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Abstract

A large number of advertisements pair the presentation of a product or brand name with another stimulus that possesses affective value. The pairing of these two stimuli can result in a change in behavior (e.g., attitude, purchasing probability, attention to the product in the marketplace) toward the product or brand name. These pairings resemble the procedure of classical conditioning. This chapter discusses some of the research that has been done in the area of conditioning and advertising as well as some of the recent developments in conditioning theory and research that may assist in advertising research and its application. The chapter addresses such topics as useful parameters for producing conditioning, the roles of affect and cognition, and the role of awareness; and many potentially relevant conditioning phenomena are discussed that might be of relevance to advertising.
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CHAPTER 21
Effects of Conditioning in Advertising
Todd R. Schachtman , Jennifer Walker , and Stephanie Fowler
INTRODUCTION
Advertisements often pair two events together:
the product or brand name with a pleasurable
stimulus. The pairing of these two stimuli (some-
times called a “trial” when occurring in an
experimental situation) results in a change in
behavior (e.g., attitude, purchasing probability,
attention to the product in the marketplace)
toward the product or brand name. This pairing
clearly resembles the procedure of classical con-
ditioning (Pavlov, 1927 ). During classical condi-
tioning, a neutral stimulus is paired with an
event that typically has some affective value for
the animal (typically something with biological
signifi cance, such as food for a hungry animal or
a painful event). The neutral stimulus is referred
to as the conditioned stimulus (CS), and the
event that already has affective value for the
organism is the unconditioned stimulus (US).
The pairing of these two events results in a
change in the organism’s response to the CS.
Using Pavlov’s well-known experiments with
dogs as an example (given that Pavlov developed
this procedure), a tone might serve as the CS and
food can serve as the US. The dogs would, of
course, salivate to the food if food is placed in
the dog’s mouth. This salivation is an uncondi-
tioned response and does not involve any learn-
ing. Before the tone and food were paired
together, the dog had no tendency to salivate to
the tone; but after the two events were paired
together, the dog began to salivate to the tone.
This latter response is the CR, and it is the mea-
sure of conditioning. If the organism makes a
CR after such pairings (and if various control
conditions rule out other possibilities), then it is
assumed that the organism has formed an asso-
ciation between the tone and food.
Returning to the case of paired events during
advertisements, if the individual changes his or
her behavior (attitude change, interest in pur-
chasing the item) in the presence of the product
or brand (the CS) as a function of pairings of
A large number of advertisements pair the presentation of a product or brand name with another
stimulus that possesses affective value. The pairing of these two stimuli can result in a change in
behavior (e.g., attitude, purchasing probability, attention to the product in the marketplace)
toward the product or brand name. These pairings resemble the procedure of classical condi-
tioning. This chapter discusses some of the research that has been done in the area of condition-
ing and advertising as well as some of the recent developments in conditioning theory and
research that may assist in advertising research and its application. The chapter will address such
topics as useful parameters for producing conditioning, the roles of affect and cognition, and
the role of awareness; and many potentially relevant conditioning phenomena are discussed that
might be of relevance to advertising.
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this CS with an affective stimulus (the US), then
this behavior can be said to be a conditioned
response; and the pairing can refl ect the develop-
ment of an association between the product or
brand (i.e., the CS) and the US. Note that even if
the ad is an “informational” one rather than
aiming at conditioning per se (pairing the ad
with some pleasurable or attractive stimulus), it
is very hard to avoid conditioning during expo-
sure to the ad in that the individual(s) in the ad
delivering the information is likely doing so with
a pleasant voice; and various cues may be present
that can promote conditioning. Gresham and
Shimp ( 1985 , p. 11) purported that classical con-
ditioning “is the most widely discussed mecha-
nism of [attitudes towards an ad] on consumers’
brand attitudes.” Interestingly, they go on to dis-
cuss the direction of causality of the infl uence
between the ad and the brand; they mention that
the attitude toward the brand can infl uence the
attitude toward the ad, and the attitude toward
the ad can infl uence the attitude toward the
brand. The former may be more important for
mature brands, and the latter may be important
for new brands (Gresham & Shimp, 1985 ).
Classical conditioning is a procedure in
which two events (stimuli) are presented in the
manner just described (e.g., Janiszewaki &
Warlop, 1993 : Kim, Lim, & Bhargava, 1998 );
and if a CR occurs, then one can state that
classical conditioning as an effect has occurred.
As a procedure and effect, classical conditioning
is silent with respect to the underlying mecha-
nisms (associative processes, cognitive processes,
refl exive processes, etc.) that might be responsi-
ble for the change in the CR (see also Janiszewski
& Warlop, 1993 ). Some recent work has used
the expressions “classical conditioning” or
“Pavlovian conditioning” to refer to a particular
theoretical process (i.e., expectancy learning, see
later section on “Evaluative Conditioning”); but
we (and most researchers in the fi eld of condi-
tioning) feel it is best to refer to classical or
Pavlovian conditioning as an effect. Hence, all
advertising that involves the pairing of events
and results in a change in a learned response can
be said to be instances of classical conditioning.
However, one of many mechanisms may be
responsible for this effect.
The principles of operant conditioning have
also been applied to advertising situations.
Winters and Wallace ( 1970 ) discuss operant
conditioning methodology, and how measures
such as choice and giving the participant control
over exposure to the ad can provide valuable
assessment devices. Reed, McCarthy, Latif, and
DeJongh ( 2002 ) show an interesting way to exam-
ine cues experimentally in the marketplace as a
means of testing innovative conditioning phe-
nomena in an assimilated natural environment.
