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Stimulus response in our everyday life: Use of classical conditioning

MKT 524- Consumer Behavior Submitted To:

Dr. ANM Syeedul H. Khan Professor Department of Marketing University of Dhaka

Submitted By:
Imtiaz mohammad ID: 41324013

Date of submission : 31st October 2013

University of Dhaka

Stimulus response in our everyday life: Use of classical conditioning

Stimulus is referred to the action or change that invokes a certain response. Usually this stimulus response theory is referred as classical conditioning. Classical conditioning theory was first discovered by Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov. Classical conditioning is a learning process that occurs through associations between an environmental stimulus and a naturally occurring stimulus. Marketers often capitalize and use this tool to invoke their desired action from the consumer end. In our everyday life we are being conditioned by different product and under different situation we prefer certain product. Our consumption preference is now mostly biased and influenced with these conditioning because we have been trained to select and make a preference in a given situation. To have a clear idea on classical conditioning we will discuss the Pavlovs famous experiment which established the classical conditioning theory. Classical conditioning is made using two stimuli. in the experiment Pavlov used sound of a bell a as a neutral stimuli and dog food as unconditioned stimuli which causes the dog to salivate. Pavlov presented the dogs with a ringing bell followed by food. The food elicited salivation, and after repeated bell-food pairings the bell also caused the dogs to salivate. In this experiment, the unconditioned stimulus is the dog food as it produces an unconditioned response, saliva. The conditioned stimulus is the ringing bell and it produces a conditioned response of the dogs producing saliva. Thus we can see that such repetition and pairing influences significantly on behavior. Later another experiment by Watson and Rayner showed that this classical conditioning theory is equally applicable for us human. In his experiment he used Little Albert a 9-month-old infant. He was tested on his reactions to various stimuli. He was shown a white rat, a rabbit, a monkey and various masks. Albert described as "on the whole stolid and However what did startle him and unemotional" showed no fear of any of these stimuli.

cause him to be afraid was if a hammer was struck against a steel bar behind his head. The sudden loud noise would cause "little Albert to burst into tears. When "Little Albert" was just over 11 months old the white rat was presented and seconds later the hammer was struck against the steel bar. weeks and each time "little Albert" burst into tears. This was done 7 times over the next 7 By now "little Albert only had to see He would cry (whether or not the

the rat and he immediately showed every sign of fear.

hammer was hit against the steel bar) and he would attempt to crawl away.

In our everyday life we act exactly like "Little Albert" and "Pavlovs dog" and marketers use this to invoke certain act which we are not consciously aware of. For example during Ramadan we see that a higher frequency of Drinks advertisement such as Rooh afza or Pran mango juice. These advertisement usually shows that a family gathering and Iftar table where they are having the juice or drink in the beginning of the ifter. Here through classical conditioning they are fabricating the Iftar activity and the drink/juice together and suggesting people to have the particular drink in iftar. We are exposed to advertisements all the time, be it on television, on the radio, on billboards, on clothes, in movies. The list goes on; advertisements are inescapable. For the most part we think of these advertisements to be just mindless marketing, but a lot of these ads utilize clever psychological effects we are not even consciously aware of. The constant repetition of certain messages invokes perceptual stimuli which later influences our consumption. If we observe we will see that most of the advertisement now depicts a story. The successful advertisements are those with which we can relate ourselves. If we think about the advertisement of our telecom industry we will see that Grameenphone, Airtel and Banglalink all the operator shows different advertisement with certain emotional appeal. A certain Grameenphone advertisement shows a young girl and his father and their need to stay connected here they capitalizes the emotion of an old father. The Airtel advertisements focuses on being closer to friends, lifestyle of youngster and interaction between loved ones. An award winning Banglalink advertisement shows the story of a fisherman and how communication changes his life. All these advertisement is conditioning the unconditional need of connectivity with the enforcement of different situation with respect to their each targeted individual market segment. Another example can be the Coca-Colas new slogan and approach open happiness in there promotion they show how happiness can be shared and on every joyous occasion coca cola can be consumed. Now if we look at the impact we will see that coca cola did a very good job through classical conditioning. In our culture any program or social gathering is nearly in complete without this particular soft drink. Be it a hangout with friends or any anniversary or birthday with other foods coca cola is must. They also employ a similar approach in the food joints and fast food chain. In any good food franchise or fast food shop we will see that a picture of delicious burger or other fast food along with a chilled bottle or glass of coca cola. Hence it suggests us the meal would be incomplete without the drink and naturally most of the people consumes the soft drink where regular water would have sufficed. This conditioning has impacted us in such a way now even if we take any fast food without visually being influenced by such picture or order food as parcel we think of buying a bottle of coke as we feel that the meal will be incomplete without soft drinks.

There can be thousands other such similar example where we are being conditioned specifically to consume purchase and make our decision. The behavioral study and these theory helps us understand why and how we respond. As a future marketer it is an important study for us to learn and use such stimulus which are successful of generating desired response.