The paper pulls together streams of culture-related research found in information processing and behavioral decision theory literatures, and complements them with a focus on motivations and goals. We propose a framework that suggests that (a) the treatment of culture is useful when it incorporates subcultures, including those defined by nationality, ethnicity, religious affiliation, and neighborhood or local surroundings, (b) goals are determined by both cultural background and situational forces, and (c) via its impact on goals, culture influences the inputs utilized in a decision, the types of options preferred and the timing of decisions. Implications of the framework are highlighted for two policy domains, health and savings/spending. We suggest that consumers’ goal orientations can provide a useful segmentation dimension, and carve out specific tendencies that appear to vary across cultural contexts (e.g., satisficing, goal shifting, reactivity). A deeper consideration of consumer goals and the role played by culture in individual decision making can inform policies seeking to improve the quality of consumers’ decisions and ultimately consumer welfare.