Given the role that classical conditioning
plays in advertising, it is surprising how few
review articles are available that specifi cally
examine advertising with a focus on condition-
ing per se. The perusal of dozens of subject
indices of various marketing and advertising
textbooks and edited volumes produced few
entries for “conditioning,” and even fewer chap-
ters specifi cally devoted to that topic. McSweeney
and Bierley ( 1984 ) and van Osselaer ( 2008 )
provided a valuable review of classical condi-
tioning effects that could be of use to marketing
researchers. Another chapter by Allen and Shimp
( 1990 ) provided a worthwhile overview of
research on conditioning in advertising and
some important methodological considerations
(see also Cohen, 1990 ). Of course, it is quite
possible, as Allen and Shimp stated about 20
years ago, that the relationship between condi-
tioning and marketing is still in its early stages of
development with respect to research efforts:
“Classical conditioning research is in the intro-
ductory state of a potentially gainful life cycle in
consumer behavior” (p. x).
Moreover, the mechanisms of conditioning
are still being investigated by learning and con-
ditioning researchers, and its role in advertising
is still being pursued. Indeed, Kim, Allen, and
Kardes ( 1996 , p. 318) noted that a “major reason
why advertising researchers have failed to
embrace knowledge products of the Pavlovian
tradition is that no consensus has emerged about
how or why conditioning procedures yield their
effects on brand attitude.”
The present chapter hopes to follow in the
suit of these earlier reviews in providing a dis-
cussion of the following: (1) some of the research
that has been done in the area of conditioning
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and advertising; (2) some of the recent develop-
ments in conditioning theory and research that
may assist in advertising research and its appli-
cation; (3) some interesting issues that are rele-
vant to the confl uence of the fi elds of conditioning
and advertising. Since we come to this chapter as
conditioning researchers rather than marketing
researchers, our focus may strike the reader as
avored in that way; and it will fall a bit short of
providing an exhaustive scope of fi ndings and
issues in the fi eld of marketing. Nonetheless, we
expect that some of the points made will be use-
ful. Of course, before we begin with this review,
we acknowledge that one can question the value
of advertising per se. The effectiveness of adver-
tising, and, therefore, of pairings of a product
or brand with attractive stimuli, for a company
has been challenged by Ehrenberg ( 1974 , p. 32),
who stated that advertising is not particularly
effective although cutting it can lose sales for a
company. He said that advertising is really used
to “reinforce feelings of satisfaction for brands
already being used.” D’Souza and Rao ( 1995 ,
p. 32) similarly claimed that “advertising may
be working to simply maintain the status quo
[in sales].” If so, then maintaining the status
quo for a product in high use may require adver-
tising to keep this high use position. In this way,
such a project may make use of the processes
underlying conditioning that potentially occur
during advertising.
ISSUES CONCERNING THE
BEHAVIORIST-COGNITIVE DEBATE
AND THE CURRENT STATUS OF
CONDITIONING THEORY
The putative debate between behaviorism and
cognition has been discussed by many marketing
researchers (e.g., Allen & Janiszewski, 1989 ;
Allen & Shimp, 1990 ). The debate arose even
within the fi eld of psychology because the initial
decades of conditioning research began at a time
when psychology was dominated by behavior-
ists. Many behaviorists steer clear of hypotheti-
cal constructs such as expectancies, memories,
and associations. Later, in the 1970s, the fi eld
of human learning and memory and that of ani-
mal conditioning began a “cognitive revolution”
during which, among other things, researchers
became interested in how acquired knowledge
was organized in memory.
Within the area of conditioning theory, the
dramatic change toward cognitive theorizing
occurred due to at least three factors. First,
research in the late 1960s and early 1970s on
compound conditioning (when two CSs are
present on a conditioning trial) and a phenom-
enon known as “conditioned inhibition” (Pavlov,
1927 ; Rescorla, 1969 ) gave large emphasis to the
concept of expectancy (and the interaction
between CSs during the formation of such expec-
tancies) in classical conditioning. Second,
Rescorla’s work in the 1970s focused extensively
on the content of associative learning what are
the representations of the events that are associ-
ated (i.e., “what is associated with what?” with
respect to the events represented in memory).
Finally, there was renewed focus on processes
that infl uence conditioning besides that of acqui-
sition (e.g., retrieval, rehearsal, motivation, and
the reactivation of memories; see Lewis, 1979 ;
Miller, Kasprow, & Schachtman, 1986 ; Spear,
1978 ). As discussed in more detail in the fi rst
chapter to the present volume, all three of these
factors or “directions” that the fi eld took in the
1970s are very cognitive in nature.
Many researchers, indeed, a sizable number
of psychologists, do not recognize that the fi eld
of conditioning and learning has gone through
very substantive changes, such as those just
described, in the past 35 years. While classical
conditioning remains an experimental proce-
dure with a behavioral outcome, the theoretical
discourse on the mechanisms of conditioning
has taken on a very cognitive focus since the
1970s. The importance of parsimony, Morgan’s
Canon, and Occam’s razor certainly remains
as a scientifi c tool; but some research fi ndings
indicate that animal conditioning effects are
best (or only) explained in terms of cognitive
processes, such as the activation of representa-
tions of events and their interaction with
associative mechanisms as well as nonacquisi-
tion types of information processing mentioned
earlier (rehearsal, reactivation, etc.). In other
words, many conditioning phenomena are only
explained by evoking cognitive processes.
