Positioning alternative perspectives of consumer behaviour

Dale Littler, D. Marsden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper argues that no perspective of consumer behaviour can be fully understood or properly evaluated without reference to their basic underlying assumptions of human nature. In an attempt to make explicit and examine these usually taken for granted assumptions, this paper "positions" live contemporary perspectives of consumer behaviour (Cognitive, Behavioural Trait, Interpretive and Postmodern) on Hjelle and Zieglers (1992) nine basic assumptions, or dimensions, of human nature (e.g., freedom-determinism, holism-elementalism, knowability-unknowability). It is argued that the more aware consumer researchers become of the larger metatheoretical picture that alternative perspectives of consumer behaviour fit into, the more reflexive they will be in generating and evaluating the knowledge claims of the particular perspective they are working within.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-28
JournalJournal of Marketing Management
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 1998


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