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The process by which individuals acquire the purchase and consumption knowledge and experience that they apply to future related behavior.

Consumer learning

Perceived as a process, which changes with new knowledge or experience.
Serve as feedback for future behavior.
Either intentional or incidental

1. Motivation
2. Cues
3. Response
4. Reinforcement

Consumer earning

The total range of learning , from simple, almost reflexive responses, to the learning of abstract concepts and complex problem solving


Unfulfilled needs spur this, learning about different products available and their quality, price, and characteristics. If the information is not of interest or relevant, it is ignored.


The stimuli that direct these motives, suggests a specific way to satisfy the goal. Provide direction

Must be consistent with consumer expectations.
ex advertisement for vacation spurs desire for a trip


How individuals react to a drive or cue; depends heavily on previous learning

ie how they behave


Increases the likihood of the same response, especially if it positive.

2 general theories of learning

1. Behavioral learning
2. Cognitive Learning

Behavioral learning (stimuli-response learning)

When a person acts in a predictable way to a known stimulus

1. Classical conditioning
2. Operant/ Instrumental conditioning

Classical conditioning

Passive entities can be taught certain behaviors through repetition.

ie knee-jerk responses

when a stimulus is paired with another stimulus you can elicit the same response when used alone

Learning of association among events that allows the organism to anticipate and represent its environment.

Cognitive learning

The relationship between the condition and unconditioned experience creates expectations. ie the acquisition of new knowledge about the world.

Optimal conditioning ( Neo- Pavlovian conditioning)

The creation of strong associations between the conditioned stimulus and the unconditional stimulus.

1.requires forward unconditioning (conditioned before unconditioned stimulus.)
2. Repetition
3.the conditioned and unconditioned pair logically belong together.
4. the conditioned stimulus must be something unfamiliar.
5. The unconditioned stimulus is biologically or symbolically salient.

ex a consumer is the information seeker who uses logical and perceptual relations for events, along with his or her own preconceptions to form a sophisticated representation of the world.

3 Basic concepts derived from classical conditioning

1. Repetition
2. stimulus generalization
3. stimulus discrimination


Increases the strength of the association between a conditioned stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus. (although there is a limit)

Advertising wearout

The point beyond what is necessary for learning aid retention and future exposure makes attention and retention decline.

Cosmetic vriations

Different backgrounds, fonts, spokespersons while repeating the same advertising themes.

substantive variations

changes in advertising content across different versions of an advertisement. (especially when advertisements are meant to convey more than one product feature.)

3-hit theory

3 exposures ideal
1. aware of the product
2. show the relevance of a product
3.reminds them of the benefits

stimulus generalization

making the same response to different stimuli

ex pavlov's dogs salivating to similar sounds to the bell such as keys jingling

ex me-too imitation products that imitate brand names.

Application of stimulus generalization

1. product line extensions
2. product category extensions
3. product form extensions

Product line extensions

the marketer ads related products to an already established brand in hopes that they will associate the brand name features with the product.

product form extensions

Products that go along with each other

ex crest toothpaste and crest mouthwash.

product category extensions

Different product variations for different target markets.
1. Parent brand is considered quality
2. item is logically linked to the brand

Family branding

The practice of marketing a whole line of company products under the same brand name
ex Cambells & Kellogs


Allowing a well-known brand name to be affixed to products of another manufacturer and applying stimulus generalization

Stimulus discrimination

The opposite of stimulus generalization and results in the selection of a specific stimulus from among similar stimuli.

Instrumental conditioning

Requires a link between a stimulus and a response that reaps the most reward or least punishment. Often found through trial and error.

ex shopping different brands of clothing until se finds a brand that fits her figure.

B.F. Skinner

An American psychologist that stated that individuals will make responses based on where they will receive the most reward.

Positive reinforcement

Satisfactory events that strengthen the likelihood of a specific response.

Negative reinforcement

An unpleasant or negative outcome that also serves as an encouragement for a specific behavior.

ex fear tactics, describing unpleasant symptoms of a headache, solutions for bad breath


Designed to discourage or eliminate bad behavior.
ex late fees on dvds


Letting a learned response diminish to where the link is eliminated.


a behavior that is unlearned due to lack of use; decay through the passage of time

Reinforcement scedules

Quality that remains consistently high and provide satisfaction each use.
1. total (continous)
2. systematic (fixed ratio)
3. variable ratio

Total( continuous ratio)

A free service that is expected with every purchase

Systematic (fixed ratio)

Provides a designated benefit after nth number of usages.

random (variable) ratio

schedules rewards on a random basis or on an average frequency


Reinforcing the desired behavior before it actually takes place
ex advertising extra cheap items.