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During the viewing of an advertisement, there
are a multitude of types of information process-
ing that may take place. The person can experi-
ence a change in the emotional value of the CS
(the brand or product) without any cognitive
effort or awareness (i.e., implicitly). Alternatively,
one can experience a change in the emotional
value of the CS (or beliefs about it), and this
change can come about with awareness on the
part of the individual. The individual can also
form an expectancy of the US when the CS
occurs (e.g., Baeyens, Crombez, Van Den Bergh,
& Eelen, 1988 ), and this learning may occur with
or without awareness. The person can also be
aware (or not aware) of the contingency between
the CS and the US. All of these processes and/or
others can give rise to a conditioned response
(e.g., attitude toward a product, change in likeli-
hood of purchasing a product). One valuable
goal of conditioning research and advertising
research is to design studies to examine the
nature of the processes underlying the acquisi-
tion of information and the elicitation of the CR
when exposed to a CS used in advertisements.
SOME OF THE EARLIER WORK
EXAMINING CONDITIONING
DURING ADVERTISING
Allen and Shimp ( 1990 ) and Cohen ( 1990 ) sum-
marized many of the research fi ndings through
to the date of their writing, and so interested
readers can turn to those resources. However,
some of those fi ndings will be summarized
briefl y here; and we mention a few valuable
points about them. The present discussion will
be a far cry from any kind of exhaustive presen-
tation of the research in this area; but, rather, we
will provide a description of a few studies and
ndings to “set the table” a little before we
provide information about specifi c topics. A
description of these early studies will highlight,
albeit briefl y, examples of procedures as well as
theoretical issues involved in such research.
As Allen and Shimp ( 1990 ) point out in their
review, Staats and Staats ( 1957 , 1958 ) conducted
a very early study and found that awareness is
not necessary for learning an association. Since
we will briefl y discuss the issue of awareness and
conditioning later in this chapter, we will keep
our comments about this topic even more brief
for the time being. The study by Gorn ( 1982 )
was innovative in some respects in that it was
a relatively early paper; and yet it discussed
many of the issues that are critical to research
examining the effects of conditioning in adver-
tising. Specifi cally, the authors were interested in
whether object preferences could be classically
conditioned. Gorn (reported in the Allen and
Shimp chapter as the fi rst experimental study on
conditioning and marketing) had participants
rate different kinds of music, and he used the
most appealing music as the appetitive US (i.e.,
pleasurable) and the least attractive music as the
aversive US (and only participants who rated
this musical piece as attractive were included for
the pairing of the CS with the appetitive US, and
only those participants who rated the piece as
unattractive were included for the pairing of the
CS with the aversive US). Seventy-nine percent
of subjects given a pairing of the colored pen
with the attractive music chose this pen over a
nonexposed pen when given a choice, and only
30 % of the participants chose the pen paired
with unattractive music if they had received
a pairing of this pen with the aversive music
(obviously a percentage of 50 % would refl ect
indifference to the pens when given a choice).
Since a single pairing was used, it shows that
signifi cant conditioning can occur with one
conditioning trial. Second, the CS and US pre-
sentations were simultaneous, participants heard
one (of two) musical clips while viewing a slide
image of one of the pens, thereby showing that
such an arrangement of CS and US can produce
appreciable conditioning. Finally, “mere expo-
sure” (see section on “Mere Exposure”) cannot
explain the subjects choosing the nonexposed
pen over the one paired with the aversive music.
The mere exposure effect refers to the increase
in attraction to a stimulus simply because the
individual has encountered it in the past. It is
possible that mere exposure made the pen paired
with attractive music more attractive (rather
than the increase in attractiveness being due
to the pairing with attractive music); however,
the pairing of a pen with aversive music
produced an aversion to this pen despite any
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possible (and perhaps unlikely) mere exposure
effect working in the opposite direction (making
it more attractive). Regarding the Gorn study,
there has been a discussion in the advertising
literature about the role of demand characteristics
in this research (see Darley & Lim, 1993 ; Shimp,
Hyatt, & Snyder, 1993 ). (By the way, we also wish
to point out that Kahle, Beatty, and Kennedy
[ 1987 ] stated that proponents of conditioning
theory discount or trivialize the issues of aware-
ness and demand characteristics; but, to us, this
claim seems unsubstantiated and contentious.)
Overall, producing classical conditioning in
the laboratory is not easily obtained given that
some reports have found poor conditioning or
the results have been mixed or subject to alterna-
tive interpretation (Allen & Madden, 1985 ;
Bierley, McSweeney, & Vannieuwkerk, 1985 ;
Gorn, 1982 ), whereas other studies have been
more promising in showing conditioning
(Shimp, Stuart, & Engle, 1987 ; see Cohen, 1990 ;
Allen & Shimp, 1990 for reviews).
CONDITIONING PARAMETERS
AND PROCEDURAL ISSUES IN
ADVERTISING RESEARCH
This section will discuss some of the procedural
variables that have been (or are suggested) to be
useful in conditioning research. Some variables
(e.g., US or CS preexposure prior to condition-
ing) can be both “a conditioning phenomenon”
and a “procedural variable”; we will reserve our
discussion of these until a subsequent section
on conditioning phenomena. We realize that the
distinction between “What is a procedural vari-
able?” and “What is a conditioning effect?” is
arbitrary for some effects. For instance, trace
conditioning refers to conditioning effect and a
manipulation in the interstimulus interval
between the CS and the US; but such instances
will be placed in one section or the other, and we
hope that these sections still provide some
usefulness.
