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And, as an example of the absolutely current influence of the beliefs approach, one has only to glance through the special issue of Marketing Letters in 1999 devoted to consumer choice behaviour.

Every author in that issue, and every article, takes a beliefs perspective as the theoretical paradigm.

Cognitive theorists are notoriously bad at providing functional explanations of the relationships between the variables and many theorists, consumer researchers especially, do not seem to think it necessary to do so.

Symptomatic of this is the popularity of the verb "impact to describe the hypothesised effect of one variable upon another.

The main limitation of the beliefs approach is that the proportion of consumer behaviours that are determined by beliefs alone is quite small.

There are even some consumer behaviours in which beliefs do not appear to play a role at all.

Some may think that this is too narrow a label for cognition but I would argue, following Bertrand Russell and, later, psychologists such as Robert Wyer, that all perceptions, attitudes, evaluations and the like are instances of beliefs.

Moreover, as Rossiter and Bellman, in a 1999 paper in the Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising, pointed out, there are basically just two kinds of beliefs, IS A beliefs, as in brand awareness responses, such as "Coke is a cola,thought." This emphasis on people’s beliefs as the main cause of their actions has been favoured widely.

The title refers to three forms of behaviourismcognitive, emotional, and hard-core.

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Jim Bettman’s classic 1979 book on consumer information processing provides many examples of this.

Almost every observable consumer behaviour had to have a mental counterpart, such as a "sensory input analyser or a "choice subroutine." Cognitive theorists in psychology are not immune from this criticism; one has only to pick up any issue of the Journa of Experimental Psychology over the past 10 years to find examples of complex models in which the observed behaviour is "explained by some newly postulated internal mechanism.

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