Freudian Motivation Theory

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Definition: Freudian Motivation Theory

Sigmund Freud’s motivation theory explains how a consumer’s decisions to buy a product or not depends on their unconscious desires and motivators. Observing how the various aspects of a product can trigger emotional response from a consumer can help a marketer identify ways to lead a consumer towards making a purchase decision.

Freud believed that human psyche can be broadly divided into conscious and unconscious mind.

The Ego represents the conscious mind and is composed of perceptions, thoughts, memories and feelings. It gives a sense of identity and continuity to a personality.

The unconscious mind is the Id which includes all the instincts and psychic energies that existed since birth and it is biologically determined. Sometimes customer’s behaviours are driven by unconscious motives and they have difficulty in explaining why exactly have they bought a particular product. So market researchers can make use of certain techniques like the depth interview to understand the unconscious motives behind a purchase decision.

Superego represents the traditional ideas and morals of a society. It acts as a conscience and tries to curb the impulses that arise out of the Id. Also superego forces the ego to do things that are according to the morals of the society. People do not act on every impulse since there is a conscience that supresses certain thoughts. Market researchers can use models such as quick choice model to identify why an impulse to buy does not lead into action.



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