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Memory & Cognitive Learning

Learning Concepts
Multiple store model Encoding Process
of memory
Retrieval & Response
Involvement &
short-term capacity
Three types of
Recognition & Recall
Gestalt Theory of
Picture vs Word
Memory Control

Cognitive Knowledge
Associationist theory
of knowledge

Memory . . .
. . . affects the exposure,
attention, and comprehension
. . . allows consumers to anticipate
the stimuli they might encounter

Multiple-Store Model of
Three different types of memory

Sensory Memory
Short-Term Memory
Long-Term Memory

Sensory memory


Short Term
( Working
Long Term

A Simplified Memory Model

Sensory memory happens in the pre-

attention stage where a stimulus is briefly

analyzed to determine if it will receive
additional processing.
Short-term memory is where information is
temporarily stored while people are actively
processing it. Is like RAM in a computer.
Long-term memory is connected to shortterm memory through encoding and
retrieval processes. Is like the disk drive in
a computer.
Memory works like parallel processors.

Encoding is the transfer of

information from short-term memory

to long-term memory for permanent
Retrieval is the process of accessing
information stored in long-term
memory so that it can be utilized in
short-term memory.
Retrieval is a constructive process.
Information in ads received after
product experience can change the
perception of the experience.

Relationship amongst Memory Systems

Sensory Memory


temporary storage of
sensory information

that passes
attention is
transferred to

capacity: High
Duration:<second for
vision, few seconds for

Long-Term Memory
Relatively Permanent storage
of information
Capacity: unlimited
Duration: Long or Permanent

Brief storage
less than 20

Elaborative Rehearsal
Information subjected to
elaborative rehearsal or
deep processing is
transferred to LTM

Sensory Memory . . .

. . . consists of
firing of nerve
cells, short-term
in duration,
usually less than
a second.

Short-Term Memory. . .
. . . is the site where information is
temporarily stored while being
processed. Is also called working
Rehearsal is silently repeating information
to encode it into long-term memory.
If information in short-term memory is not
rehearsed it is lost within 30 seconds.

The Limited Capacity of

Short-Term Memory
Millers Law is the recognition that people can
handle 7 (+/- 2) bits of information at a time.

In consumer contexts, however, STM is closer to 5 +/- 2

bits of information.

Information Overload describes the situation in

which more information is received than can be

processed in short-term memory.

Marketing Implications
Two questions with marketing implications:
i. Can consumers become overloaded? Research
has yielded an unequivocal yes to the question
ii. Do consumers become overloaded?
Controversial research:
a. People actively manage the information they
receive to avoid becoming overloaded i.e. stop
far short of being overloaded
b. Yes they do; this information overload actually
decreases the quality of their purchase decision

Involvement & Short-Term

High involvement makes the consumer more

aroused and attentive, expanding the shortterm memory capacity to full 7 +/-2 bits.
(Caffeine has the same effect.)
Low involvement tends to keep a consumers
arousal levels low so the consumer focuses
relatively little memory capacity on the
stimulus. Under low involvement, which is
common in CB contexts, capacity is at 5 +/1

Marketing Implications
Television advertising
In low involvement keep copy points
maximum to four (copy point is
considered equivalent to a chunk) .
For companies that advertise on TV
and radio the lesson is keep your
message simple

Time Required to Transfer

Information. . .
. . . the consumer's goal to
either recognize or recall a
task. It requires 2-5 seconds
for recognition task and 5-10
seconds for recall task to
transfer the information to LTM.

Recognition and Recall

Recognition tasks are when information is placed
before the consumer. The goal is to determine if
the information has been seen before.
Recall tasks are when the consumer must
retrieve the information from long-term memory
without any prompting. Requires greater depth
of encoding. Recall impacts the size of the
consideration set, which is the set of product
choices retrieved from memory that are deemed
satisfactory options.

Universe of
potential brands

s set

Set Known
Set: Brands

Inert Set
Brands viewed

Inept Set

Clutter is
when there
are too
recall more

Long-Term Memory
. . . has essentially unlimited capacity to
store information permanently.
Stored information is either semantic or
visual. Semantic memory deals with the
encoding and storage of words and
meanings. Visual deals with the storage of
Long term memory is essentially permanent.

