Learning & Memory


What is learning? ...... Is learning always purposeful? ...... Can we learn just by being there?

Learning is a relatively permanent change in behaviour caused by experience

This week we will talk about 2 broad categories of learning. The first is Behavioural which relates to experience and behaviour and the second is Cognitive which relates to our information processing and cognitive factors that influence us

BEHAVIOURAL LEARNING THEORIES (Classical vs Operant)

1. Classical Conditioning (also known as Pavlovian)


 

Classical (Pavlovian) Conditioning

Learning that occurs when a stimulus eliciting a response is paired with another stimulus that initially does not elicit a response, but will cause a similar response when paired over time with the first stimulus

see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhqumfpxuzI

Conditioning Product Associations- music, humour, imagery can affect conditioning; slow music in grocery store no effect, but slow music in restaurant increased drinking; generally unconditioned stimulus should be presented before conditioned

Classical conditioning happens because of the pairing. It is a reflex, and animal and human will be conditioned. It's not a matter of choice!

First demonstrated by Pavlov and his dogs. Food (Unconditioned Stimulus)cause a dog to salivate (R: Response). When Light or bell (Conditioned Stimulus) is paired with Food (US) light or bell begins to elicit salivation (CR: conditioned Response)

For a good explanation of classical conditioning see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP5lCleK-PM

These types of responses are automatic ( mouth watering, eye blink) When paired with hunger, thirst or arousal a product can elicit a response. Even a credit card becomes a conditioned cue to trigger spending

See the Little Albert experiment by John Watson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxKfpKQzow8

 

 

*SHOW in class-The Office Pavlov Experiment https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9i2rlymfLbE

 

PAIRING: Apple pairs innovators with their product

Iconic People +Apple = Think Different Posters

Think Different Posters

  • Meaning from an unconditioned stimulus to a conditioned stimulus explains why nonsense names or syllables have powerful effects. ( Pepsi, Coca- Cola, IBM, Nike)
  • When a product name is "Paired" with desirable words and qualities the meaning is associated; conditioned association affects brand equity (brand with positive association) or brand loyalty

 

The Think Different Commercial

 

 

Hear and see the first version of the ad with Steve Jobs narrating http://youtu.be/8rwsuXHA7RA The version with Jobs narrating never aired.

 

The Making of the Think Different campaign

 

 

Read a 2011 article written by one of the original ad men who pitched the Think Different campaign to Steve Jobs. The Real Story Behind Apple's Think Different Campaign

Repetition

Conditioning is more likely after conditioned stimulus is paired repeatedly with the unconditioned stimulus; repetition- repeating slogan, repeated pairing

Repetition-marketer must ensure consumer exposed enough times to make it stick and avoid advertising wearout; to avoid wearout advertisers vary message; a pool of ads

 

See HEAD ON! to the right

Extinction

The process where a learned connection between a stimulus and response wears out so that the response is no longer reinforced; can occur when product overexposed or not exposed any more.

 

Stimulus Generalization

The process that occurs when the behaviour caused by a reaction to one stimulus occurs in the presence of other similar stimuli. A knock-off brand works because of stimulus generalization. (see piggybacking)

Applications of Stimulus Generalization: 80% of new products are extensions of existing product or brands: family Branding-GE, Campbell's; Product line extensions- Dole from fruit to fruit juice; Licensing-well known name rented, MacDonald name on product, Harley Davidson; look-alike

Apple Eddie Bauer and Ford

 


Piggybacking (Type of Stimulus Generalization)

A brand packaged like a name brand may induce a purchase. If the person tries the "knock-off" brand and likes it, they may continued to buy the lower priced product; danger is if copy is inferior it may drive consumer to original. Most brands guard their trademarked products.

According to an Oct 2009 article in Media Post, 70% of consumers say they purchased the wrong product in the supermarket in the previous year. 60% said they had trouble differentiating the products because of packaging. They found the most confused categories are canned goods, cold and allergy and hair care items. Copycat packaging tends to be the biggest factor.

Kellogg's Coco Pops vs Knock off

Masked branding

Hiding a product's origin: DeWalt is Black & Decker. Black & Decker is for home handyperson, DeWalt for more professional

The Dewalt Drill below is more expensive, powerful and has a three year warranty. The Black & Decker Drill is less expensive, less powerful and only has a shorter warranty.

