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Classical conditioning is defined as 'a learning process that occurs when two stimuli are repeatedly

paired: a response that is, at first, elicited by the second stimulus is eventually elicited by the first stimulus
alone.' Basically, one stimulus is responded to in a set way, and a second stimulus, after being paired with
the first stimulus, begins to cause the same response.
Classical conditioning is used in advertising to make the viewer feel and react positively to a
product or viewpoint. If we react positively to one stimulus, advertisers will pair it with their product or their
opinion in hopes that we will therefore react in a similar, positive manner to their product or viewpoint.
For example, the use of celebrities in advertising is to make the general population feel that their
fame is related to their position on a certain product or political issue. The use of attractive people in
commercials for products, even those that are not related to beauty, influences us to think that the product
will make us attractive as well.
In a recent political commercial I saw, three actresses Scarlett Johansson, Eva Longoria, and
Kerry Washington spoke about womens rights and abortion, ending with a Vote for Obama. Ads like
these use both attractiveness and fame to influence people. When someone successful and/or beautiful
tells us how he or she feels about whatever product or issue, we associate their viewpoints with their
success and/or appearance, and may even adopt similar viewpoints because we are subconsciously
seeking similar levels of success and/or beauty. Someone who admired one or more of these actresses
and saw this advertisement might begin to associate the same positive reaction to the actress(es) with the
Democratic cause.
Advertisements like these may have either positive or negative effects; while many ads assert that
we are entitled to whatever we want, thus inflating our egos and decreasing our sense of concern for the
rest of the world, others serve as a metaphorical slap upside the head, mainly public service
announcements. Classical conditioning works both ways.
One of the first things we need to do when looking at advertisements is determine whether our
response due to classical conditioning is even related to the product or viewpoint. For example, you may
be conditioned, when you see an ad for a television with an attractive couples endorsement, to think that
ownership of this product will make you attractive as well, which is highly illogical, because a television
cannot change your appearance. Buying a pair of sneakers with Michael Jordans name on them will not
enable you to play basketball as well as Michael Jordan.
We also need to be careful what we associate with what. Associating the good life with popularity
and money is unwise, because more fame and fortune dont necessarily mean a better life (*celebrities*).
Nice clothes certainly do not always mean intelligence is also present.
Finally, we need to read the fine print. Though advertisers fully intend to use classical conditioning
to take advantage of consumers, laws exist for our protection. When the little letters at the bottom of the
screen say Actual results may take up to six weeks, or Results not typical, or my favourite, the ever
vague Some restrictions apply, you can almost always believe them.

For this discussion post I am looking into the use of classical conditioning in marketing
and advertising. As we already have learned, a neutral stimulus is paired with a
unconditioned stimulus many times until the neutral stimulus evokes a conditioned
response. Typically advertisements are written in a way that associates the product
(neutral stimulus) with positive emotions (unconditioned response). The aim of

advertising is to get the consumers to associate their product with these positive
feelings. There is also a marketing strategy that pairs competitors products with
negative emotions (similar to aversion therapy).
There are countless examples of advertisements attempting to pair their product with
positive emotions. A list of several emotions paired with products are: satisfying hunger,
humor, sex appeal, pleasure, youthfulness, and elitism. The methods used to pair these
emotions with products can range from being very obvious to being very subtle. An
example of a very obvious pairing would be a beer commercial in which a man is
speaking with attractive ladies while holding the specific brand of beer. A more subtle
pairing would be an insurance commercial that plays relaxing/calming music to
associate the brand with 'peace of mind'.
While this may seem like an underhanded way for brands to gain an advantage over
others and trick consumers into buying products, classical conditioning in
advertisements can have positive applications. For example charities like the humane
society use classical conditioning by showing an image of an animal that needs help and
can benefit from the reader. A normal response to an advertisement regarding a charity
is usually a feeling of pity or guilt (because we have a lot more than whoever is
mentioned in the advertisement).
Now that we know how classical conditioning is used in marketing I think that we should
ask ourselves, why do I feel this way about a certain product? Is it rational to feel this
way or are we being tricked? We must think about how conditioning has shaped the
world around us or we will be making decisions based on how corporations want us to

Discuss how to apply classical

conditioning and operant conditioning in
marketing. Please give many examples.
October 23, 2006 by cbkittyzhangying No Comments Uncategorized

Classical conditioning was the first type of learning to be

discovered and studied within the behaviorist tradition. A
Russian scientist named Ivan Pavlov, who in the development
of classical conditioning, made experimentation about the
classical conditioning with a dog. The food represents
unconditioned stimulus, dog represents Unconditioned
Response. He gave the food to the dog. It secreted saliva. A
ring represent the neutral stimulus, he rang to the dog, it
orientation but no salivation. The second experimentation,
Ivan Pavlov ring when he gave the food to the dog. He
practiced it many times. At last, when he rang to the dog, the
dog is always secreted saliva.
In such experiments, the subject initially shows weak or no
response to a conditioned stimulus, but a measurable
unconditioned respond to an unconditioned stimulus. In the
course of the training, the CS is repeatedly presented together
with the US; eventually the subject forms an association
between the US and the CS. In a subsequent test-phase, the
subject will show the conditioned response to the CS alone, if
such an association has been established and memorized.
Classical conditioning primarily influences emotional
behavior. Things that make us happy, sad, angry, etc. become
associated with neutral stimuli that gain our attention. Know
all of these, that we can think put it into business.
Classical conditioning works with advertising. When you
watch advertising, most of them use the music and common
picture into it. When you listing this song or see the same

common things happen, you will naturally remember that

advertising. For example, Amoi hand phone advertising
chooses Super girl champion (2005) Li yuchun to be their
prolocutor. On that advertising, she was dancing so cool with
the Amoi new style hand phone. The hand phone is cool and
forthright, like the prolocutor, Li yuchun. When I watch TV,
see Li yuchun is dancing or even hear her name, I will
remember that ad and remember that new hand phone, cool
and forthright. Unconditioned Stimulus) naturally elicit a
favorable, mildly aroused feeling (Unconditioned Response)
in most men.
Another example is the beer advertising. Many beer
companies use pretty young women who wear bikinis to do ad
or let the sexy girls to sell beer. Because the young women
(Unconditioned Stimulus) naturally elicit a favorable, mildly
aroused feeling (Unconditioned Response) in most men.
When men see sexy girls, some of them will think beer.

Operant conditioning is the use of consequences to modify the

occurrence and form of behavior. There are 4 major
techniques or methods used in it, reinforcement, negative
reinforcement, punishment and negative punishment.
Reinforcement means you have some especial behavior, after
that you get some happy stimulus. For example, give the
discount card to customers when the buy the things price is

more than stated sum. It lead to customers buy the things to

achieve that sum and get after they get that card, they also go
to the same shop to consume because the discount price. You
can also give presents for customers, for example, on festival,
holidays or special activities. It is also used in the organization
behavior. Managers can give some bonus to employees when
they have good behavior.
Negative reinforcement means you have some especial
behavior, after that you get unhappy stimulus. For example,
when you go to a restaurant, their food or service is bad, you
will never go there again, and also will tell your friends dont
go there. So as a good business organization, you should have
good products and best service to every customer at any time.
It is long strategy to your company.
In my opinion, punishment and negative punishment are not
appropriate to be used in business. We can put it into the
organization behavior. When employees have good behavior,
you can give them bonus, but if some employees have bad
behavior you should give them some punishment. Tell them if
they are late for work, not finish work on time or make the
bad job, you will deduct their premium; if they take some
serious aftermath, you will fire them.