Relative Superiority of
Picture Versus Word
Visual images or pictures tend to be more
than their verbal counterparts,

especially when there is low-involvement on the

part of the consumer.
Words that have high-imagery content are easier
to encode and retrieve than words low in imagery
and concreteness.
Words and pictures should be used to complement
each other in ads.
Verbal material is better recalled in high
involvement conditions.
In high involvement information processing
advertisers usually get better results if they
present different information via verbal and
pictorial means

Processes . . .
. . . are the methods of
handling information
which may operate
consciously or
unconsciously to
influence the
encoding, placement,
and retrieval of

Encoding Process
Rehearsal influences whether or not information

will be transferred from STM to LTM

The way information is coded will have great
impact on speed of transfer as well as on the
placement of that information
For a new topic repetition of stimulus during
rehearsal or attempt to link it to other information
already present in the LTM is required.
With familiar topics person becomes more adept
at coding information on it by drawing
associations between it and the information they
already have in memory, and storage process
speeds up proportionally

Encoding Process
Marketing Implications:
i. Understanding of encoding process in developing

ii. The closer the brand name fits with consumers
association about the product class, the better will
be his/her ability to recall the name
iii. Highly concrete names ( ocean, orchestra, frog,
and blossom) are easily visualized and
remembered better than less concrete names
(history, truth, moment) because they are coded
both visually and verbally and also because they
fit better into consumers existing knowledge

Retrieval and Response


Response generation is when a person

develops a response by actively

reconstructing the stimulus. Information
received after exposure to a stimulus (e.g.,
ads) can impact response generation of
the original stimulus.

Retrieval cues create a response by

providing a means of assisting the active

reconstruction of the stimulus.

Retrieval and response

A major goal of advertisers is to improve
consumers ability to retrieve information
from memory
i. Provide retrieval cues on the packaging of
products to assist consumers memories
during decision making.
ii. Assisting consumers retrieval and
response generation to employ music in
advertisements. There is evidence that
people retrieve sung messages better
than spoken one

Consumer Knowledge . . .
. . . is the amount of experience with
and information a person has about
particular products or services.
As knowledge increases, a consumer
can think about a product across a
greater number of dimensions and
make finer distinctions between brands.

Three Types of Knowledge:

Objective knowledge is the correct

information about a product class that a

consumer has stored in long-term

Subjective knowledge is the consumers

perception of what or how much he or
she knows about a product class.

Knowledge of others is what information

a consumer has about another.

How Do Consumers Gain


Cognitive Learning: process of

forming associations, solving

problems, and gaining insights.
Learning Through Education:
Obtaining information from firms who
are trying to teach the consumer.
Learning Through Experience: Actual
contact/use of products.

Consumer Knowledge
Marketing Implications
i. As consumers knowledge increases, they
become better organized, grow more
efficient and accurate in their information
processing, and display better recall of
information. Managers need to consider
the state of consumer knowledge when
they are developing a product
ii. Information on the extent of consumer
knowledge should influence promotion
strategy. A message targeted to
knowledgeable prospects can be much
more complex than addressed to a novice

11 3

Gestalt Theory of Cognitive


Gestalt psychologists believe that biological and

psychological events do not influence behavior
in isolation of each other.
People perceive the inputs from the
environment as part of the total context.
Focused on the active, creative nature of
learning and action.
Key idea: whole is greater than sum of parts.

Approaches to
Cognitive Knowledge

Serial learning concerns how people put into

memory and recall information that is

received in a sequential manner.
Serial-Position effect occurs when the order
of presentation of information in a list
influences recall of the information in the list.
The S-P effect is the basis for the higher price
paid for book-end ads i.e., ads at the
beginning and end of a commercial TV break.

