Catastrophe theory in consumer attitude studies

This paper proposes the application of catastrophe theory to describe how purchase intentions change.

Catastrophe theory in consumer attitude studies

Jon ChidleyICI Paints Division


Much research has recently been directed at identifying and measuring sets of beliefs which affect a person's purchasing decisions. This paper introduces a number of ideas which help to explain how these factors interact in controlling purchase behaviour. We believe that they provide a valuable extension to present thinking for the following reasons:

  1. it allows for sudden, discontinuous changes in intention, even given smooth changes in the underlying beliefs – for example threshold behaviour.

  2. it is extremely powerful as a qualitative tool for researcher and non-specialist...

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