Arrangement of the Conditioned Stimulus
and Unconditioned Stimulus in Time
Stuart et al. ( 1987 ) compared backward condi-
tioning with delayed conditioning using a brand
as the CS and an attractive stimulus as the US.
Backward conditioning is a classical condition-
ing procedure in which the US onset precedes
the CS onset. Forward conditioning (often called
delayed conditioning) is classical conditioning
in which the CS precedes the onset of the US
and the CS offset does not occur prior to US
onset (since the latter would be “trace condition-
ing”). In one of the early experiments in that
report, the authors used a forward conditioning
procedure in which the CS not only preceded
the onset of the US but also overlapped the US,
and they found that forward conditioning was
superior to backward conditioning. Many or
most forward conditioning procedures do not
have any overlap between the CS and the US
(i.e., the CS onset precedes US onset but CS
offset occurs at the same time as US onset).
When the CS and US have simultaneous onsets
and offsets (complete overlap), then this is
referred to as “simultaneous conditioning.”
Since Stuart et al.’s initial experiment (Exp. 1)
used a forward procedure that contained this
element of a simultaneous arrangement, they
conducted another experiment in which a for-
ward conditioning procedure was used, but
the CS and US did not overlap. Forward condi-
tioning continued to produce a better CR than
backward conditioning.
Macklin ( 1996 ) used school-aged children to
compare forward and simultaneous condition-
ing in an advertising situation and found that
the former produced better conditioning. As
mentioned previously, Gorn ( 1982 ) obtained
good conditioning with a simultaneous arrange-
ment of the CS and US. Other conditioning
arrangements have been used as well. Baker
( 1999 ) used trials (the product was paired with
pleasant photographs) in which the CS was
presented alone, followed by a presentation of
the US alone, followed by the CS and US together;
and conditioning resulted.
Baker, Honea, and Russell ( 2004 ) examined
the effectiveness of placing the brand name at
the beginning of the ad or at the end; and, like
Stuart et al. ( 1987 ), they found that conditioning
effects were stronger when brands were placed
at the beginning of the ad. Interestingly, they
also included a group that received the brand
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name at the beginning and the end of the ad, and
found that this group exhibited conditioning
that was as poor as the “end-only” condition.
That is, this condition received the brand name
at the beginning of the ad like the group that
showed good conditioning; but the placement
of the brand at the end caused poorer condition-
ing than the “beginning-only” group, suggesting
that the placement at the end offset the positive
effects of placement at the beginning. Baker et al.
point out quite correctly that this was probably
due to the fact that the total exposure time to the
brand name during the ad was 5 seconds for
all conditions such that the “beginning” and
“end” group receive the brand name for 2.5
seconds on two occasions, and the other two
conditions (end only and beginning only)
received the brand exposure once for 5 seconds.
Therefore, 2.5 seconds may not be long enough
to be effective for brand name exposure. But
other possibilities exist. The possibility exists
that presenting the brand at the end produces
some cognitive interference with the forward
conditioning trial that just occurred at the start
of the trial. Future research will likely enjoy
teasing apart these alternatives as well as testing
other possible explanations for this interesting
effect.
Allen and Shimp ( 1990 ) argued that simple
contiguity is not responsible for conditioning
(p. 30), but this point requires elaboration.
Contiguity refers to the degree to which two
events occur together in time or space (and only
temporal contiguity is discussed here). Simple
contiguity is neither necessary nor suffi cient
for conditioning to occur. As mentioned, Blair
and Shimp ( 1992 ) found second-order condi-
tioning during an advertisement experiment
(see section on “Second-Order Conditioning”)
in which the target event (brand) was never
paired with the US (an unpleasant, boring text-
book experience) and, yet, conditioning occurred
showing that contiguity is not necessary. The
fact that particular values for various parame-
ters (CS novelty, US novelty, and others) are
needed or are important in order to obtain
conditioning despite contiguity between the
CS and the US reveals that contiguity is not
suffi cient for conditioning.
Relationship of the Stimulus Properties of
the Conditioned Stimulus and
Unconditioned Stimulus to Each Other
Thorndike’s concept of “belongingness” and,
more recently and to much more acclaim, John
Garcia’s discovery that some CSs condition more
effectively if paired with certain USs (but not
others); and some USs support conditioning
more effectively if paired with certain CSs but
not others (Garcia & Koelling, 1966 ) were
important fi ndings for the fi eld of conditioning
(Freeman & Riley, 2009 ). Belongingness may
have an important effect on conditioning in
advertising (Allen & Shimp, 1990 ; McSweeney
& Bierley, 1984 ; see also Kellaris, Cox, & Cox,
1993 , as discussed later). Kim et al. ( 1998 ) found
that if a CS and US have little or no preexperi-
mental conceptually based relationship with
each other, classical conditioning can still occur
as long as the subject does not hold any beliefs
about the stimulus that might preclude condi-
tioning. Conditioning researchers have found
that second-order conditioning effects (discussed
in section on “Second-Order Conditioning”) are
also sensitive to the modality of the two cues
used in experiments with animal subjects (e.g.,
Nairne & Rescorla, 1981 ; Rescorla & Gillan,
1980 ).
Kellaris, Cox, and Cox ( 1993 ) found that
recall and recognition of brand name as well
as the “point of the message” in the ad increases
if attention-getting music is used; and recall
and recognition are especially enhanced if there
is a “congruency” between the meaning commu-
nicated nonverbally by the music and that
verbally communicated by the ad; marketing
researchers may wish to note the degree to which
the thematic qualities of the background infor-
mation matches that of the verbal message.
