Saturday, June 27, 2015

Consumer Behavior: Materialism and Consumerism

Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having, and Being 10th Edition Michael R. Solomon. 2013. Essex, England: Pearson Education Limited. Chapter 4 Motivation and Global Values Page 142 Motivation refers to the processes that lead people to behave as they do. It occurs when a need is aroused that the consumer wishes to satisfy. The need creates a state of tension that drives the consumer to attempt to reduce or eliminate it. This need may be utilitarian (i.e., a desire to achieve some functional or practical benefit, as when a person loads up on green vegetables for nutritional reasons) or it may be hedonic (i.e., an experiential need, involving emotional responses or fantasies, as when Basil longs for a juicy steak). The desired end state is the consumer’s goal. Page 144-145 Needs versus Wants The specific way we choose to satisfy a need depends on our unique history, learning experiences, and cultural environment. Two classmates may feel their stomachs rumble during a lunchtime lecture. If neither person has eaten since the night before, the strength of their respective needs (hunger) would be about the same. However, the ways each person goes about satisfying this need might be quite different. The first person may be a vegetarian like Paula, who fantasizes about gulping down a big handful of trail mix, whereas the second person may be a meat hound like Basil who gets turned on by the prospect of a greasy cheeseburger and fries. What Do We Need? We are born with a need for certain elements necessary to maintain life, such as food, water, air, and shelter. These are biogenic needs. We have many other needs, however, that are not innate. We acquire psychogenic needs as we become members of a specific culture. These include the needs for status, power, and affiliation. Psychogenic needs reflect the priorities of a culture, and their effect on behavior will vary from environment to environment. For example, a U.S. consumer devotes a good chunk of his income to products that permit him to displays his individuality, whereas his Japanese counterpart may work equally hard to ensure that he does not stand out from his group. We can also be motivated to satisfy either utilitarian or hedonic needs. When we focus on a utilitarian need, we emphasize the objective, tangible attributes of products, such as miles per gallon in a car; the amount of fat, calories, and protein in a cheeseburger; or the durability of a pair of blue jeans. Hedonic needs are subjective and experiential; here we might look to a product to meet our needs for excitement, self-confidence, or fantasy—perhaps to escape the mundane or routine aspects of life. Many items satisfy our hedonic needs (there’s even a popular resort called Hedonism). Luxury brands in particular thrive when they offer the promise of pleasure to the user—how badly do you “need” that Armani suit or Tiffany brooch? Of course, we can also be motivated to purchase a product because it provides both types of benefits. For example, a woman (perhaps a politically incorrect one) might buy a mink coat because of the luxurious image it portrays and because it also happens to keep her warm through the long, cold winter. Indeed, recent research on novel consumption experiences indicates that even when we choose to unusual things (like eating bacon ice cream or staying in a freezing ice hotel), we may do so because we have what the authors term a productivity orientation. This refers to a continual striving to use time constructively: Trying new things is a way to check them off our “bucket list” of experiences we want to achieve before moving on to others. Page 170-171 Materialism: “He Who Dies with the Most Toys Wins” Our possessions play a central role in our lives, and our desire to accumulate them shapes our value systems. Materialism refers to the importance people attach to worldly possessions. We sometimes take the bounty of products and services for granted, until we remember how recent this abundance is. For example, in 1950, two of five American homes did not have a telephone, and in 1940, half of all households still did not possess complete indoor plumbing. During World War II, members of “cargo cults” in the South Pacific literally worshiped cargo salvaged from crashed aircraft or washed ashore from ships. They believe that their ancestors piloted the ships and planes passing near their islands, so they tried to attract them to their villages. They went so far as to construct fake planes from straw to lure the real ones. We may not worship products to that extent, but many of us certainly work hard to attain our vision of the good life, which abounds in material comforts. Most young people can’t imagine a life without cell phones, MP3 players, and other creature comforts. In fact, we can think of marketing as a system that provides certain standards of living to consumers. To some extent, then, the standards of living we expect and desire influence our lifestyles, either by personal experience or as a result of the affluent characters we see on TV and in movies. Materialists Materialistic values tend to emphasize the well-being of the individual versus the group, which may conflict with family or religious values. That conflict may help to explain why people with highly material values tend to be less happy. Furthermore, materialism is highest among early adolescents (12 to 13 years old) in comparison to children or late adolescents—perhaps it’s no coincidence that this is the age group that also has the lowest level of self-esteem. Materialists are more likely to value possessions for their status and appearance-related meanings, whereas those who do not emphasize this value tend to prize products that connect them to other people or that provide them with pleasure when they use them. As a result, high materialists prefer expensive products that they publicly consume. A study that compared specific items that low versus high materialists value found that people low on the materialism value cherished items such as a mother’s wedding gown, picture albums, a rocking chair from childhood, or a garden, whereas those who scored high preferred things such as jewelry, china, or a vacation home. Materialistic people appear to link more of their self-identity to products (more on this in Chapter 5). One study found that when people who score high on this value fear the prospect of dying, they form even stronger connections to brands. Another study reported that consumers who are “love-smitten” with their possessions tend to use these relationships to compensate for loneliness and a lack of affiliation with social networks. Materialism and Economic Conditions One byproduct of the Great Recession has been to force many consumers to reconsider the value of their possessions. As one woman observed, “The idea that you need to go bigger to be happy is false. I really believe that the acquisition of material goods doesn’t bring about happiness.” This doesn’t necessarily mean that people will stop buying—but perhaps, at least for a while, they will do so more carefully. In the words of one industry analyst, “We’re moving from a conspicuous consumption—which is ‘buy without regard’—to a calculated consumption.” In 2010, American consumers on average saved more than 6 percent of their income—before the recession the rate was 1 to 2 percent. Ironically, bad economic conditions may make at least some people happier. Research on the relationship between consumption and happiness tends to show that people are happier when they spend money on experiences instead of material objects, when they relish what they plan to buy long before they buy it, and when they stop trying to outdo their neighbors. One study reported that the only consumption category that was positively related to happiness involved leisure: vacations, entertainment, sports and equipment like golf clubs and fishing poles. This finding is consistent with changes in buying patterns, which show that consumers have tended to choose experiences over objects during the last couple of years. For example, they may choose to entertain themselves at home rather than going out, or even to forgo a trip to Disney World for a “stay-cation” in the backyard. Another factor is just how much of a “buzz” we get from the stuff we buy. The research evidence points to the idea that consumers get more “bang for their buck” when they buy a bunch of smaller things over time, rather than blowing it all on one big purchase. This is due to what psychologists call hedonic adaptation; it basically means that to maintain a fairly stable level of happiness, we tent to become used to changes, big or small, wonderful or terrible. That means that over time the rush from a major purchase will dissipate and we’re back to where we started (emotionally speaking). So, the next time you get a bonus or find an envelope stuffed with cash on the street, take a series of long weekends instead of splurging on that three-week trip to Maui.

