as well. For example, for an individual earning wage buying a car would be an essential and can be used significantly for their daily activities and this would be something considered aided by the economic perspective. The act of buying a car for adding easiness in their life is conveniently addressed by their conscious decision-making and self-construct. There are different types of consumption situations that can be witnessed by an individual such as compulsive buying situation, complex buying situation, habitual buying behaviour and others (Kumar, 2017). The compulsive buying situation is well suited with the psychoanalytical perspective because it encourages individuals to act on their deep desires and purchase despite witnessing economic constraints (Khandelwal et al., 2021). Such actions are often considered unsuitable for individuals who are going through difficult financial situations. There are many companies belonging to different sectors that appeal to unconscious buying behaviour of consumers to ensure that they indulge in impulsive buying leading to their maximised profit. The psychological perspective is eventually influenced by the personal factor of consumer buying behaviour leading to disastrous consequences in their financial decisions.

The habitual buying behaviour is associated with the sociological buying perspective because it mostly involves the purchase of items that are required in their daily lives (Voramontriand Klieb, 2019). The consumer has low involvement in the purchasing decision and is mostly looking for components that would aid their daily activities. This is a common form of consumption behaviour witnessed among all classes of people because they are focused on buying their basic necessities leading to a healthy and fulfilled life. Some key examples of habitual buying behaviour consist of buying groceries, clothing once utility has been maximised and more. Meanwhile, complex buying behaviour is witnessed among individuals who have expensive tastes and have the means to afford it or even use their savings to make that final purchase (Dey, 2017). For example, the consumption event chosen in this report would define a complex buying behaviour because even if he does not have the economic means to support that behaviour, he has the innate desire to make the final purchase. The complex buying behaviour can also be initiated with the help of different marketing strategies of brands and most likely the use of social media may prompt this desire. Each of these buying situation causes beneficiaries and yet subsequent financial debacles as well.

This essay led to a detailed understanding of the different perspectives aligned with the consumer choices and what prompts in derailing that perspective. The three different perspectives can be found in different spheres of consumption habits of people. It is applicable among both higher class and lower classes of people with varying range of economic means. From the analysis of the three different perspectives and the consumption event, it can be said that a link was established between them and the event depending on the situation of the learner. The economic perspective was indicated when the learner mentioned that he did not have the means to go to a Michelin star restaurant and yet the psychoanalytical perspective was constantly indulging the urge of unconscious mind. Furthermore, the sociological perspective was heavily influenced from the recommendation of his social circle and his own limited personal disposable income.

Reference List
Alí, Í., Sepúlveda, J., Sepúlveda, J. and Denegri, M., 2021. The impact of attitudes on behavioural change: a multilevel analysis of predictors of changes in consumer behaviour. Revista Latinoamericana de Psicología, 53, pp.73-82.

Caramia, N., 2018. Self Concept in Consumer Behaviour: A psychoanalytic investigation.

Carrigan, M., 2017. Revisiting ‘The Myth of the Ethical Consumer’: why are we still not ethical shoppers. Journal of Consumer Ethics, 1(1), pp.11-21.

Dey, S., 2017. A study on changing buying behaviour of Indian customers. Global Journal of Marketing Management and Research, 7(1), pp.1-4.

D'Orazio, P. and Giulioni, G., 2017. From micro behaviors to macro dynamics: An agent-based economic model with consumer credit. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 20(1).

Hiller, A. and Woodall, T., 2019. Everything flows: A pragmatist perspective of trade-offs and value in ethical consumption. Journal of Business ethics, 157(4), pp.893-912.

Itsede, C.O., 2017. Consumer Behaviour in the Foreign Exchange Market in Nigeria. G215 CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA, 55(4), p.103.

Khandelwal, R., Veer, A.N., Sharma, P. and Kolte, A., 2021. Compulsive Buying Behaviour Credit Card Users and Affectin Factors Such as Financial Prestige and Retention A Cross-sectional. management, 13(3), pp.394-405.

Kumar, J.S., 2017. The psychology of colour influences consumers’ buying behaviour–a diagnostic study. Ushus Journal of Business Management, 16(4), pp.1-13.

Mehta, S., Saxena, T. and Purohit, N., 2020. The new consumer behaviour paradigm amid COVID-19: Permanent or transient?. Journal of Health Management, 22(2), pp.291-301.

Rizvandi, A., Tojari, F. and Zadeh, Z.S., 2019. Sport consumer behaviour model: Motivators and constraints.

Roe, D. and Bruwer, J., 2017. Self-concept, product involvement and consumption occasions: Exploring fine wine consumer behaviour. British Food Journal.

Salvatore, S., Picione, R.D.L., Vincenzo, B., Mannino, G., Langher, V., Pergola, F., Velotti, P. and Venuleo, C., 2021. The affectivization of the public sphere: the contribution of psychoanalysis in understanding and counteracting the current crisis scenarios. Subject, Action, & Society: Psychoanalytical Studies and Practices, 1(1), pp.3-30.

Voramontri, D. and Klieb, L., 2019. Impact of social media on consumer behaviour. International Journal of Information and Decision Sciences, 11(3), pp.209-233.


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