Howard Sheth Model of Consumer Behavior

The Howard Sheth Model of Consumer Behavior was put forward by John Howard and Jagadish Sheth in the year 1969.

The model is an integrated form of factors like social, psychological, cultural influences on consumer choices into a coherent sequence. It focuses on explaining consumer behavior in terms of cognitive functioning and observed testable depiction of such behavior and its outcomes.

The idea of the Howard Sheth model of consumer behavior goes like: The inputs are in the form of Stimuli. The outputs are reaction with attention to a given stimulus and ending with purchase. In between the inputs and the outputs, there are variables affecting perception and learning. These variables are termed ‘hypothetical’ since they cannot be directly measured at the time of occurrence.

The model defines decision making in three levels:

  • Extensive problem solving: This is the stage in which consumer doesn’t have any preferences about the products and seeks information about all the brand options available in the market.
  • Limited problem solving: This is the stage where the consumers know what they want to purchase and also have partial knowledge about the market.
  • Habitual response behavior: In this stage, the consumer has a definite choice about the brands and products and he decides by looking in at the characteristics of each product in the market.

The variables in the Howard Sheth Model are:

  • Inputs: The input variables consist of three distinct types of information sources in the buyer’s environment. The marketer in the form of product or brand information furnishes physical brand characteristics (significative stimuli) and verbal or visual product characteristics (symbolic stimuli).

These are delivered to the consumer in the form of impersonal sources like mass media communications and advertising. The companies have no control over these. The third type is provided by the consumer’s social environment (family, reference group, and social class).

This social source is personal and again the marketer has no control over this source. All three types of stimuli provide inputs concerning the product class or specific brands to the specific consumer.


  • Perpetual and learning constructs: The model’s central part deals with the psychological variables involved when the consumer is in the process of making a decision. Some of the influencing factors are perceptual in nature and are linked with how the consumer receives and understands the information from the various aspects of the model.
  • Outputs: The outputs are basically the reactions of the consumers depending on how they react to the perceptual and learning variables.
  • Exogenous variables: These are the external factors affecting consumer buying behavior and are directly not a part of the model. However, sometimes these factors are of great importance and include factors like consumer personality traits, religion, and time pressure.


13 thoughts on “Howard Sheth Model of Consumer Behavior”

  1. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this
    post was great. I don’t know who you are but definitely you’re going to a
    famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers! asmr 0mniartist

  2. Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your article seem to be running off the screen in Chrome.
    I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with
    web browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you
    know. The design and style look great though! Hope you get
    the issue fixed soon. Many thanks 0mniartist asmr

  3. Howdy! I know this is kind of off-topic but I needed to ask.

    Does managing a well-established blog like yours require a lot of work?
    I am brand new to blogging but I do write in my diary daily.
    I’d like to start a blog so I will be able to share my own experience and views online.
    Please let me know if you have any suggestions or tips for brand
    new aspiring bloggers. Thankyou!

  4. Hello there, I found your website via Google while searching for a related topic, your website came up, it looks good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  5. I would like to thank you for the endeavors you have made in writing this piece of writing. I am trusting the same best work from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to start my own blog now. Actually the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a fine representative of it.

  6. This was a definitely incredibly superior publish. In theory I’d like to publish like this also – getting time and actual effort to make a wonderful piece of writing but what can I say I procrastinate alot and by no means appear to obtain a thing done.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *