Solomon03 Web Essay

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Chapter 3

Learning and Memory
By Michael R. Solomon

Consumer Behavior
Buying, Having, and Being
Sixth Edition

The Learning Process
• Learning:
– A relatively permanent change in behavior caused by experience

• Incidental Learning:
– Casual, unintentional acquisition of knowledge

• Learning is an Ongoing Process:
– Constantly being revised
– Can be either simple association (logo recognition) or complex cognitive activity (writing an essay)

Learning is a Process
• Our tastes are formed as a result of a learning process, sometimes with painful results.


Behavioral Learning Theories
• Assume that learning takes place as the result of responses to external events.
• View is represented by two major approaches to learning:
– 1) Classical Conditioning
– 2) Instrumental Conditioning

• People’s experiences shaped by feedback they receive as they go through life
• Actions result in rewards and punishments, which influences future responses to similar situations. 3-4

The Consumer as a “Black Box”
A Behaviorist Perspective on Learning

Figure 3.1


Classical Conditioning
• Ivan Pavlov’s Dogs
– Unconditioned stimulus (UCS) – Naturally capable of causing a response.
– Conditioned stimulus (CS) – Does not initially cause a response
– Conditioned response (CR) – Response generated by repeated paired exposures to UCS and CS.
Eventually, through learned association and repetition, the CS will cause the CR.

Discussion Question
• In the 1980’s, the Lacoste crocodile was an exclusive logo symbolizing casual elegance. When it was repeated on baby clothes and other items, it lost its cache and began to be replaced by contenders such as the Ralph
Lauren Polo Player.
• Can you thing of other logos that have lost their prestige due to repetition?

Classical Conditioning in Advertising
• This American Airlines ad points to classical conditioning as an explanation for why their AAdvantage
Marketing Programs will work.
• Can you identify the
UCS, CS, and the CR in this example?

Classical Conditioning (cont.)
• Stimulus generalization:
– Tendency of a stimulus similar to a CS to evoke similar, conditioned responses
• Masked branding: Deliberately hiding a product’s true origin

• Stimulus discrimination:
– Occurs when a UCS does not follow a stimulus similar to a CS.


Marketing Applications of
Behavior Learning Principles
• Brand Equity:
– A brand has strong positive associations in a consumer’s memory and commands loyalty.

• Applications of Repetition
• Applications of Conditioned Product
– Semantic associations
– Phonemes
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Loyalty to Brands
• Rewarding consumers with frequent flyer miles is an effective way to reinforce them and build brand loyalty.

3 - 11

Marketing Applications of
Behavior Learning Principles (cont.)
• Applications of Stimulus Generalization:

Family branding
Product line extensions
Look-alike packaging

• Applications of Stimulus Discrimination:
– Consumers learn to differentiate a brand from its competitors – Unique attributes of the brand
3 - 12

Instrumental Conditioning
• Occurs as the individual learns to perform behaviors that produce positive outcomes and avoid behaviors that yield negative outcomes
• A.K.A. “Operant Conditioning”
• Occurs one of three ways:
– Positive reinforcement
– Negative reinforcement
– Punishment
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Positive Reinforcement

The power of positive reinforcement.

3 - 14

Instrumental Conditioning (cont.)
• Extinction: When a positive outcome is no longer received, the learned stimulus-response connection will not be maintained.
• Reinforcement Schedules:

Fixed-interval reinforcement
Variable-interval reinforcement
Fixed-ratio reinforcement
Variable-ratio reinforcement
3 - 15

Four Types of Learning Outcomes

Figure 3.2

3 - 16

Applications of Instrumental
Conditioning Principles
• Reinforcement of Consumption:
– Thank you
– Rebates
– Follow-up phone calls

• Frequency Marketing:
– Reinforces…