Classical Conditioning

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Traditionally Classical conditioning is a powerful and widely utilised form of learning best associated with Ivan Pavlov (Mcsweeny, 2004). The basic Pavilion model of behaviour proposes, learning is largely an associative process and most behaviour is conditioned by reward and punishment. The model discusses the presentation of two or more events defined experimentally through a distinct sequential relationship which occur in complete sequence, over a short period of time. This sequence becomes fused into a persons mind, ultimately producing the same result (Mcsweeny, 2004). This process results in learning occurring at the behavioural, cognitive and neural levels producing four basic trends, which include acquisition, extinction, generalization and discrimination, and underlying conditioning (priester, 2008). The conventionally held view of classical conditioning is that it conditions our involuntary responses and that only our autonomic nervous system can be classically conditioned (chaiken, 2008).

However, new developments have found that the voluntary skeletal responses, thought to be solely controlled by operant or instrumental conditioning can be modified through classical conditioning and that behaviour can be modified at both a lower and a deeper level of brand processing, completely altering the choice decisions of low involved consumers (McEwen, 1984). Investigations undertaken by Mcsweeney and Bierley found the form of the Conditioned response and the sequential arrangement of the Conditioned Stimulus and Unconditioned Stimulus does not have to resemble the Unconditioned Response to establish a Conditioned Response. It found that Low involved consumers are often not motivated to carefully process decision-relevant marketing stimuli (challis, 2004), and that a deeper level of processing has a more enduring effect on brand retrieval, with even a lower level of processing affecting brand memory (Craik & Lockhart, 2004). Secondly, they found that the...
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