Partial Reinforcement
Bierley, McSweeney, and Vannieuwkerk ( 1985 ),
in a study relevant to advertising since music is
often used as an unconditioned stimulus in ads,
found conditioning of colors paired with attrac-
tive music. Partial reinforcement did not pro-
duce any conditioning of a color paired with the
music. It can also be noted that the groups were
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not equated for number of reinforcers, but
rather, received the same number of trials as the
continuous reinforcement condition because
there are two ways to produce a partial reinforce-
ment condition: equating reinforcers or trial
number. Researchers need to decide which to
manipulation or, rarely, to include various
groups that manipulate both.
Properties of the Conditioned Stimulus,
Other Cues, and the Role of Attention
The intensity or salience of the CS can also have
a considerable infl uence on conditioning during
advertising (see, for example, Cohen, 1990 , for
a discussion). A more noticeable presentation
of the brand name will likely help produce stron-
ger conditioning. Additionally, the salience of
cues may be determined, in part, by the charac-
teristics of the individual. Gorn ( 1982 ) noted
that those interested in purchasing a product
may fi nd the product information (brand name,
etc.) more salient than those not interested in a
future purchase. To investigate the validity of
this possibility, he examined participants who
were in either a decision- or nondecision-
making context with respect to their relative
sensitivity to background cues (i.e., music in this
case) and product information. Gorn discovered
that non-decision-making participants (what
might be considered “less involved” subjects)
were most infl uenced by the music, whereas
decision makers (more involved) were more
infl uenced by the information provided. Hence,
the impact of cues can be infl uenced by the
person’s motivation.
The duration of the CS can infl uence condi-
tioning (Gibbon & Balsam, 1981 ; Miller &
Schachtman, 1985 ; Miller & Matzel, 1988 ; a factor
also noted by Allen and Shimp, 1990 , p. 30).
Conditioning theorists have discovered that
extended CS durations can reduce the degree
of conditioned responding. Of course, the stimu-
lus must minimally be exposed long enough for
the individual to detect or process it.
The modalities of the cues presented in the
ad can also play a vital role. Stammerjohan,
Wood, Chang, and Thorson ( 2005 ) examined
whether using multiple modalities for ads (visual
and auditory rather than just visual or auditory)
might infl uence processing of the ad. As noted
by Stammerjohan et al., research on encoding
variability (Tulving & Thomson, 1971 ) suggests
that presenting information in more than one
context or modality will improve memory and
impact the degree of attitude change (and see
Stemmerjohan et al. for a discussion of support-
ing fi ndings and see also Cacioppo & Petty,
1985 ). Although the authors did not provide
unequivocal support for these ideas, this impor-
tant issue warrants more research. Vakratsas and
Ambler ( 1999 ), when discussing persuasive hier-
archy models, point out in their review that
“varied ads” improve ad recall (Rao & Burnkrant,
1991 ; Zielske & Henry, 1980 ). Stammerjohan
et al. mention that multiple modality input dur-
ing ads also could include the subject-generated
elaborations that occur during or following an
ad, such that if the ad provides only auditory
information (e.g., a radio ad) but the individual
elaborates by imagining the product visually,
then multiple-modality processing can be said
to be occurring. Research can therefore deter-
mine whether elaboration-produced cues are
comparable to having more than one modality
present in the ad itself. Stammerjohan et al. cite
Kahneman ( 1973 ) as having mentioned that a
large amount of attention is given to items that
are both complex and familiar and those that are
both simple and novel, but this is not true for
simple-familiar items nor for complex-novel
stimuli. They also mention the “positivity effect”
(that positive stimuli are processed more than
negative stimuli). Hence, negative advertising
should be less effective than positive advertising
(see Cohen, 1990 ). However, Cohen points out
that unpleasantness in an ad can sometimes gen-
erate attention and interest in a product such
that the product may be expected to resolve this
unpleasantness.
Baker ( 1999 ) notes that high familiarly can
result in less information being processed; hence,
high brand familiarity means that providing
product information can be less valuable since
individuals will not process this inform-
ation as well in an ad about a highly familiar
product. Individuals already have opinions
about a familiar product and do not always
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process new information about it (see also
section on “The Role of Prior Belief ”). In such
situations, it is important to provide stimulating
material to prevent boredom during an ad with a
familiar product.
Janiszewski and Warlop ( 1993 ) noted that
attention to a stimulus often involves an orient-
ing response to the stimulus (Hall & Channell,
1985 ; Hall & Schachtman, 1987 ; Sokolov, 1963 ).
They reasoned that this orienting response can
be very important to advertisers since one hopes
for conditioning to the brand name (and
attention is important for conditioning), but
one also aims for a strong response to the brand
later at the time of purchase. Consistent with
the fi ndings of Hall and Channell ( 1985 ),
Janiszewski and Warlop point out that if a brand
(CS) (even a familiar one) is presented in a
novel context, then the orienting response will
be high in this context even if orienting had
waned in the conditioning context (i.e., where
the brand-US pairings occurred). Janiszewski
and Warlop ( 1993 ) found that attention is
increased to a CS as a function of conditioning
(pairings of the brand with an attractive US).
