Many times people manifest their intention and there are just that, intentions that never move on into actions. Like when people ask for more healthy food on fast food restaurant‘s menus but when the food is there they just ignore it. Another example; people know that smoking is not good for health, they feel that they are not behaving as they wish, but still do no nothing to change, regardless of their success on the attempt.
One way to understand what is going on in people’s mind is the trilogy approach, explained by Hair, bush and Ortinau in their book Marketing Research. This trilogy approach suggests that to understand a person’s attitude toward anything requires to understand three components: cognitive, affective and conative. These three components make up the attitude.
The cognitive component, refers to knowledge, perception or belief that one person has about a specific object and its attribute. For example a person may know that exercising is good for health, because it can produce many benefits to the person who practice it.
The affective component, this aspect represents the person emotions or feeling toward the given object. Let say this same person who knows that exercising is good for health, may or may not have a positive feeling about exercising. People have different feeling about being in shape for some is a way of living for other is just one more aspect of a healthy life.
The conative or behavioral component is a key element in this trilogy, this has to deal with the capacity to change behavior or actually act as you think. Not too many people can commit to their own believes and likes. One of the best indicators of future behavior is past behavior. In addition to past behavior we must consider the amount of effort between the desired action and the no action. The more effort you need to change a person’s behavior or make her commit to her believes and desires the more difficult to become reality, especially if the person haven’t done that before. So next time you ask your customer or prospects about what he or she think about your product don’t forget to ask if he or she have tried something similar in the past.