Serial Position Effect

Beginning and end of the list become anchors
in learning. Because of limitation of STM,
people pick reference points for when to start
and end the learning process. Since only
limited amounts of information can be stored
in STM at a time, it is those items right around
the beginning and end of the list (the
reference points) that are recalled most
readily. Many more repetitions of the material
may be required before items in the middle
can be recalled

Serial Position Effect

Marketing Implications
i. Key information in the advertisement
should be placed at the beginning
and end of the message
ii. Advertisers should strive to get their
commercials placed either at the
beginning or end of series of
television ads

Serial Position Effect


in series


Paired Associate Learning

People are asked to pair response word with
stimulus word
Example: Stimulus and Response Pairs:
Gillette The best a man can get
McDonalds Im lovin it
Lipton Chai Chaheyai
Learning is speeded up if stimulus and
response items can be readily associated
with each other and already familiar to the
Learning is especially rapid if mental
images are developed of the linkage of
stimulus and response words

Conditions for paired associate

The stimulus and response words are easily

The person is familiar with both the stimulus
and response words
Stimulus and response words are meaningful
The stimulus and response words are easily
Visual images are created to link the
stimulus and response words together

Law of Contiguity
Stimuli that are experienced together

become associated in memorye.g., NikeTiger Woods; called paired associate learning.

Some findings:
Make pairs (i.e. stimulus-response words) easily
pronounceable, familiar, meaningful.
Use visual images to link stimulus-response words

Remember: Negative associations can occur

between product and another stimulus
attack style political ads seek to create such
associations for opposing candidates.

Semantic Memory
Networks . . .

. . . refer to how people store the

meanings of verbal material in
long-term memory.
Semantic memory is organized into
networks each of which is a series of
memory nodes that represent the
stored semantic concepts.
Information is recalled via spreading

Five Types of Information Stored in


Types of information

Brand names
Brands characteristics/attributes
Ads about brand
Product category
Evaluative (affective) reactions to the brand and
the ad

This information represents a consumers

brand knowledge i.e., a brand node and

the associations in memory connected to it.

Measuring Semantic
Memory Networks
Guided Associations
Think of your university/college
What are the first three words or images
that come to mind. (e.g., Ph.Ds, BBA
program, HEC Ranking)
Select one of these words (e.g., BBA),
now think of three words or images that
you associate with BBA program, etc.

Semantic Memory

important for semiosis analysis.

Dr. X

Dr. Y
Bus. Eco.

Grades Cl.fellows

BBA Program

Acad. Further edu.


HEC Ranking

Best value



Other Inst.

Schemas . . .
. . . are organized sets of expectations
and associations about an object.
When new information is inconsistent
with a schema, consumers engage in
more diligent processing and,
consequently, have improved memory
about the stimulus.
Can derive from network analysis.

People forget because
even though information
has been placed in longterm memory, it may be
extremely difficult to
retrieve. This is called a
retrieval failure.

Interference Processes
Retroactive interference occurs when
later learned material interferes with
the recall of information learned

Proactive interference occurs when

earlier learned material interferes with

learning and recall of information
learned later.

The von Restorff Effect . . .

. . . occurs when a highly unique item in a
series is recalled more easily.
Illustrated by absurdity in advertisements,
e.g. some of the recent Mountain Dew ads
Also illustrates information salience, which
is the idea that unique, novel, moving,
contrasting, colorful, etc. stimuli are more
easily encoded and retrieved.

The von Restorff Effect

The Zeigarnik Effect . . .

. . . occurs if a task
is interrupted,
material relevant to
the task tends to be
remembered. E.g.,
stories that are cut
in the middle----,

Here, build a story

about a person doing
something difficult,
then stop just before
climax. Will increase
interest in and recall

Zeigarnik Effect

Time and Forgetting

The recall of verbal

decreases over time.
Rapid forgetting that
occurs immediately
after learning has
been shown to occur
in advertising as

Time and Forgetting

After people learned a list of words, the percentage

of words they could remember decreased

dramatically at first, and then leveled off. The rapid
forgetting takes place in advertising as well.
Zielske had an advertisement for a product run for a
group of housewives once a week for 13 weeks.
At the end of 13 weeks period 63% of respondents
could recall having seen the ad. The ad was not
shown to them for 13 weeks. After 20 weeks, those
who could recall had dropped to under 30%, by the
9th month fewer than 10% of respondents could
remember the ad.
In another experiment one group of housewives was
shown the ad 4 weeks apart. In this group the ability
to recall the ads increased slowly, by the end of the
year 48% of respondents could remember the ad.

