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Utility Satisfaction

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Submitted By yvonne101
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The primary focus of utility analysis is on the satisfaction of wants and needs obtained by the consumption of goods. This is technically termed utility. The utility generated from consumption affects the decision to purchase and consume a good.

When used in the analysis of consumer behavior, utility assumes a very precise meaning, which differs from the everyday use of the term. In common use, the term utility means "useful." For example, a "utility" knife is one with many uses, something that is handy to have around. In baseball, a "utility" player can perform quite well at several different positions and is thus useful to have on the team. Moreover, a public "utility" is a company that supplies a useful product, such as electricity, natural gas, or trash collection.

In contrast, the specific economic use of the term utility in the study of consumer behavior means the satisfaction of wants and needs obtained from the consumption of a commodity. The good consumed need not be "useful" in the everyday sense of the term. It only needs to provide satisfaction.

In other words, a frivolous good that has little or no practical use, can provide as much utility as a more useful good.

An OmniOpen Deluxe Can Opener is extremely useful, especially when a sealed can needs to be opened.

An autographed photo of Brace Brickhead, Medical Detective, is not very useful. It does nothing but rest peacefully in a picture frame.

Both items, however, provide utility. Both items satisfy wants and needs

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