Dewalt Drill vs Black & Decker Drill

Lexus also makes Toyota

Rickard's Red beer which says is brewed at the Capilano Brewing company is actually not an independent brand but brewed by Molson. There is no Capilano Brewing Company.

Stimulus Discrimination

The process that occurs when behaviour caused by two stimuli is different, when consumers begin to differentiate a brand from competitors.

Hear and see a classic example: Teach the World- can't beat the Real thing

Applications of Stimulus Discrimination: reminder by advertiser "Ask for them by name" "Don't settle for imitation" Comparison advertisng--Heinz--there is no other kinds- slow ketchup; also "It's the Real Thing" (Coca Cola suggests they are the real thing, Pepsi not)

Brand name can become public domain: aspirin, cellophane, Kleenex

A comparison ad to right "It's like GQ with a higher IQ" Esquire

 

GQ Einstein

Earworms

 

2. INSTRUMENTAL/OPERANT CONDITIONING Applications


 

Instrumental/Operant Conditioning

The process where an individual learns to perform behaviours that produce positive outcomes and avoid those that yield negative outcomes; associated with BF Skinner

This differs from classical/pavlovian conditioning in that Classical conditioning happens through reflex and the person is affected without doing anything. With instrumental the person or animal must take an action that has a consequence for the conditioning to occur. Think of instrumental as being active.

 

See BF Skinner video

Positive Reinforcement

The process where rewards provided by the environment strengthen responses to stimuli

When a consumer is rewarded or punished for a purchase decision instrumental conditioning is at work.

A simple thank you can be reinforcement.

If we buy a candy bar and it tastes good that is reinforcing. If it tastes bad we will not likely buy it again. A good product experience reinforces repeat buying.

A card that gives you points encourages spending. A rebate encourage you to think positively of the product when you get your reward. An affinity card is good for company for the database of usage to understand customer usage and focus ads.

See this example from The Big Bang Theory http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA96Fba-WHk

 

Negative Reinforcement

The process where the environment weakens responses to stimuli so that inappropriate behaviour is avoided. Negative reinforcement occurs when something already present is removed as a result of a behaviour and the behaviour that led to this removal increases in the future because it created a favourable outcome.

Consider people in commercials for gum that freshens breath. The person in the going on an important date has a bad time because of bad breath, but next time the person chews the gum and of course it wonderful.The bad breath is removed because of the behaviour, thus in future the person will chew the gum.

If you have a headache and take Tylenol and it takes your headache away, the relief reinforces you to take Tylenol in the future.

Old Dentyne Commercial http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M-_uW3_gX4

Punishment

Punishment is the learning that occurs when a response is followed by unpleasant events. If punishment works, the unpleasant consequence will be avoided in the future. The goal is to stop or moderate a behaviour.

Example, a child is misbehaves so the parent takes away video games. The misbehaviour stops.

But how does it work in consumer behaviour? Consider ads showing frightening images to discourage smoking. Are they trying to stop you from doing something?
In the ad below Toyota Girlfriend, the girlfriend wants to punish her boyfriend who spends too much time in his truck. But watch how the tables are turned. Who is punished in the end?

Toyota Girlfriend

Shaping

Rewarding of successive approximations of the desired behaviour;

Behaviour can be shaped: try it on, test drive it try a "free sample" or use a coupon to get money off a product purchase, get a prize for coming into store; free food at Costco.

Shaping is what BF Skinner did to encourage animal to press a lever. He reinforced the animal when it was close to the actual behaviour to encourage pressing it. Think of this when you are given a free sample.

Recap!

Where classical conditioned responses are involuntary and simple; instrumental conditioning is deliberate to attain a goal and maybe more complex; instrumental/Operant conditioning is the result of reward that follows the desired behaviour; consumers choose products that make them feel good and satisfy a need through positive reinforcement (a compliment on clothing or scent), negative reinforcement (ad showing person at home because of odour, breath or clothing choice) and punishment (where we learn to do something to avoid -ridicule by friends for wearing something)

Punishment? Nike Puddles

 

