The Impact of Emotional Intelligence: Understanding Consumer Behavior
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The Impact of Emotional Intelligence: Understanding Consumer Behavior

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Emotional decisions are made daily by consumers. The power and impact of emotion on the buying process is an emerging field. ...

Emotional decisions are made daily by consumers. The power and impact of emotion on the buying process is an emerging field.
Marketers must turn from the traditional marketing strategies based on cognitive abilities of the consumer to also include the role of emotions in the buying process.
A review of literature on consumer behavior (CB) and emotional intelligence (EI) is presented and a summary of a baseline study on consumer behavior and emotional intelligence is also presented.

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  • EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE DEFINEDEmotional Intelligence (EI) was first used in an English doctoral dissertation in 1983 (Payne, 1983/1986). The term was actually derived prior though in 1966 by B Leuner in a German article titled “Emotional Intelligence and Emancipation” (translated) to describe women who, because of perceived low Emotional Intelligence, rejected their social roles (Leuner, 1966). Salovey and Mayer (1990) further developed the concept. Emotional Intelligence is the capacity to perceive emotions, assimilate emotion-related feelings, understand the information of those emotions, and manage them (Mayer et al., 1999). The ability to recognize the meanings of emotions and relationships, in addition to reasoning and problem solving on the basis of these emotions is at the core of EI (Mayer et al., 1999).
  • The theory of emotional intelligence emphasizes different items: ability (Salovey & Mayer, 1990) or trait characteristics, such as Reuven Bar-On (Reuven Bar-On, 2007). The theorists who follow the trait-ability approach refer to emotional intelligence as something that can be scored such as intelligent quotient (IQ). These theorists refer to an emotional quotient (EQ). “Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso's Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) and BarOn's EQ-I are two assessment instruments that exemplify such approaches” (R. Hammett, personal communication, Dec. 12, 2012).Table 2. Salovey and Mayer Ability-Based Model of Emotional IntelligenceSalovey and Mayer Model of Emotional IntelligenceSelf-AwarenessManaging EmotionsMotivating SelfEmpathyHandling RelationshipFive areas of the Salovey and Mayer Model of Emotional Intelligence
  • Cherniss and Goleman (2001) posed the question: “Is emotional intelligence distinct from IQ?” Bar-On conducted a study that provided convincing evidence that EI is located in a distinct area in the brain, different from IQ or EQ (Cherniss & Goleman, 2001). If Bar-On’s study is accurate, the emotionally intelligent consumers do not react to their emotions, but use their EI to assess their current level of emotions and are able to make appropriate choices. The Emotional Skills Assessment Process (ESAP) emphasized a person-centered, experiential method of considering any situation. The ESAP stresses that emotional intelligence is a skill that can be learned and refined, much different than EQ (Nelson & Low, 2011). In the ESAP “specific emotional skills are used to understand and develop, on a practical level, each of the five domains” (Nelson & Low, 2011, p. 192).
  • Traditional consumer buying models dismiss the role and power of emotion when making a buying decision. A study conducted by Peter and Krishnakumar (2010) using MSCEIT and CEIS found a correlation between emotional intelligence, impulse buying, and self esteem. The term, 'consumer emotional intelligence' (CEI) has been recognized as a combination of cognitive and emotions used by consumers in the decision to buy (Bell, 2011).
  • Traditional consumer buying models dismiss the role and power of emotion when making a buying decision. A study conducted by Peter and Krishnakumar (2010) using MSCEIT and CEIS found a correlation between emotional intelligence, impulse buying, and self esteem. The term, 'consumer emotional intelligence' (CEI) has been recognized as a combination of cognitive and emotions used by consumers in the decision to buy (Bell, 2011).
  • A consumer behavior model focused on emotions and their impact on consumer buying decisions (Kotler et al., 2010). Marketers turned their focus from a positive or negative emotion at the end of the buying process to the role of emotions during the consumer buying process (Bell, 2011). New assumptions regarding the role of emotions during the consumer decision making process have emerged: the field of consumer emotional intelligence (CEI). At least three types of consumer decisions made primarily from emotions exist (Ramanathan & Shiv, 2001): "low road," which are spontaneous decisions (sometimes referred to as "impulsive buying"), "high road" which are controlled decisions (Shiv & Fedorikhin, 1999), or a decision made by a complete absence of cognition (Ramanathan & Menon, 2006).
