The micro approach has focused on the individual and the cognitive and psychological factors that affect their consumer decision-making. Examples include specific constructs such as variety seeking, risk, uncertainty, or expertise. Robertson and Kassarjian (1991) characterize this type research as insightful, but the specificity of the research construct limits the comprehensiveness of the resulting consumer behavior models. For example, Folkes and Kiesler (1991) describe Bettman's (1979) information processing theory of consumer choice as a micro approach because it emphasizes a specific buying situation where the focus is on variables such as product attributes (quality and price), the characteristics of the decision-making task (information format), and the task-related characteristics of the decision maker (expertise and involvement).
Thus, the model largely ignores sociological and cultural influences on consumer behavior. The macro approach, on the other hand, has focused on the influence of others and the socio/cultural environment, so that discoveries hold across different times and places. Within this approach, the goal is the same - understanding consumer behavior, but it is expanded to include the meaning of product purchase and ownership in a social and cultural context.
Examples include Nicosia's (1966) Consumer Decision Processes, Engel et. al's (1968) Consumer Behaviour, and Howard and Sheth's Theory of Buyer Behaviour (1979). The relation between increasing environmental awareness and concern levels and consumer behavior is clear. As a result of an increased awareness and understanding of environmental issues, consumers are determined to act in an environmentally responsible way and to make the necessary lifestyle adjustments. At the same time, they have assumed the responsibility of enforcing respect for the environment on producers and of evaluating the extent of the latter’ s compliance, themselves.
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