Friday, June 12, 2015

PASCA: tips penulisan tesis ekonomi Islam

Berdasarkan pengalaman pribadi, dalam penelitian ini yang menghabiskan waktu paling banyak adalah "kegalauan" dalam menentukan tema, metodologi penelitian yang memenuhi syarat tulisan ilmiah, serta "memilih" pembimbing yang tepat. Kegalauan pertama yaitu mencari tema yang menarik untuk diteliti, yang diusahakan tema tersebut merupakan passion peneliti, atau bidang studi yang ingin didalami oleh peneliti. Dalam menjawab kegalauan ini, selain melakukan eksplorasi atas pemikiran pribadi dan pengalaman pribadi (eksplorasi atas past, present, future condition) penulis juga sampai harus melakukan tes bakat natural menggunakan teknik analisa sidik jari dari trademark STIFIN. Kemudian diarahkan sesuai dengan minat dan bakat tersebut. Kegalauan kedua adalah mencari metodologi penelitian yang memungkinkan untuk dilakukan oleh peneliti tetapi memenuhi standar penulisan ilmiah, yang sangat berkaitan erat dengan pembimbing karena membutuhkan banyak diskusi. Sampai disini penulis merasakan jika tema sudah didapatkan kemudian mulai mengetik proposal tesis dari bab 3 metodologi penelitian, karena jika dimulai dari bab 1 dan bab 2 kemudian ketika di bab 3 tidak menemukan metodologi yang tepat maka bab 1 dan 2 akan berubah total sehingga penulis merasakan bolak balik membongkar ulang isi bab 1 dan 2 yang jika dihitung total timeline dilakukan sejak semester 2 (maret 2014) dalam matakuliah metodologi penelitian hingga bulan ini (juni 2015)