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Chapter 3

MKTG 4150 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Foodborne Illness, Classical Conditioning, Observational Learning

Course Code
MKTG 4150
Arundhati Bhattacharyya

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Jessica Gahtan Textbook Notes MKTG 4150
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Chapter 3: Learning & Memory
The Learning Process
! Learning refers to a relatively permanent change in behaviour that is caused by
! Learning vicariously happens by observing events that affect others
! Incidental learning refers to casual, unintentional acquisition of knowledge
! Our knowledge is constantly revised as we’re exposed to new stimuli
! Behavioural learning theories assume that learning takes place as the result of
responses to external events, as opposed to internal thought processes
! Approaches the mind as a ‘black box’ that can’t be investigated, emphasizes the
observable aspects of behaviour including things that go into the box (stimuli or
events perceived from the outside world) and things that come out of the box (the
responses or reactions to these stimuli)
! Consumers respond to brand names, scents, jingles, and other marketing stimuli
on the basis of the learned associations or connections that they have formed
over time
! People also learn that actions they take can result in rewards and punishments,
and this feedback influences the way they will respond in similar situations in the
If you receive compliments on a product choice, you’ll be more likely to buy
that brand again
If you get food poisoning from a restaurant, you’ll likely not eat there in the
! Classical Conditioning occurs when a stimulus that elicits a response is paired
with another stimulus that initially doesn’t elicit a response on its own. Overtime
the second stimulus causes a similar response because it’s associated with the
first stimulus think Pavlov’s dog.
Pavlov induced classical conditioning learning by pairing a neutral stimulus
(a bell) with a stimulus known to cause salivation response in dogs (he
squirted dried meat power in their mouth)
Unconditioned stimulus (UCS) is naturally capable of causing this
response (e.g. powder)
Conditioned stimulus (CS) because it didn’t initially cause salivation, but
the dogs learned to associate the bell with the meat powder and began to
salivate at the sound of the bell only
Conditioned response (CR) was the drooling caused by a sound now
linked to feeding time
! Classical conditioning effects can also emerge when a product that’s originally
neutral is paired over time with product that produces emotion-inducing

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Jessica Gahtan Textbook Notes MKTG 4150
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! Classical conditioning is a form of this in which consumers learn associations
between stimuli in a rather simple fashion without more complex processes such
as memory or cognition taking place.
! Associative learning can occur for more complex reactions to stimuli as well
! Associative learning effects are morel likely to occur after the 2 stimuli have been
paired together multiple times
! Repetition prevents these associations’ decay in our memory
! Most effective repetition strategy seems to be a combination of spaced
exposures that alternate in terms of media that are more and less involving
! Associative learning will not occur/take longer to occur if the paired stimuli are
only occasionally presented with one another result will be extinction
(happens when the effects of prior conditioning are reduced and finally
Extinction can happen from overexposure
! Stimulus generalization refers to the tendency of stimuli similar to CS to evoke
similar conditioned responses (i.e. if you make your packaging similar to the
brand that people have been conditioned to purchase
! “Piggybacking” strategy can cut both ways: (1) when the quality of the me-too
product turns out to be lower than that of the original brand, consumers may
exhibit even more positive feelings towards the original; (2) if the quality is about
equal, they might conclude the price premium that they’re paying for the original
not to be worth it
! Customers’ learned expectations with a large corporation can influence what they
believe about it’s products, company’s overall reputation has been shown to
strongly impact on brand evaluations, to a lesser extent, the same is true of the
company’s reputation for social responsibility
! Stimulus discrimination occurs when a stimulus similar to a CS is not followed
by a UCS, this makes reactions weaken and then disappear
! Manufacturers of well-known brands often encourage consumers to discriminate
by urging them not to buy ‘cheap imitations’ because the results won’t be what
they’re expecting
! Masked branding is when the company deliberately hides the products true
! Conditioned associations are crucial for strategies that rely on the creation and
perpetuation of positive brand equity (= brand has strong positive associations
in a consumer’s memory and commands a lot of loyalty as a result)
! Some argue that more than 3 exposures is a waste: (1) create awareness; (2)
demonstrate relevance to the consumer; (3) reminder of the product’s benefits
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