Observation of a strategic household purchase decision



The present paper focuses on strategic household purchase decisions; i.e., major, complex buying decisions with long-term bindings of economic resources. An in-depth study of house buying in two-career households demonstrated preferences (goals) to be ambiguous, and consequences to be modestly understood and partly uncovered after the purchase. Only a few alternatives were considered, and they were from different broad need-satisfying categories such as purchase of apartment or house, or renting. No direct comparisons of alternatives were observed to take place. The purchase decisions were based on few, very crude decision criteria working as guidelines for judging whether or not the alternatives considered were acceptable, while the final choice seemingly was made according to an affect-referral decision rule.