  • Impulse behavior is also a factor in affective or cognitive consumer decision making (Shiv & Fedorikhin, 1999). Any factor that reduces processing resources such as loud music will have an impact and often lead to emotional consumer buying decisions. For marketers who sell emotionally-driven products, any factor such as a distracting or loud environment or an engaging display will likely increase the probability on the consumer making an emotional buying decision. Shiv and Fedorikhin suggested that another tactic might be to shorten waiting times in checkout lanes so consumers have less time to think about the items in their shopping cart and leave the store with the items that were purchased impulsively. Finally, Ramanathan and Menon (2006) stated the pursuit of gratification leads to extreme hedonic behavior resulting in impulsive individuals. Hedonic behavior in prudent people, however, may show a temporary increase in a desire for a product, but this desire will quickly fade in a short period of time. If marketers could identify the emotional shopper with the tendency to make impulsive buying decisions, a focused effort on marketing to such a shopper could likely occur (Ramananthan & Menon).
  • Hsee and Kunreuther (2000) suggest consumers develop affection "toward products and services just as they do toward other individuals or toward their pets" (p. 49). Their study revealed pet owners would purchase the more expensive medication for their pet when the pet was held in higher affection than when they were not.
  • Hsee and Kunreuther (2000) suggest consumers develop affection "toward products and services just as they do toward other individuals or toward their pets" (p. 49). Their study revealed pet owners would purchase the more expensive medication for their pet when the pet was held in higher affection than when they were not.
  • Kidwell, Brinberg, Parker, Nakamoto, Jewell, and Crawford (2004) began researching the topic of emotional intelligence as it related to consumer behavior in his dissertation entitled, Emotional Intelligence in consumer behavior: Ability, confidence, and calibration as predictors of performance. Kidwell et al. (2004) focused on creating an assessment to measure emotional ability when shopping.
  • Significance Statement. The significance of this study is that impulse buying, in its extreme, can cause financial hardship on families and relationships. As consumers to cope with anxiety or stress from everyday living, emotional buying is frequently used as a coping strategy. Consumers who are susceptible to impulse buying can benefit by becoming more aware of the effect of their emotions. Emotional awareness is a key component of making buying decisions based on reason or need rather than emotions as a coping mechanism. Much research has been produced regarding the recognition and acknowledgement of an individual’s emotional connection to his or her money or financial well-being. Upon preliminary research, little to no literature can be found on emotional intelligence and adult impulse buying. Because of the lack of research on the topic, the completion of this proposed study is necessary.Many studies have been published on how individuals with high emotional intelligence can enhance and increase the potential for positive outcomes. The researchers propose that consumers should work to increase their emotional intelligence, which can be learned, to be successful when making buying decisions. Emotional intelligence is a learned and practiced skill. The completion of the proposed study may positively benefit the field of consumer behavior and provide insight into both business and academia as a whole.
  • Future research efforts could include exploring whether or not consumers view impulse buying as negative, or whether consumers would make less emotional buying decisions if the decision to buy was delayed. Future research could also include asking questions in a variety of formats in an effort to accurately gather data.

