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Consumer Behaviour | Perception Summary |

Tutorial 2 Week 4
Area 1: The Perceptual Process
Def: A 3-Stage process that translates raw stimuli into meaning (Solomon

1.Sensory Receptors (Sensation)
Stimuli (Raw Data) is detected by our sensory receptors and
interpreted on an individual basis based on our biases, needs and
past experiences
The Sensory Absolut Threshold - when the intensity of the stimuli
is insufficient to gain recognition by our sensory receptors.
The Sensory Differential Threshold The relative change
between two Stimuli that goes unrecognized e.g. if you have 5
chocolates and I give you one more compared to if you have 100
chocolates and I give you one more
Attention is the consumers focus on stimuli, we are exposed to a
large number of stimuli daily which can induce sensory overload
Perceptual Selection theory People only focus on a small
number of stimuli dependent on a number of factors, such as needs
& past experiences
o Perceptual Vigilance The consumer is highly aware to
stimuli which relates to their current needs
o Perceptual Defense The process where by stimuli which
are potentially threatening, offensive or unpleasant are not
perceived by the consumer
o Stimulus Adaption The degree to which consumers
continue to notice some particular stimuli over a period of
time e.g. family dog barking.

Interpretation is the meaning that individual consumers derive from

the initial stimuli
Gestalt Psychology
o Principle of Closure This is where individuals fill in the
missing details in order to paint a complete picture Meaning
o Principle of Similarity Consumers group together products
that share similar meanings and properties

Area 2: Semiotics & Brands

The study of how signs, symbols and indexes can be used by
marketers to develop meaning (Solomon et al, 2014)
Components of Semiotic Messages
o Sign A sensory image that is used to convey the meaning of
an object e.g. No Smoking sign
o Symbol An image given to a product due to it being
generally associated with it e.g. A heart symbol normally
represents love
o Index A sign which has a direct link to an object e.g. A
slippery road surface sign is placed on a road where flooding
is likely

Further Reading
On the Interrelationship of Transactional Analysis and Gestalt Psychology
With Applications To Communication Theory and Practice. (1976). Journal
of Business Communication, 14(1), pp.41-45.
Burnes, B. and Cooke, B. (2012). Kurt Lewin's Field Theory: A Review and
Re-evaluation.International Journal of Management Reviews, p.n/a-n/a.
Kelly, S. and OConnell, R. (2015). The neural processes underlying
perceptual decision making in humans: Recent progress and future
directions. Journal of Physiology-Paris, 109(1-3), pp.27-37.
Kucuk, S. (2014). A semiotic analysis of consumer-generated
antibranding. Marketing Theory, 15(2), pp.243-264.