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INSTRUMENTAL CONDITIONING, INFORMATION PROCESSING AND MEMORY

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Consumer Psychology (PSY - 514)
VU
LESSON32
INSTRUMENTAL CONDITIONING, INFORMATION PROCESSING AND MEMORY
CHAPTER 5: INDIVIDUAL DETERMINANTS OF CONSUMER BEHAVIOR
Understanding:
 Instrumental Conditioning
 Information processing and memory
Instrumental (Operant) Conditioning
Instrumental Conditioning theorists hold that stimulus that is linked to the most satisfactory response will be
learnt. They believe that learning occurs through a trial and error process with habits formed as a result of rewards
received for certain responses or behaviors. B.F.Skinner (a learning theorist) believed that most learning takes
place in a controlled environment in which individuals are "rewarded" for choosing an appropriate behavior.
Instrumental Conditioning at a Glance
Reinforcem
ent of Behavior
Two types of Behavior reinforcements are discriminated in Instrumental Conditioning:
Positive Reinforcement
Consists of the events that increase the likelihood of a specific response. An individual may purchase cosmetics to
achieve a desired impact in physical appearance.
Negative Reinforcement
An unpleasant or negative outcome that serves to encourage a specific behavior. An individual may purchase Life
insurance policy to avoid mishaps in the future.
2. Information Processing and Memory
Cognitive Learning Theory
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Consumer Psychology (PSY - 514)
VU
Learning based on mental activity is called Cognitive Learning. Human beings learn through problem solving
which enables individuals to gain some control over their environment. Learning involves complex mental
processing of information.
Information Processing
Information processing relates to consumer's cognitive ability and complexity of information. Consumers process
product information related in terms of a product's attributes, brand, comparisons between brands and a
Combination of these factors.
The more experience a consumer has with a product category, the greater his/her ability to make use of product
information. Greater familiarity with product also increases cognitive ability and learning during a new purchase
decision, particularly with regards to technical information
A research study found that people exert huge cognitive efforts in processing information about products. They
sometimes experience a process induced negative effect toward alternatives. So they are more likely to choose a
product that required less effort to evaluate. The negative effect, however, did not influence product choice for a
clearly superior product
Imagery
Imagery is ability to form mental images. Individual differences in imagery may measured with the help of specific
tests. Some of these tests are:
Imagery Vividness
Processing Style
Daydream (fantasy) content and frequency
Learning by Analogy
Some consumers learn by analogy. They transfer the knowledge about products they are familiar with to new or
unfamiliar products in order to enhance their understanding.
How Consumers Store, Retain, and Retrieve Information
It is important for Cognitive Psychologists to understand how people store, retain and retrieve information.
Following concepts are used to understand the information processing:
Sensory Store
Short Term Store
Long Term Store
1. Sensory Store
All data comes to us through our five senses. Senses do not transmit whole images. Each sense receives a
fragmented piece of information and transmits it to the brain. In brain perceptions of a single instant are
synchronized and perceived as single image in a single moment of time. The image of a sensory input just lasts for
a second or two in the mind's sensory store. If it is not stored it is lost forever.
Implications for Marketers
We are constantly bombarded with stimuli from the environment and we subconsciously block a lot of
information that we don't need or cannot use. For marketers it means that although it is relatively easy to get
information into the consumer's sensory store it is difficult to make a lasting impression
Brain automatically and subconsciously tags all perceptions with a value either "positive" or "negative". This
evaluation added to the initial perception in the first micro second of cognition tends to remain unless further
information is processed. This would explain why our first impressions tend to last and why it is hazardous for a
marketer to introduce a product prematurely into the market
2. Short term Store
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Consumer Psychology (PSY - 514)
VU
Short Term Store is known as working memory. The stage of real memory in which the information is processed
and held just for a brief period of time. Information in the short term store undergoes the process of rehearsal.
Rehearsal is the silent mental repetition of the information. It is then referred to the long term store.
The transfer from short term to long term store takes about 2-10 seconds. If the information is not stored or
rehearsed it is lost in about 30 seconds or less. The amount of information that can be held in short term storage is
limited to about 4 or 5 items.
3. Long Term Store
Long-term store retains information for relatively extended periods of time. It is possible to forget something
within a few minutes after the information has reached in the long term store. It is more common for data in long
term storage to last for days, weeks, months or even years. Almost all of us can remember the name of our first
grade teacher.
Information Processing through memory Stores
Rehearsal:
The amount of information available from Short Term and Long Term Memory Storage depends upon how
much rehearsal it is given. Rehearsal is done by repeating the information or associating it with something else.
Information can also be lost because of competition for attention. If the short term store receives a great number
of inputs simultaneously from the sensory store its capacity may be reduced to only 2 or 3 pieces of information.
Encoding
Encoding is the process by which we select a word or a visual image to present a perceived object. Marketers help
consumers encode brands by using brand symbols such as role model cricketers or cartoons.
Retention
Information does not just sit in the long term memory store waiting to be retrieved. Information is constantly
organized and reorganized as new links between chunks of information are forged.
Information Overload
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Consumer Psychology (PSY - 514)
VU
When the consumers are presented with too much information this is called Information Overload. Consumers
may encounter difficulty in encoding and storing it all. Consumers can become cognitively overloaded when they
are given too much information in a short span of time.
