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Unformatted text preview: been found to more creative in their
efforts [Ayman-Nolley, 1999:267 and Brassington & Pettit, 1997:103]. One of the most
influential aspects that come into play with regard to selective perception is that of noise.
Noise can be any message, commercial or not, that can distort or prevent information
from being sent and received efficiently [Arens, 1999:12]. Often consumers will learn things but will forget them because they don’t conform to their beliefs and attitudes.
These bits of information are only transitory. This is the reasoning behind selective
retention [Keenan, 2001:25 and Jones & Sasser, 1995:89]. A diagrammatical breakdown of perception is shown in figure 2.6, followed by an
examination of each stage of the information-processing model.
27 Figure 2.6 Information processing for consumer behaviour. Exposure Perception Random Low Involvement Deliberate Attention
High Involvement Interpretation
High Involvement Memory
Short term Long term Purchase and consumption decisions Source: Hawkins, D.I., Best, R.J., Coney, K.A., 2001, Consumer behavior, 8th edition,
New York, U.S.A.: McGraw-Hill, p. 284. With regard to figure 2.6, as soon as a stimulus is within a person’s receptor nerve’s
range, exposure has then taken place. This range includes the actual person as well as the
person’s environment. A child, for instance, may be doing homework with the radio on
and not be listening, but exposure would still have taken place. People participate in one
form of exposure at a time and are always seeking information that they believe will help
them achieve their goals [Hawkins et al., 2001:285]. Attention occurs when the stimulus activates one or more sensory receptor nerve and the
consequential sensations go to the brain for processing. This occurrence, however,
always takes place within the context of a situation. Different consumers may devote
different levels of attention to different stimuli in different situations [Hawkins et al., 28 287]. For example, the members of a family may pay attention to various things whilst
stopping at a petrol station. Attention is determined by three factors, namely individual factors, situational factors
and stimulus factors. Individual and situational factors will be discussed later on in this
chapter. For the time being, a look at stimulus factors will suffice. Stimulus factors are
physical characteristics of the stimulus itself that tend to attract a consumer’s attention
independently of their individual characteristics. Categories of stimulus factors can
include contrast, colour, movement, isolation, size, intensity, format, and positioning
[Hawkins et al. 2001:287; Burgess, 1998:53; and Shimp, 1997:122]. A bright, neon
yellow and red ‘Shell’ logo at night would be an example. The way that a consumer assigns meanings to sensations is known as interpretation. It is
a function of the pattern formed by the characteristics of the stimulus, the individual and
the situation [Arens, 1999:132]. Indivi...
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