Schedules of Reinforcement

Reinforcement schedule
a time or interval when behaviour is reinforced
Fixed Interval Reinforcement Reinforcement after a specific time period. Regularly, The first response brings reward. Result- people respond slowly but speed up at next reinforcement. Examples: The first and last day of sale may be busy. Consider the supermarket on pay day at the end of the month
Variable-Interval Reinforcement Variable interval time passes before reinforcement varies around an average. Response is more consistent. The consumer doesn't know when reinforcement will occur. Example: Secret shoppers are are paid to go into stores and act like customers. The idea is that the sales people will not know when these people may come in. This results in more consistent behaviour by sales staff who are always on alert. They must be nice no matter how nasty the shopper is!
Variable Time
Fixed Ratio Reinforcement
Reinforcement after fixed responses; frequent buyer programs: Optimum, Air Miles. Many people drive out of their way to get points so they can get to the reward level. At the same time point card track a consumer's behaviour and the marketer learns more and more about the consumer.
Variable Ratio Reinforcement Person reinforced after certain number of response but person does not know number, Response rate high and behaviour is difficult to extinguish; slot machines; lottery-Everbody knows a friend of a friend who won
 

COGNITIVE LEARNING THEORY


Is learning Conscious?

Behaviourists focus on behaviour and only actions; whereas, cognitive theorists look to cognitive factors, expectations. Cognitive theorist disagree with behaviourist who believe that everything we learn is strictly based on experience. Cognitive theorists believe that our mental processes play a large part in what we learn and how we learn.

Cognitive Learning Theory this theory assumes that learning takes place as the result of internal mental processes; people use information from the world around them to master environment and solve problems ( creativity and insight) It implies that we have choice in our actions.

OBSERVATIONAL LEARNING

Observational learning

bobo doll

Observational learning is the process where we learn by watching or observing (vicarious) the actions of others and noticing the reinforcements they receive (Bandura and Bobo doll see video)

How does observation work in advertising?

Consider a commercial where the person has a problem. Say the person has bad breath and he/she is going on an important date. We watch this commercial and we see what happens. When the person in the ad uses a certain product and the person's breath is nice and he/she has a happy date experience, we as the observers learn that "product X" can save us from a bad date experience. The hero of the ad is the product. We learn this not through our behaviour, but by watching and observing the behaviour of another-observational also know as vicarious learning.

Vicarious learning means marketers do not need to reward consumers; they show what happens to desirable models ( man wears Axe has beautiful women around; man who has "the car" gets "the woman", male who drinks the beer gets....)

 

Modeling

Modeling is the process of imitating the behaviour of others. In the example above while we watched the commercial we learned how a product can save us. Now how do we put that in action? We may model the behaviour we saw.

Four conditions needed-Attention- Retention-Production-Motivation

  • Attention must be directed to appropriate model to follow;
  • Consumer must Remember the action- what's said ordone;
  • Consumer must be able to Convert this to action;
  • Consumer must be Motivated to copy the act

 

APPLICATIONS OF COGNITIVE LEARNING PRINCIPLES

MEMORY


 

THE ROLE OF MEMORY IN LEARNING

Memory Memory is the process of encoding information and stored and retrieved when needed; contemporary approach is an information-processing approach
Encoding Encoding is the process where information from short-term memory is entered into long term memory ; information associated with previous information more easily retained
Storage Creating a more permanent record-the process when knowledge enters long term memory- it can be integrated with current memory and stored until it's needed
Retrieval - recall and recollection- the process where the desired information is accessed from long term memory

STORING INFORMATION

Activation models of memory approaches to memory stressing different levels of processing that occurs to activate certain aspects of memory
Knowledge Structures organized systems of concepts relating to brands, stores and other concepts; a complex web filled with bits of data
Evoked Set those products already in memory plus those prominent in the retail environment actively considered during a consumer choice process
Schema an organized collection of beliefs and feelings represented in a cognitive category- we have scripts- walk into store, there is a routine; a how to set up and predetermined

Retrieval of Information for Purchase Decisions

FACTORS INFLUENCING FORGETTING

Interference

when newly learned information displaces earlier information -results in memory loss for the item learned previously

Coke vs Pepsi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvL9p-gzJBI

Retroactive Interference stimulus response associations forgotten if consumers learn new responses to same or similar stimuli
Proactive Interference Prior learning that interferes with new learning; example: a prior course learned may interfere with a similar course you are taking now

PRODUCTS AS MEMORY MARKER Product or ad can evoke memory, nostalgia for past; a song from past linked to new item.

Measuring Memory for Marketing Stimuli

References noted above and : Solomon, Michael R., Zaichkowsky, Judith and Rosemary Polegato. Consumer Behaviour: Buying, Having, Being. Fifth Canadian Edition. Toronto: Pearson Education Canada


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