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Motivation and Goals

Part 3. Consumer Behavior

  1. Hans Baumgartner1,
  2. Rik Pieters2

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444316568.wiem03043

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

How to Cite

Baumgartner, H. and Pieters, R. 2010. Motivation and Goals. Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing. 3.

Author Information

  1. 1

    The Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania, PA, USA

  2. 2

    Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


Consumer motivation deals with the question of why consumers do the things they do. We review prior research on consumer motivation, focusing on the central role played by goals in consumer behavior. We first discuss structural aspects of goals, including need hierarchies and typologies of values, hierarchical means-end conceptualizations of product-self relationships and goals, and a classification of purchase motives. We then describe the dynamics of goal pursuit, considering both goal setting and goal striving. Traditionally, these two processes have been viewed as conscious processes in which people deliberately select a goal and then strive to attain it. More recently, research has shown that goal pursuit can also occur without conscious awareness, and both conscious and nonconscious goal pursuit are considered.


  • motivation;
  • goals;
  • goal pursuit;
  • goal setting;
  • goal striving