An analysis of personality types, values systems, and attitudes among selected consumers as indicators of purchase behavior: implications for direct marketing



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Texas Tech University


In recent years, direct-mail marketing has realized a significant increase in market share. One area of direct-mail marketing that has experienced unprecedented growth is mail-order catalogs. However, the mail-order catalog shopper has yet to be accurately described in enough detail to promote effective and efficient target marketing by direct mail marketers. As a result, numerous questions regarding specific characteristics of the mail-order catalog shopper remain unanswered. Thus, the variables related to consumer catalog patronage must be identified and utilized in marketing strategies.

The problems addressed in this investigation were (a) to identify and describe the demographic profiles, selected shopping attitudes, personality types, and values systems of users and nonusers of mail-order catalogs and (b) assess the extent of functional relationships between the identified individual profile elements of the respondents. The participants in this study consisted of 679 consumers in the United States, age 25 and older. A self-administered mail questionnaire was constructed to obtain information regarding respondents' profiles.

Profile data of the respondents were analyzed to determine mail-order catalog use. Individuals were classified as nonusers, infrequent users, and frequent users of mail-order catalogs. Data analysis revealed that significant relationships existed between mail-order catalog use and nonuse with respect to the presence of children under six years of age in the household, credit card ownership, educational background, and catalog shopping attitude. Findings indicated that values systems significantly influence shopping attitudes. Additionally, results disclosed a trend in regard to personality types and combinations of personality types and values systems significantly influencing selected shopping attitudes.

For many marketers, the mail-order catalog shopping format has become a force in directing consumer choices for a large portion of goods and services that individuals consume today. Findings suggest a forecasting role for personality types and values systems in the consumer decision-making process in regard to mail-order catalog usage. Additional research is needed in establishing specific personality and values characteristics which might be utilized in niche marketing strategy by direct mail marketers.