2 aspects to rewards

1. functional
2. psychological

distributed learning

Learning scheduled over a spread out period of time

Massed learning

Learning that is bunched up all at once. Good for short term bumps of sales.

Modeling, observational learning (vicarious learning)

Learning that occurs with neither positive or negative reinforcement; watch others and imitate that response

How the brain mentally processes information and solves problems

1. Sensory store
2. Short-term store
3. long-term store
4. rehearsal and encoding
5. retention
6. retrieval

Sensory store

Each sense sends pieces of information and sends it to the brain which then pieces it to form one image. If any sense isn't processed, it is lost immediately. It also tags the messages are either positive or negative.

Information processing

Decoding information based on attributes such as the brand's message and the number of available alternatives. The more information, the more decoding is needed. Those with high need for cognition research more intensely about an item

Cognitive learning

Believes that learning is a result of problem-solving.

short-term store

Real memory in which information is processed for only a brief period. IN order for this to enter long-term memory, it must go through a process called rehearsal. If no rehearsal take place, it is lost within 30 seconds. Only 4-5 items can be stored at a time.

Long-term store

Retains information for a relatively extended period of time. Often the earliest memories on things impact perception the most

1. episodically


The process by which we select a word or image to represent an object.
ex symbols

Information overload

When consumers are presented with too much information and encounter difficulty encoding and storing it all.

Therefore with heavily advertised brands, consumers are not likely to remember the ad.


Long-term information is constantly being chunked and associations applied to it. he larger the information pool about a subject, the more connections are made.

In marketing a spokesperson or brand triggers response. For new products it depends how foreign there are.


recoding what people already encoded to include larger amounts of information; ie groupings

more knowledgeable consumers can handle bigger chunks of information


remembering information by the order in which information is acquired


ordered according to significant concepts


the process by which we recover information from long-term storage; often through cues, dramatic ones improve retention but only recalled if they are exposed to those cues again

interference effect

the confusion caused by competing brand claims that makes retrieval more difficult.

The consumer adoption process

1. awareness of product options
2. evaluate and preferences regarding the alternatives
3. trying a few versions of the product
4. buy or not but the item.

tricomponent attitude model

1. cognitive stage: knowledge or belief about a product
2.affective stage:the person's feelings of favorable or unfavorable
3. conative stage: the person's level of intent to buy the product.

consumer involvement

Purchases that have a great deal of personal relevance, are very important, and extensive problem solving and information processes

High ________: central route to persuasion
Low ________: peripheral route to persuasion.

Hemispheri laterization

Left: center of human language, primarily responsible for speaking, reading, and attributional information processing. (rational active and realist)
Right: spatial perception and nonverbal concepts; imagination and pleasure. (Emotional, metaphoric, impulsive, intuitive.)

passive learning

Occurs through repeated exposures to something like a tv ad.

Print ads use left side, tv ads use right side

Measures of consumer learning

1. Recognition and recall measures
2. attitudinal and behavioral dimensions of brand loyalty

Recognition and recall tests

Conducted to determine whether consumers remember seeing an ad and the extent to which they have read ir or seen it and can recall its content.

a. aided recall
b. unaided recall

commodity need high brand equity
shopping products

Recognition and recall tests

Conducted to determine whether consumers remember seeing an ad and the extent to which they have read ir or seen it and can recall its content.

a. aided recall
b. unaided recall

commodity need high brand equity
shopping products

Brand loyalty

combination of attitudes (+ or - about a brand) and actual behaviors towards a brand(quantity, frequency, and repition)

Brand loyalty

combination of attitudes (+ or - about a brand) and actual behaviors towards a brand(quantity, frequency, and repetition)

1. person degree of risk/ variety seeking
2. brand's reputation and substitute brands
3. social groups and peer recommendations

Levels of brand loyalty

1. no loyalty: no purchase/ cognitive attachment to a brand
2.covetous loyalty: no purchase but strong attachment & view towards a brand.
3. inertia loyalty: purchasing the brand because of habit and convenience but no emotional attachment
4. premium loyalty: high attachment to a brand and high repeat purchase

brand equity

The value inherent in a well-known brand name. Includes Perceptions, social esteem, and consumer trust


Very well known brands such a coca-cola, disney, google, hallmark and sony

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