EuroEconomica, Vol 32, No 2 (2013)

A theoretical framework for integrating symbolic and affective motivations in the purchase decisions of Romanian car consumers

Madalina Ariton (Balau)


This paper aims to identify theoretical models on consumer behavior that could integrate the affective and symbolic components of goods, along with their functional aspects, into the choice process. The main research questions are: How important are the symbolic and affective purchase motives of a car for the Romanian consumers, compared with the functional motives? How each of the motives, instrumental, symbolic and affective, influences the purchase process, taking into consideration some external variables, as well? After shortly presenting the two models and their empirical applications, this paper proposes a combination of the two perspectives on the role of motivation on choice, in order to gain insights especially on the influence of affective and symbolic elements of the material possessions on the choice process, in our case of a passenger car. The innovative aspect of the paper is actually this combination, since it tries to bring together two quite diverging perspectives on consumers, their rational and less rational choices.


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