Consumer Behavior Essay Sample

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1. Define learning and outline the principle elements involved Definition:
“Learning refers to a relatively permanent change in behaviour which comes with experience”. Firstly, the “behaviour” is used to refer to nonobservable cognitive activity as well as to overt actions. Secondly, learning results in relatively permanent changes in behavior. This excludes changes brought about by fatigue or other short-lived influences such as drug-induced behavior. Thirdly, we must exclude the effects of physical damage to the body or brain and of natural human growth.

Types of learned behavior
a) Physical Behaviour
People learn many physical behaviors in everyday life. Firstly, all healthy humans learn to walk, talk and socialize. Secondly, they learn methods of responding to various purchase situations, such as learning to act dissatisfied when hearing the first price quote on a car. Thirdly, modelling is a part of this behaviour, in which they imitate other individual behavior, such as celebrities. b) Symbolic Learning & Problem-Solving

Symbols lead to marketing-oriented activity which will allow marketers to communicate with consumers through such about brands (difference between Nike and Adidas), the slogans (Tetley Make Tea Bags, Make Tea) and signs. c) Affective Learning

It means that consumers learn many of their wants, goals, and motives as well as what products satisfy these needs. Specifically, it refers to emotional factors – like or dislike, which will influence the tendency to purchase. This can be complex – for example, consider attitudes towards alcohol. In the majority of cases, this is viewed as a relaxant, to be consumed with friends socially. However, if there was an alcoholic in the family, a person may learn that alcohol is a bad thing and not drink. Besides, other aspects of the consumer may be an influence – religion, country of origin.

Principle elements of learning
Consumers learn in several basic ways but the following four elements are fundamental to the majority of situations. a) Motive
Motives activate our need to learn especially from an early age. Besides, it activates our need to engage in learning activity. For example, if a student has taken a few classes in Consumer Behaviour, he might be aware that many of the principals involved draw from basic psychology. If the student has never taken a class in, he might be motivated to obtain a book and review the key areas. b) Cues

A Cue may be viewed as a weak stimulus not strong enough to arouse consumers but capable of providing direction to motivated activity. It influences the manner in which consumers respond to motive. For example, if we are hungry, we seek out signs for restaurants and follow the smell of cooking because we have learned that these stimuli are associated with food. c) Response

Response is a physical or mental activity which the consumer makes in reaction to a stimulus situation. It may not be observable and can be learned over time. For example, a female going to a hot country on holiday might observe that her hair is becoming very dry in the sunshine. This may have happened before and she is aware that her ordinary conditioner does not work so she has learned to purchase a specific brand, which deals with this problem. d) Reinforcement

It is anything that follows a response and increases the tendency for it to re-occur in a similar situation. This can be negative (something that generates discomfort and is avoided, such as taking an asprin for a sore head) or positive (something that generates pleasure and is sought, like booking a holiday where you know you’ll have a good time).

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