These researchers also said that if the brand is
paired with the US in one context, but then the
brand is seen in a store (new context) for the
rst time, then orienting might be strong and
this strong reaction may increase the chance of
purchase. Janiszewski and Warlop ( 1993 ) found
that if a brand is conditioned by pairing the
brand with a US, then this brand will “pop out”
perceptually when presented subsequently on
a screen with other items (see Johnston &
Hawley, 1994 , for more information on such
effects with various stimuli) revealing that con-
ditioning, perhaps not surprisingly, can add to
the attention-getting properties of a brand name.
However, we can also imagine how novelty
will promote attention to a product. The matu-
rity (versus novelty) of a product can have a
large infl uence on conditionability. It is also
worth mentioning that conditioning research-
ers have posited that this orienting response is
an index of associability (e.g., Swann & Pearce,
1988 ). Associability refers to the potential of
a CS to enter into an association with a CS.
Oxoby and Finnigan ( 2007 ) found that attention
to one feature of a product (e.g., cost or brand
quality information) caused poor attention to
other — subsequently presented — information
about the product.
Gresham and Shimp ( 1985 ) suggested that
mature (familiar) brands will be more infl uenced
by the impact of the attitude of the brand on
the attitude toward the ad, whereas newer
products may experience the attitude toward the
ad infl uencing the attitude toward the product.
Research by Alpert and Kamins ( 1995 ) revealed
that novel brands possess attention-getting
properties that facilitate processes on some mea-
sures (attitude and purchase intention) but not
others (recall or actual purchase behavior).
Hence, attention to a CS can have an infl uence
on conditioning, and conditioning can impact
attention to a CS (Mackintosh, 1975 ; Pearce &
Hall, 1980 ).
Number of Trials
Kroeber-Riel ( 1984 ) stated that numerous
trials are needed for conditioning, but this is
not true. Kim, Lim, and Bhargava ( 1998 )
obtained conditioning with a single trial (see
also Ehrenberg, 1974 ). Stuart et al. ( 1987 ) also
obtained asymptotic conditioning with a single
trial. Kim et al. examined the effect of the num-
ber of trials and found that affective condition-
ing requires fewer repetitions than cognitive
belief acquisition.
Vakratsas and Ambler ( 1999 ) mention that
there may be an optimal number of trials to
produce favorable advertising effects. A mini-
mum number of trials is needed to get an effect
(the “wear-in effect,” see, e.g., Blair, 1987 ) and
the effect of advertising decreases after a certain
number of exposures to an ad. There is an
inverted-U shape to the effectiveness of advertis-
ing as a function of the number of conditioning
trials. One valuable way to offset this inverted-U
function that is, to continue to get effects
with additional trials is to vary the ad some-
what so that individuals get exposed to a slightly
different variation (Rao & Burnkrant, 1991 ;
Zielske & Henry, 1980 ).
As mentioned, conditioning can involve
many processes besides the acquisition of an
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association (e.g., the retrieval, retention, elabora-
tion, rehearsal of information). So even if good
learning is apparent after one or two condition-
ing trials, additional, benefi cial processing might
occur if additional trials are given.
Batra and Ray ( 1983 ) note that Krugman
( 1972 ) stated that there are only three truly
effective trial types during an advertisement: an
initial exposure that produces recognition, a
second exposure that involves the subject’s pro-
cessing, and the third and all subsequent expo-
sures, which simply serve as reminders of what
the viewer has already seen and thus maintain
such processing. We note again that these later
trials may produce rehearsal/retrieval-practice
that can infl uence behavior on certain measures.
One other point about the number of trials used
can be made: Allen and Janiszewski ( 1989 ) found
that more pairings resulted in more demand
characteristics and so this concern should be
addressed. Allen and Janiszewski provide exten-
sive discussion of demand characteristics in their
report (see also Kahle et al., 1987 ). The infl uence
of the number of trials is also discussed in
section on “Cognition and Affect.”
Intertrial Interval
The intertrial interval can have a large effect on
conditioning. Similar to the “spacing effect” in
human learning (Crowder, 1976 ), classical con-
ditioning is greater if a longer period of time
occurs between trials during the experimental
session. Such effects may also occur in an adver-
tising situation (as mentioned by Allen &
Janiszewski, 1989 ). Some conditioning theories
have posited that such effects are due to the rela-
tive durations of the CS and the contextual cues
that are exposed between trials (Gibbon &
Balsam, 1981 ; Miller & Matzel, 1988 ; Miller &
Schachtman, 1985 ).
Different Behavioral Measures
Allen and Shimp ( 1990 ) discussed advertising
research in which the experimental manipula-
tion changes the participant’s attitude toward a
brand or product, and then tests this change by
giving the participant a preference between that
item and a control item. They stated that prefer-
ence is a “demanding measure” and may not be
the best dependent variable. They note that
Macklin (1998) used a “buy back measure”
rather than a preference measure with children
as subjects, and found that the former was a
much more sensitive assessment. Another inter-
esting assessment tool was used, as noted earlier,
by Janiszewski and Warlop ( 1993 ), who, when
using an eye-tracking device, found that condi-
tioned brand names will receive a large amount
of attention in a display. Rothschild and Hyun
( 1990 ) used electroencephalography (EEG) as a
measure. Clearly many assessment tools are
available to marketing researchers (see Cohen,
1990 ).
Control Conditions for Conditioning
Many different kinds of control conditions
can be used in an experiment to ensure that the
conditioning is due to the contiguous pairing
of the CS and US and the positive contingency
between these events. McSweeney and Bierley
( 1984 ) discuss this issue in some detail and so
readers may wish to refer to this resource. Some
researchers have used random CS and US pre-
sentations (Bierley et al., 1985 ; Janiszewski &
Warlop, 1993 ). Some researchers have used a
procedure for the control condition in which the
CS and US are presented randomly with respect
to each other, except with the constraint that the
two events not be paired together by chance
(Grossman & Till, 1998 ; Priluck & Till, 2004 ;
Stuart et al., 1987 ).
