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Exam 3 Book Notes - 1 Chapter 7 Consumer learning can be...

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1 Chapter 7 Consumer learning can be thought of as the process by which individuals acquire the purchase and consumption knowledge and experience that they apply to future related behavior . Consumer learning is a process ; that is, it is continually evolves and changes as a result of newly acquired knowledge or from actual experience . Both newly acquired knowledge and personal experience serve as feedback to the individual and provide the basis for future behavior in similar situations. The role of experience in learning does not mean that all learning is deliberately sought. Though much learning is intentional (i.e., it is acquired as the result of a careful search for information), a great deal of learning is incidental , acquired by accident or without much effort. The term learning encompasses the total range of learning, from simple, almost reflexive responses, to the learning of abstract concepts and complex problem solving. Despite their different viewpoints, learning theorists in general agree that in order for learning to occur, certain basic elements must be present. The elements included in most learning theories are motivation, cues, response, and reinforcement . The concept of motivation is important to learning theory. Remember, motivation is based on needs and goals. Motivation acts as a spur to learning. The degree of relevance, or involvement , determines the consumer’s level of motivation to search for knowledge, or information about a product or service. Uncovering consumer motives is one of the prime tasks of marketers who then try to teach motivated consumer segments why and how their products will fulfill the consumers’ needs. If motives serve to stimulate learning, cues are the stimuli that give direction to these motives. In the marketplace, price, styling, packaging, advertising, and store displays all serve as cues to help consumers fulfill their needs in product-specific ways. Cues serve to direct consumer drives when they are consistent with consumer expectations. Marketers must be careful to provide cues that do not upset those expectations. How individuals react to a drive or cue-how they behave-constitute their response . Learning can occur even when responses are not overt. A response is not tied to a need in one-to-one fashion. A need or motive may evoke a whole variety of responses. Cues provide some direction, but there are many cues competing for the consumer’s attention. Which response the consumer makes depends heavily on previous learning; that, in turn, depends on how related responses have been reinforced.
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2 Reinforcement increases the likelihood that a specific response will occur in the future as the result of particular cues or stimuli. Behavioral learning theories are sometimes referred to as stimulus-response theories because they are based on the premise that observable responses to specific external stimuli signal that learning has taken place. When a person acts (responds) in a predictable way to a known stimulus, he or she is said to have “learned.”
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