The Impact of Emotional Intelligence: Understanding Consumer Behavior Presentation Transcript

  • 1. The Impact of Emotional Intelligence: Understanding Consumer Behavior Dr. Paula Zobisch, PhD – Ashford University Dr. Andree C. Swanson, EdD – Ashford University Copyright © MSRP 2013 Image(s) from IBAM.org and Ashford.edu
  • 2. Abstract Emotional decisions are made daily by consumers. The power and impact of emotion on the buying process is an emerging field. Marketers must turn from the traditional marketing strategies based on cognitive abilities of the consumer to also include the role of emotions in the buying process. Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 3. Abstract (Continued) A review of literature on consumer behavior (CB) and emotional intelligence (EI) is presented and a summary of a baseline study on consumer behavior and emotional intelligence is also presented. Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 4. Literature Review Image(s) from Microsoft Clip Art.Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 5. Emotional Intelligence Defined Personality EQIQ Image(s) from Microsoft Clip Art.Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 6. Emotional Intelligence (EI) Defined EI is the capacity to…  perceive emotions,  assimilate emotion-related feelings,  understand the information of those emotions  manage them (Mayer et al., 1999) Image from Wordle.netCopyright © MSRP 2013
  • 7. EI = Ability or Trait Ability (Salovey & Mayer, 1990) Trait Characteristics Refer to emotional intelligence as something that can be scored Similar to IQ EQ (Bar-On, 2007) Two schools of thought on EI Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 8. Is emotional intelligence distinct from IQ?  EI is located in a distinct area of the brain  Not just scholarly theory; it is backed by science (Cherniss & Goleman, 2001) Image(s) from Microsoft Clip Art.Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 9. Emotional Skills Assessment Process (ESAP) Emphasized … a person-centered, experiential method of considering any situation The ESAP stresses that emotional intelligence is a skill that can be learned and refined, much different than EQ (Nelson & Low, 2011) Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 10. Synthezing Ability and ESAP Image from Wordle.netCopyright © MSRP 2013
  • 11. Integrating the Five Domains of Emotional Intelligence and the ESAP Salovey and Mayer’s Five Domains of Emotional Intelligence Nelson and Low’s Emotional Skills Assessment Process (ESAP) Self-Awareness The actual process of assessing emotional skills; includes self- monitoring Managing Emotions Involves the stress management, assertion, anger management, anxiety management, empathy, social awareness, and positive change emotional skills Motivating Self Involves the drive strength, decision making, time management, commitment ethic, positive influence, self-esteem, and positive change emotional skills Empathy Involves the empathy, social awareness, self-esteem, assertion, and positive influence emotional skills Handling Relationships Involves the self-esteem, empathy, assertion, stress management, anger management, anxiety management, positive influence, and positive change emotional skills.Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 12. Integrating the Five Domains of Emotional Intelligence and the ESAP Salovey and Mayer’s Five Domains of Emotional Intelligence Nelson and Low’s Emotional Skills Assessment Process (ESAP) Self-Awareness The actual process of assessing emotional skills; includes self- monitoring Managing Emotions Involves the stress management, assertion, anger management, anxiety management, empathy, social awareness, and positive change emotional skills Motivating Self Involves the drive strength, decision making, time management, commitment ethic, positive influence, self-esteem, and positive change emotional skills Empathy Involves the empathy, social awareness, self-esteem, assertion, and positive influence emotional skills Handling Relationships Involves the self-esteem, empathy, assertion, stress management, anger management, anxiety management, positive influence, and positive change emotional skills. Theory Practical application Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 13. Nelson & Low (2011) stated… “specific emotional skills are used to understand and develop, on a practical level, each of the five domains” (Nelson & Low, 2011, p. 192) Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 14. Use Emotional Intelligence to Predict Consumer Behavior More literature exists suggesting emotions have a much greater effect on consumer buying decisions than previously believed. Scholars are divided on whether or not EI can be used to predict buying behavior. Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 15. Traditional Consumer Buying Models Traditional Consumer Behavior Theory Dismiss the role of emotion when making a buying decision. Contemporary Consumer Behavior Theory Found a correlation between EI, impulse buying, and self esteem (Peter & Krishnakumar, 2010) Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 16. If Bar-On’s study is accurate…  Emotionally intelligent consumers do not react to their emotions, but use their EI to assess their current level of emotions and are able to make appropriate choices. (Bar-On, 2007) Image(s) from Microsoft Clip Art. Contemporary Theory Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 17. Consumer Emotional Intelligence (CEI) Consumer Emotional Intelligence (CEI) Recognized as a combination of… Cognitive Emotions Image(s) from Microsoft Clip Art. (Bell, 2011) Contemporary Theory Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 18. Types of Consumer Buying Decisions o Emotional Buying with no cognitive function o “Low Road” – spontaneous, impulsive o “High Road” – controlled decisions o A decision made by an absence of cognition, a completely emotional decision (Shiv & Fedorikhin, 1999)Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 19. Impulse (Emotional Buying) Consumer Buying  Loud Music  Distracting or loud environment  Engaging display  Shorten waiting times  Hedonic behavior (Shiv & Fedorikhin, 1999) Copyright © MSRP 2013 Image(s) from Microsoft Clip Art.
