Interpreting Consumer Choice
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Interpreting Consumer Choice book
A typology of consumer situations is defi ned by the independent variables of the BPM, the antecedent and consequential stimuli that control behavior. Depending on the relatively open or closed nature of the setting, the high or low levels of utilitarian and informational reinforcement available in and signaled by the setting, there emerge eight categories of contingencies which can be interpreted as infl uencing consumer behavior. Each is a distinctive combination of setting and reinforcer variables which elucidates particular topographies of purchase and consumption. The BPM Contingency Matrix (Figure 1.2, p. 10) summarizes the ways in which the independent variables combine to produce the eight contingency categories. Each of these contingency categories represents a class of purchase and consumption situations. An interpretive account of consumer activity should systematically relate known patterns of purchase and consumption to the contingencies on which they are maintained. The following analysis identifi es fundamental classes of consumer behavior and the schedules of reinforcement that apparently control them. It then describes the topographies of well-known examples of purchase and consumption and infers the nature of the behavior setting and the pattern of reinforcement apparently controlling them.