To what extent are individual tourist consumption decisions stochastic? A discussion with respect to the accuracy of modelling consumer behaviour

This source preferred by Tim Breitbarth

Authors: Breitbarth, T.

Journal: Otago Marketing Review

Volume: 1

Pages: 1-9

This paper reflects on epistemological and ontological aspects of modelling consumer behaviour in the context of individual tourism decision-making. It demonstrates how different paradigms struggle to understand and predict human choices. The shortcomings of positivistic streams of thought (such as the rational choice theory, the information- processing approach and the constructive consumer choice processing approach) are outline, and ‘story-based’ and ‘process-based’ tourism decision-making models are compared. The paper concludes that assumptions made by researchers prior to conducting empirical research may lead to the creation of knowledge that is self-referential, and that this knowledge is likely to fail to capture an individual’s experience and action, which emerges in a partly self-created dynamic social context.

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