  • 20. Affection towards a product?  Do you ever buy something based on how you feel about the… Brand? Color? Style?  Will you pay more or less based on a certain… Brand? Color? Style? Copyright © MSRP 2013 Image(s) from Microsoft Clip Art.
  • 21. How do these make you feel? Image from Google imagesCopyright © MSRP 2013
  • 22. Affection towards a product?  People act "toward products and services just as they do toward other individuals or toward their pets" (p. 49).  Pet owners would purchase the more expensive medication for their pet when the pet was held in higher affection than when they were not. Copyright 2013, Dr. Andree Swanson (Hsed & Kunreather, 2000) Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 23. Scholarship on the Topic of EI and CB Kidwell’s Dissertation and more Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 24. Kidwell’s Dissertation Topic Emotional Intelligence in Consumer Behavior: Ability, Confidence, and Calibration as Predictors of Performance Kidwell et al. (2004) focused on creating an assessment to measure emotional ability when shopping. Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 25. Significance of the Study Image(s) from Microsoft Clip Art.Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 26. Potential Consequences of Spending by Emotion  Financial hardship  Coping strategy  Relationship difficulties Copyright © MSRP 2013 Image(s) from Microsoft Clip Art.
  • 27. Marketing Implications  Marketers can use EI to segment the market and communicate with a specific market segment  EI & CB indicate marketers must move from cognitive-based marketing strategies to include more strategies that involve the whole person such as emotion  EI & CB can be used to predict impulse buying Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 28. Ethical Considerations  Do sales people and/or managers take advantage of consumers through the use of emotions?  Using emotional strategies on a market segment least likely to use emotions for good buying decisions  Using the knowledge of EI & CB to sell to vulnerable consumers with a low awareness of how emotions affect their buying decisions Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 29. Research Methodology Image(s) from Microsoft Clip Art.Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 30. Survey Methodology  Conducted a baseline (pilot) survey  Used Survey Monkey  Analyzed results Image(s) from Microsoft Clip Art.Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 31. Participants / Demographics  Gathered 86 participants over age 18 through social media  Linkedin  Facebook Image(s) from Microsoft Clip Art.Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 32. Survey Results Image(s) from Microsoft Clip Art.Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 33. Heard of Emotional Intelligence 81 participants = YES 5 participants = NO www.surveymonkey.comCopyright © MSRP 2013
  • 34. Understanding of EI 67 participants = strongly agree or agreed that they had an understanding of EI www.surveymonkey.comCopyright © MSRP 2013
  • 35. Unplanned Purchase in Last 12 months  86 out of 86 (100%) participants had unplanned purchases! www.surveymonkey.comCopyright © MSRP 2013
  • 36. Unplanned purchases in last 12 months Question 1-3 4-6 7-10 10-15 16 or more How many unplanned purchases have you made in the last 12 months? 44 (51.2%) 20 (23.3%) 9 (10.5%) 4 (4.7%) 9 (10.5%) Impulse behavior is a factor in affective consumer decision making (Shiv & Fedorikhin, 1999). Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 37. Limitations  Difficulty with self-reporting  No specific instrument accurately measures (well… maybe the CEIS)  Emotions can be used to persuade Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 38. Future Research Copyright © MSRP 2013 Image(s) from Microsoft Clip Art.