Activation
Information processing theorists believe that long term memory store is a network consisting of nodes (concepts)
with links between and among them. As individuals gain more knowledge about a subject they expand their
network of relationships and sometimes seek more information. This process is known as activation. Consumers'
memory for the name of a product may also be activated by relating it to the spokesperson used in its advertising.
The total package of associations brought to mind when a cue is activated is called a schema.
Retrieval
Retrieval is the process by which we recover information from the long term storage. When we are unable to
remember something with which we are familiar we are experiencing a failure of retrieval system.
Marketers maintain that consumers tend to remember the products benefits than its attributes. Advertising
messages are mot effective when they link the product's attributes with the benefits that consumers seek from the
product.
Interference Effect
The greater the number of competitive ads in a product category, the lower the recall of brand claims in a specific
advertisement. This is called interference effect. Interference effects are caused by confusions by competing ads
and make retrieval difficult. Ads can also act as retrieval cues for competitive brands. Advertising that creates a
distinct image can assist in retention and retrieval of message contents
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Table of Contents:
  1. INTRODUCTION TO CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGY:Consumer Behavior
  2. INTRODUCTION TO CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGY:Consumer research
  3. INTRODUCTION TO CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGY:Marketing Mix, Product, Price
  4. INTRODUCTION TO CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGY:Customer Value, Perceived Value
  5. VALUE AND RETENTION FOCUSED MARKETING AND CONSUMER DECISION MAKING PROCESS
  6. CONSUMER RESEARCH:Quantitative Research, Qualitative Research
  7. MAJOR STEPS IN CONSUMER RESEARCH PROCESS:Design of Primary research
  8. QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGNS & DATA COLLECTION METHODS
  9. QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES:ATTITUDE SCALES
  10. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGNS & DATA COLLECTION METHODS
  11. CUSTOMER SATISFACTION MEASUREMENT, SAMPLING, AND DATA ANALYSIS AND REPORTING
  12. MARKET SEGMENTATION AND ITS BASES:Geographical Segmentation
  13. BASES FOR SEGMENTATION: DEMOGRAPHIC SEGMENTATION PSYCHOGRAPHIC SEGMENTATION
  14. BASES FOR SEGMENTATION: SOCIOCULTURAL SEGMENTATION USE RELATED SEGMENTATION USAGE SITUATION SEGMENTATION
  15. BASES FOR SEGMENTATION: BENEFIT SEGMENTATION:Intrinsic Cues
  16. BASES FOR SEGMENTATION: HYBRID SEGMENTATION STRATEGIES
  17. MARKET SEGMENTATION IMPLEMENTING SEGMENTATION STRATEGIES ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES CULTURE
  18. HOW CULTURE IS LEARNT ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES:Formal Learning
  19. CULTURE AND ITS MEASUREMENT ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES
  20. MEASUREMENT OF CULTURE ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES:Consumer Fieldwork
  21. SUBCULTURE CHAPTER 4: ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES
  22. AGE AND GENDER SUBCULTURE CHAPTER 4: ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES
  23. BASES FOR SEGMENTATION: BENEFIT SEGMENTATION:Market Segmentation
  24. SOCIAL CLASS CHAPTER 4: ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES:Occupation
  25. CONSUMER SOCIAL CLASSES CHAPTER 4: ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES:Affluent Consumer
  26. CONSUMER SOCIAL CLASSES CHAPTER 4: ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES:Membership Group
  27. CONSUMER SOCIAL CLASSES CHAPTER 4: ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES:Shopping Groups
  28. UNDERSTANDING PERSONALITY CHAPTER 5: INDIVIDUAL DETERMINANTS OF CONSUMER BEHAVIOR
  29. CONSUMER PERSONALITY, TRAIT THEORY AND SELF IMAGES
  30. CONSUMER MOTIVATION:Needs, Goals, Generic Goals
  31. UNDERSTANDING LEARNING:Intentional and Incidental Learning, Implications for Marketers
  32. INSTRUMENTAL CONDITIONING, INFORMATION PROCESSING AND MEMORY
  33. ATTITUDES:Characteristics of Attitudes, Attitudes have consistency
  34. ATTITUDE FORMATION AND CHANGE:How attitudes are learned?
  35. ATTITUDE CHANGE STRATEGIES:Resolving two conflicting attitudes
  36. INTRODUCTION TO CONSUMER DECISION MAKING:Decision Complexity
  37. Problem Recognition, Search and Evaluation and Decision and Purchase
  38. Decision and Purchase:Consumer Decision Rules, Output, Relationship Marketing
  39. Decisions Related to Post Purchase:Product Set up and Use
  40. Marketing Implications of Decisions Related to Post Purchase:Understanding
  41. Post Purchase Evaluation:Determinants of Satisfaction, Consumer Complaint Behavior
  42. Post Purchase Dissonance:Dissonance Reduction, Marketing Implications
  43. Consumerism:Roots of Consumerism, The Nature of Consumerism
  44. Consumerism Issues and Responses:Environmental Concerns, Consumer Privacy
  45. Review Consumer Psychology Course:Consumer Research, Consumerism