Time and Forgetting

Marketing Implications
If advertisers goal is awareness of a product,
than high frequency of ads over short period of
time will be most effective. However consumer
will rapidly forget the commercial message after
the burst of advertisements end
ii. If advertisers goal is to build long-term
awareness of the ad, the commercial should be
pulsed so that ads are seen by consumers over a
long period of time
iii. Some advertisers prefer to combine these
approaches by using a high-intensity ad
campaign to bring out a product, and then
pulsing regularly after the introduction to
maintain consumers awareness of the ad.

Affect and Memory

People are better able to recall

information that has the same

affective quality as their mood state.
Affect refers to the feelings, emotions,
and moods that consumers may
Mood is a transient feeling state that
occurs in a specified situation or time.

How can Marketers help consumers

Involves reminding them of what the
company wants them to remember
Retrieval cues at the point of purchase
Saying it again and again: The value of
Encourage elaboration
Stimulus is linked or related to various
concepts in memory: make use of
semantic memory networks
Self referencing : relating a stimulus to
ones own self and experience (this
product is for people just like you who

How companies can help consumers

Encourage Multiple Representation in Memory
Information stored in long term memory may be

represented semantically and visual imagery

Depending on how people typically represent the
to-be-remembered information in memory, efforts
to encourage additional forms of representation
may be worthwhile
Importance of consistency
Consistency facilitates remembering. Greater
consistency among elements within an
advertisement increases what consumer
remembers about the ad and advertised product
The product benefits described within an ad are
better remembered when these benefits are
consistent with those suggested by the advertised
product name

How Companies can help consumers

Use Easy-to-remember stimuli

Use of concrete words instead of

Abstract words
Stimuli that are distinctive or
unique are also easier to
Put Consumer in a good mood

Brand Image and Product Positioning

Brand Image
Schematic memory of a brand
It contains the target markets interpretation of the

products attributes, benefits, usage situations,

users and manufacturers / marketer characteristics
It is what we think and feel when we hear or see a
brand name
o Product Positioning
A decision taken by marketer to try and achieve a
defined brand image relative to competition within
a market segment
Product positioning decisions are strategic
The term product positioning involves an explicit
reference to brand image relative to another

Perceptual Mapping and Product

Product Positioning
A useful technique in measuring and
developing products positioning
Takes consumers perception of how various
brands are to each other and relates these
perception to product attributes
Product Repositioning:
Refers to a deliberate decision to
significantly alter the the way a product is
viewed by the market
This could involve its level of performance,
the feelings it evokes, the situation in which
it should be used, or even who uses it

Perceptual Mapping of Automobiles

Volvo 850 R
Chrysler LHS

Stylish, Prestigious, Distinctive

Mercedes 400 SE
Porsche 914
Lexus LS 400
Jeep Grand Cherokee

Buick Park
Nissan Sentra
Plymouth Voyger
Dodge Caravan

Acura Integra
Ford Taurus



Geo Metro
Kia Sephia

Honda Civic

Practical, Common, Economical

Dodge Neon

Equity and Brand Leverage
The value consumers assign to a brand above and

beyond the functional characteristics of the product

Brand Equity is nearly synonymous with the
reputation of the brand
Is based on the image consumers have of the brand
Brand Leverage (family branding, brand extension,
or umbrella branding)
Refers to marketers capitalizing on brand equity by
using existing brand for new products
If done correctly , consumers will assign
characteristics of existing brand to the new brand

Brand Leverage

Successful brand leverage requires that:

a. Original brand has a strong positive image
b. The new product fits well with the original
product on at-least one of the three
1. Complement: The two products are used
2. Transfer: The new product is seen by
consumers as requiring the same
manufacturing skills as the original
3. Image: The new product shares a key
image component with the original