This article introduces a goal-based view of consumer choice in which (1) choice is influenced by three classes of goals (consumption goals, criterion goals, and process goals), (2) goals are cognitively represented, and (3) the impact of a goal on choice depends on its activation. For each class of goals, we discuss how goal activation is influenced by direct (subconscious) goal priming, by spreading activation from choice options, from other goals, and from the context, and by goal (non-)achievement. Opportunities for modeling goal-based choice, the integration of emotions in a theory of goal-based choice, and relationships with dual-process theories of decision making are discussed.

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ERIM Top-Core Articles
Marketing Letters: a journal of research in marketing
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

van Osselaer, S.M.J, Ramanathan, S, Campbell, M.C, Cohen, J.B, Dale, J.K, Herr, P.M, … Tavassoli, N.T. (2005). Choice Based on Goals. Marketing Letters: a journal of research in marketing, 16(3-4), 335–346. doi:10.1007/s11002-005-5896-y