  • 39. Future Research  How do emotions influence the behavior of sales people?  What role do emotions play in self regulation of each individual consumer?  How should emotions be measured in marketing?  Accurate research instrument  The development of a user-friendly assessment for consumers to evaluate their effect of emotions on their buying decisions.  An emotional self-check Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 40. Conclusion Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 41. Conclusion Buying decisions are influenced by emotions Degree of influence varies among emotional intelligence, or the emotional awareness of consumer Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 42. Biographies Dr. Paula Zobisch and Dr. Andree Swanson Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 43. Dr. Paula Zobisch  Assistant Professor, Ashford University  Ph.D. Adult Education, Capella University; MBA emphasis in Marketing, University of Central Oklahoma  Director of Marketing and Major Accounts Sales Manager, 3M Distributor, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 1989 – 2007 Copyright © MSRP 2013 Copyright 2013, Dr. Paula Zobisch
  • 44. Dr Andree Swanson  Assistant Professor, Ashford University  Adjunct Faculty, Kaplan University  Ed.D. Educational Leadership, University of Phoenix  MA, Organizational Management, University of Phoenix  MHR, Human Relations, University of Oklahoma  Worked as a Dean of General Education, National Training Manager, for the US government (DoD, USAF, & USA), corporations, and higher education. Copyright © MSRP 2013 Copyright 2013, Dr. Andree Swanson
  • 45. References Image(s) from Microsoft Clip Art.Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 46. References  Bell, H. A. (2011, September). A contemporary framework for emotions in consumer decision-making: Moving beyond traditional models. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 2(17), 12-16. Retrieved from ProQuest database.  Cherniss, C., & Goleman, D. (2001). The Emotionally Intelligent Workplace: How to Select For, Measure, and Improve Emotional Intelligence in Individuals, Groups, and Organizations. New York, NY: Jossey-Bass.  Hsee, C. K., & Kunreuther, H. C. (2000). The affection effect in insurance decisions. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 20(2), 141-159. Retrieved from ProQuest database.  Kidwell, B., Brinberg, D., Parker, A., Nakamoto, K., Jewell, B., & Crawford, H. (2004). Emotional Intelligence in consumer behavior: Ability, confidence, and calibration as predictors of performance (Doctoral Dissertation). Available from http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-05082004- 161747/unrestricted/Dissertation.pdf  Kidwell, B., Hardesty, D. M., & Childers, T. L. (2008a). Consumer emotional intelligence: Conceptualization, measurement, and the prediction of consumer decision making. Advances in Consumer Research, 35, 660. Retrieved from ProQuest database. Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 47. References, Continued  Kidwell, B., Hardesty, D. M., & Childers, T. L. (2008b, December). Emotional calibration effects on consumer choice. Journal of Consumer Research, 35(4), 611-621. Retrieved from ProQuest database.  Kotler, P., Kartajaya, H., & Setiawan, I. (2010). Marketing 3.0: From products to customers to the human spirit. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.  Mayer, J., Caruso, D., & Salovey, P. (1999). Emotional Intelligence meets traditional standards for an intelligence. Intelligence, 27(4), 267-298. Retrieved from ProQuest.  Nelson, D., & Low, G. (2010). Emotional Intelligence: Achieving academic and career excellence in college and in life. New York, NY: Prentice-Hall.  Peter, P. C., & Krishnakumar, S. (2010). Emotional intelligence, impulse buying and self-esteem: The predictive validity of two ability measures of emotional intelligence. Journal of Consumer Research, 35(1), 154-166. Retrieved from ProQuest database. Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 48. References, Continued  Ramanathan, S., & Menon, G. (2006, November). Time-varying effects of chronic hedonic goals on impulsive behavior. Journal of Marketing Research, XLIII, 628-641. Retrieved from ProQuest database.  Ramanathan, S., & Shiv, B. (2001). Getting to the heart of the consumer: The role of emotions and cognition (or the lack thereof) in consumer decision making. Advances in Consumer Research, 28, 49-50. Retrieved from ProQuest database.  Salovey, P., & Mayer, J. D. (1990). Emotional intelligence, imagination, cognition, and personality, 9, 185-211. Retrieved from http://www.unh.edu/emotional_intelligence/EI%20Assets/Reprints...EI%20Pro per/EI1990%20Emotional%20Intelligence.pdf  Shiv, B., & Fedorikhin, A. (1999). Heart and mind in conflict: The interplay of affect and cognition in consumer decision making. Journal of Consumer Research, 26(3), 278-292. Retrieved from ProQuest database. Copyright © MSRP 2013
  • 49. https://www.surveymon key.com/s/XCSCMMQ SurveyMonkey.com Copyright © MSRP 2013