Edited by Victoria Wells and Gordon Foxall
Chapter 13: The Role of Neurophysiology, Emotion and Contingency in the Explanation of Consumer Choice
1 Gordon R. Foxall, Mirella Yani-de-Soriano, Shumaila Y. Yousafzai and Uzma Javed 13.1 INTRODUCTION The Behavioral Perspective Model (BPM) of purchase and consumption (Foxall, 1990) aims to improve understanding of behaviourism, intentionality and cognition in the explanation of consumer choice. The initial phase of the BPM research programme has been to examine an extensional explanation of choice (based on radical behaviourism). This perspective has been adopted in order, first, to establish the boundaries of so parsimonious an approach to explanation and, secondly, to identify the scope for intentional and cognitive explanations of consumer choice. Empirical work demonstrates the value of the extensional construal in explaining the nature of consumer brand and product choices and the interpretation of consumer behaviour in relation to the situations in which it occurs. A limitation of this approach arises from the attempt to account in purely extensional terms for the continuity of consumer behaviour over situations. This makes the use of intentional language an inevitable part of the explanation of consumer behaviour but there remains the problem of employing intentionality in a logical and scientifically consistent manner rather than opportunistically. This chapter is concerned with the role of one aspect of intentionality, emotion, in the explanation of consumer choice in order to comprehend behavioural continuity. It draws upon the philosophy of psychology known as intentional behaviourism (Foxall, 2004) in order to ascribe intentionality in accordance with scientific canons of procedure that are consistent with evolutionary reasoning. This methodology extends Dennett’s (1969) emphasis on the role...
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