Evidence is presented in this paper to show that the view ofmarketing communications effects promulgated by numerous marketing, advertising and consumer behaviour texts and journals should be questioned. This is the portrayal of advertising, in particular, as strongly persuasive, a pre-purchase influence which acts upon purchase behaviour by first operating upon and modifying mental attitudes. The latent process conception of attitude upon which this perspective is founded lacks convincing empirical support. Situational rather than inner-state variables appear to mediate behaviour and may require prior importance in explicative and predictive accounts of consumer choice. Recognitive of this would require a probability conception of the attitude construct which would have profound implications for consumer research and marketing management. Above all, it suggests that an alternative psychological paradigm might be accorded a more central place investigations of consumer behaviour
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