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A functional approach to instrumental and terminal values and the value‐attitude‐behaviour system of consumer choice

Michael W. Allen (Department of Psychology, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia)
Sik Hung Ng (Department of Applied Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Marc Wilson (School of Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 1 February 2002

Abstract

The present studies provide support for a functional approach to instrumental and terminal values and the value‐attitude‐behaviour system. Study 1 surveyed individuals’ human values, the type of meaning to which they prefer to attend in products (i.e. utilitarian or symbolic), and how they choose to evaluate the products (i.e. a piecemeal or affective judgement). The study found that individuals who favoured instrumental to terminal human values showed a predisposition to attend to the utilitarian meanings of products and make piecemeal judgements. In contrast, individuals who favoured terminal over instrumental values preferred symbolic meanings, affective judgements, and human values in general. Study 2 found that individuals who favoured instrumental to terminal values had stronger instrumental attitudes towards cars and sun‐glasses. The results suggest that: psychological functions are not limited to attitudes or human values but span the breadth of the value‐attitude‐behaviour system; that two such psychological functions are instrumental and expressive; and that instrumental and terminal values serve instrumental and expressive functions, respectively.

Keywords

Citation

Allen, M.W., Hung Ng, S. and Wilson, M. (2002), "A functional approach to instrumental and terminal values and the value‐attitude‐behaviour system of consumer choice", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 36 No. 1/2, pp. 111-135. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090560210412728

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MCB UP Ltd

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