Consumer Learning Starts Here: Perception
After studying this chapter, the student should be able to:
Define learning and perception and how the two are connected. L02
List and define phases of the consumer perception process. L03
Apply the concept of the JND.
Contrast the concepts of implicit and explicit memory.
Know ways to help get a consumer’s attention.
Understand key differences between intentional and unintentional learning.
Define learning and perception and how the two are connected.
Defining Learning and Perception
Value is important to the discussion of consumer behavior and cannot be communicated without consumer learning and perception. Learning refers to a change in behavior resulting from the interaction between a person and a stimulus. Perception is how the consumer is aware of and interprets reality.
An issue important to consumer researchers is: what’s more important, perception or reality? This is important to understand since the way a consumer perceives something greatly influences learning.
Exposure, Attention, and Comprehension
There are three elements of consumer perception: exposure, attention, and comprehension. Exposure brings a stimulus in close proximity to a consumer to be sensed by one of the five human senses. Attention is the consumer’s allocation of information-processing capacity toward the stimulus to develop an understanding of it. Comprehension occurs when consumers attempt to derive meaning from the information they receive.
List and define phases of the consumer perception process.
Consumer Perception Process
The three phases of consumer perception include: sensing, organizing, and reacting.
This is an immediate response to stimuli that have come into contact with one of the five senses. When a consumer reads a Tweet from someone he or she is following, the perceptual process goes into action.
When something is sensed, the consumer organizes information like sorting mail Consumers develop an interpretation during this stage and begin to comprehend the stimuli. If a consumer has difficulty categorizing a stimulus, the brain tries to reconcile the inconsistencies by reacting in three possible ways: 1. Assimilation occurs when a stimulus has characteristics that consumers readily recognize as belonging to some specific category. 2. Accommodation occurs when a stimulus shares some, but not all, of the characteristics that allow it to fit in an existing category. 3. Contrast occurs when a stimulus does not share enough in common with existing categories to allow it to be categorized.
This is the end of the perceptual process and can be both physical and mental in response to the stimuli. The example in the book details when a driver notices that the car ahead has its brake lights on so the learned response is to apply brakes as well. The reaction occurs as a response or behavior.
Selective exposure screens out most stimuli and exposes a person to only a small portion of stimuli. Selective attention is the process of paying attention to only certain stimuli. Selective distortion involves how consumers interpret information in ways that are biased by their previously held beliefs.
Apply the concept of JND.
Applying the JND Concept
The JND concept is closely related to the perceptual process and deals with changes in the strength of stimuli. Weber’s Law states that as the intensity of the initial stimulus increases, a consumer’s ability to detect differences between two levels of the stimulus decreases. The book uses the decibel levels at a concert as an example.
The JND has numerous marketing implications for marketers attempting to provide value to consumers. 1. Pricing changes by small increments do not attract a lot of consumer attention....
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