One possible problem a group for which the
CS and US never occur together (akin to “explic-
itly unpaired” CS and US presentations) is that
explicitly unpairing the events produces a nega-
tive contingency such that one event comes to
signal that the other event will not occur — a
phenomenon known as conditioned inhibition
(Rescorla, 1969 ). Rescorla proposed in the late
1960s that a reasonable control condition that
will produce neither a positive contingency
between the two the events, nor an unpaired
arrangement which might produce conditioned
inhibition, is to present the events randomly.
Yet random presentations can produce their
own problem as they can produce “learned
irrelevance” between the CS and US (see Matzel,
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Schachtman, & Miller, 1988 ; but see Bonardi &
Ong, 2003 ) and, as Grossman and Till ( 1998 ),
Priluck and Till ( 2004 ), and Stuart et al. ( 1987 )
likely realize (since they avoided this problem),
the chance pairings produce problems of their
own. However, little such conditioning from
chance pairings in a random condition seems
to occur when this treatment is compared with
a group that did not receive a US during
conditioning (Stuart et al., 1987 ).
Janiszewski and Warlop ( 1993 ) gave condi-
tioning in which the trial consisted of three
temporal phases: the CS period, the US period,
and a posttrial period for the experimental
condition. The control received these three
phases in a random order on the trials certainly
a reasonable control condition (although per-
haps too conservative in that some conditioning
could occur in the control group since associa-
tions could be formed with a long interstimulus
interval). McSweeney and Bierley ( 1984 ) men-
tioned that presenting the CS constantly and
then presenting USs intermittently during the
CS exposure does not produce a CR in animal
research (Brown & Jenkins, 1968 ). This latter
procedure is not too different from some of
the procedures of advertising research in which
several USs occur during a CS presentation in
which CRs are produced. There is a need to
examine various parameters (e.g., CS duration)
to fi nd out why this difference in conditioning
may exist. There are many different control
conditions available, each with its advantages
and disadvantages.
Retention of Conditioning
Obviously, it is important for advertisers to
know how long the effects of advertising might
last, because the interval between viewing an
ad (i.e., conditioning) and product purchase
might be lengthy. Grossman and Till ( 1998 ),
using six conditioning trials, found that attitudes
toward experimentally conditioned brands
lasted at least 3 weeks (the longest interval
tested). They also discussed research by Mitchell
( 1993 ), who found that attitudes toward a
brand decreased over a 2-week delay but inten-
tion to purchase did not decrease. Moore and
Hutchinson ( 1985 ) found that a 7-day retention
interval caused attitudes toward the brand to be
reduced, but brand awareness (e.g., choosing
the product category for a brand) increased.
Kellaris et al. ( 1993 ) found that recall and recog-
nition of brand name as well as the “point-of-
the-message” in the advertisement increases if
attention-getting music is used.
Gardiner, Mitchell, and Russo ( 1985 ) found
that low involvement (defi ned as viewing prod-
uct information for its entertainment value; see
section on “High Versus Low Involvement”)
resulted in poorer memory (on four different
measures) for product information, but resulted
in a greater positive evaluation of the brand
(when evaluating 22 attributes of the product,
this condition had more positive judgments in
19 of them). Cohen ( 1990 ) pointed out that
peripheral aspects of the message (voice quality
of the ad, affective responses to the message) will
play a signifi cant role in how much or whether
elaboration occurs. Memory researchers know
well that elaboration can improve retention with
various types of information. Vakratsas and
Ambler ( 1999 ) noted that “varied ads” improve
ad recall (Rao & Burnkrant, 1991 ; Zielske &
Henry, 1980 ).
Burke and Srull ( 1988 , p.65) examined inter-
ference and memory in advertising and found
proactive and retroactive interference effects for
ad information. They reported that “recall inter-
ference occurred when subjects rated the target
ads on interest value but not when the advertised
brands were evaluated for purchase”; and they
went on to suggest that the greatest interference
seems to occur for “consumers who are not in
the market for a product, or who do not have the
ability and/or motivation to process ads in a
manner that will enhance information retriev-
ability.” More research on retention and the
effects of interference is needed.
Use of Music in Advertising
As mentioned, Kellaris et al. ( 1993 ) found an
increase in recall and recognition of the brand
name and the point of the message in the ad
if attention-getting music is used. Bruner
( 1990 ) provided an extensive review of music in
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advertising, in which he suggested the use of
music when products induce low cognitive
involvement (e.g., jewelry, beer). Bruner discusses
various kinds of music that can be used for ads. He
points out the drawback of using familiar songs
(overexposure to a song can render it less effec-
tive, as mentioned earlier) and suggests that
advertisers use a song that has already been writ-
ten but is not familiar or have one written for the
purpose of the ad since it will obviously be
novel.
