The Stochastic Modeling of Purchase Intentions and Behavior

Management Science, Vol. 44, No. 2, pp. 188-202, 1998

16 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2016

See all articles by Martin R. Young

Martin R. Young

Massey University - School of Economics and Finance

Wayne S. DeSarbo

Pennsylvania State University

Vicki Morwitz

New York University (NYU) - Department of Marketing

Date Written: February 1, 1998

Abstract

A common objective of social science and business research is the modeling of the relationship between demographic/psychographic characteristics of individuals and the likelihood of certain behaviors for these same individuals. Frequently, data on actual behavior are unavailable; rather, one has available only the self-reported intentions of the individual. If the reported intentions imperfectly predict actual behavior, then any model of behavior based on the intention data should account for the associated measurement error, or else the resulting predictions will be biased. In this paper, we provide a method for analyzing intentions data that explicitly models the discrepancy between reported intention and behavior, thus facilitating a less biased assessment of the impact of designated covariates on actual behavior. The application examined here relates to modeling relationships between demographic characteristics and actual purchase behavior among consumers. A new Bayesian approach employing the Gibbs sampler is developed and compared to alternative models. We show, through simulated and real data, that, relative to methods that implicitly equate intentions and behavior, the proposed method can increase the accuracy with which purchase response models are estimated.

Keywords: Bayesian methods, hierarchical bayes, Markov chain Monte Carlo, measurement error, probit regression, purchase intentions, stochastic models

Suggested Citation

Young, Martin R. and DeSarbo, Wayne S. and Morwitz, Vicki, The Stochastic Modeling of Purchase Intentions and Behavior (February 1, 1998). Management Science, Vol. 44, No. 2, pp. 188-202, 1998. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2791767

Martin R. Young

Massey University - School of Economics and Finance ( email )

Private Bag 11222
Palmerston North, 4442
New Zealand

Wayne S. DeSarbo (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University ( email )

University Park
State College, PA 16802
United States

Vicki Morwitz

New York University (NYU) - Department of Marketing ( email )

Henry Kaufman Ctr
44 W 4 St.
New York, NY
United States

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