A dual-process model of the influence of human values on consumer choice

Michael W. Allen


A dual-process model for how consumer values influence product choice is proposed. Recent theoretical developments regarding what products mean to consumers, how they are judged, and what motives they satisfy suggest two processes. First, when consumers evaluate a product’s utilitarian meaning, use a piecemeal judgment, and the product satisfies an instrumental motivation, the human values they endorse determine which tangible attributes are important; they compare the product’s actual tangible attributes to their preferred tangible attributes, and choose the product that comes closest. In contrast, when consumers evaluate a product’s symbolic meaning, use an affective judgment, and the product satisfies an expressive motivation, their values may influence product choice directly. In particular, individuals compare the cultural values symbolized by the product to the human values they endorse, choosing the product with the most congruency. Current and future directions of the dual-process model are discussed.


Consumer choice. Humans values. Dual process model.

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Rev. Psi: Org e Trab R. Eletr. Psico., ISSN 1984-6657, Brasília, Brasil.