Hung ( 2001 ), in an advertising study,
found that music can produce an image in the
consumer’s mind (e.g., “successful,” “imagina-
tive”) as well as an emotion (e.g., “calm,” “bor-
ing,” “annoying”). Hung found that music
(classical versus hard rock) infl uenced (1) the
estimated price of objects for sale at the adver-
tised shopping mall; and (2) the perception that
the store was darker or lighter with respect to
its lighting. Some music also produced much
greater within-group variability (i.e., the selec-
tion of classical music used produced much
more consistent responses across subjects than
the rock music). As mentioned earlier, Gorn
( 1982 ) experimentally conditioned products
(pens) using liked and disliked music. Pitt and
Abratt ( 1988 ) also used music in a classical con-
ditioning experiment. Music has been used in
many additional studies; unfortunately, an
exhaustive review cannot be provided here, but
this medium obviously impacts advertising in
many ways.
Order of Ad Exposure and Experience
With a Product
Vakratsas and Ambler ( 1999 ), when discussing
low-involvement hierarchy models, point out
that advertising is more effective when it pre-
cedes usage experience (see also the section on
“The Role of Prior Belief” for the infl uence of
past experience on future processing). In their
review, they mention that Smith ( 1993 ) showed
that if an individual experiences an ad prior to a
negative experience with the product, then the
ad can reduce the negative impact; but the ad
has no effect if the person has had a positive
experience. Ads that occur prior to experience
have a much greater effect.
SOME CONDITIONING
PHENOMENA AND THEORETICAL
ISSUES INVOLVING ADVERTISING
This section explores a variety of conditioning
effects that can be useful for marketing research-
ers. Researchers may benefi t from an apprecia-
tion of the underlying mechanisms of the effects
discussed herein. Alternatively, researchers may
wish to explore these effects in an advertising
experimental framework as many marketing
researchers have done with a few of these effects.
Mere Exposure
The mere exposure effect refers to the increase in
attractiveness of a stimulus simply because it has
been previously exposed to the individual. Batra
and Ray ( 1983 ) stated that, for a person with
high involvement, the affective changes that
occur as a function of mere exposure are not the
same kind of affective changes that can occur
during CS-US pairings for a person with high
involvement. In the latter case, cognitive pro-
cesses such as awareness and comprehension
will occur; and such stages are necessary for
affective attitude change (although a defi nition
of what is and what is not attitude change
seems needed). As mentioned, Gorn ruled out
mere exposure as the cause of a conditioned
preference during a treatment of group in which
a product was paired with an aversive US. Some
theories of advertising state that simple exposure
to an advertisement will increase liking due to
familiarity such that this can happen indepen-
dently of awareness or attention to the attributes
of the product (Vakratsas & Ambler, 1999 ).
Unconditioned Stimulus Preexposure
US preexposure involves the effects of administer-
ing US presentations prior to the pairings of the CS
and US. Many marketing research ers (e.g., Bruner,
1990 ) have noted that earlier exposure to the US
(i.e., an attractive US such as pleasurable music)
can attenuate the effects of conditioning using that
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US. The condi tioning literature shows that US
preexposure can reduce the effectiveness of the
US in supporting conditioning (Gordon &
Weaver, 1988 ; Randich & Ross, 1984 ; Tomie,
Murphy, Fath, & Jackson, 1980 ). Allen and
Shimp ( 1990 ), when discussing this effect, note
that Bierley et al. ( 1985 ) required 28 pairings of a
color with attractive music that was highly famil-
iar (Star Wars theme) to the subjects in order to
obtain conditioning. Allen and Shimp also dis-
cussed the tradeoff of using familiar celebrities
and popular music (which has obviously been
exposed to the individuals in the past), which
has some advantages for conditioning versus the
hindering effect such exposure might have. A few
issues can be noted about these effects. First,
these kinds of tradeoffs are not new to condition-
ing researchers. Many fear-conditioning research-
ers (using primarily animals, that is, non-humans)
will give one or two exposures to the CS (in con-
trast to the US preexposure being discussed)
prior to conditioning in order to remove the
unwanted effects (e.g., startle) that a novel
CS can have on the initial conditioning trials.
Giving such an exposure or two prior to the con-
ditioning trial will greatly decrease such unwanted
responses on the conditioning trial, but event
preexposure of this sort also often involves some
price to pay. Although this effect involves an
issue regarding prior CS exposures rather than
US preexposures, it provides another example
of a researcher dealing with the tradeoff among
various factors. Conditioning researchers often
weigh these various tradeoffs when using proce-
dures in which the stimuli are novel or familiar.
Conditioning theorists claim that the poor
conditioning that results from US preexposure
occurs by one of two processes. First, this effect
may be the result of habituation to the US.
Habituation is the loss of responding to a stimu-
lus that has been presented repeatedly. This
repeated presentation can cause the individual
to stop responding to the US; a poor response
to a stimulus can also be indicative of poor abil-
ity to support conditioning to a CS. A second
process is that the US preexposures cause an
association between the contextual cues (e.g.,
the environment that the individual is in) and
the US. This association “blocks” the learning of
an association between the CS (e.g., the brand/
product) and the US (e.g., Gordon & Weaver,
1988 ). Blocking (and overshadowing, a very
related conditioning effect) will be reviewed
next. The multifaceted effects of US preexposure
make the decision to use a familiar US versus a
novel one a challenging decision.
Latent Inhibition or the Conditioned
Stimulus Preexposure Effect
Latent inhibition (Lubow & Moore, 1959 ) is the
poor conditioning that occurs to a CS (a product
or brand) if this stimulus is presented many
times by itself (i.e., without the US) prior to the
conditioning trials (i.e., being paired with the
US). This poor learning is compared to a condi-
tioning that did not receive the CS-alone expo-
sures (and this latter group shows normal, strong
conditioning). Stuart et al. ( 1987 , Exp. 2) exam-
ined latent inhibition in an advertising experi-
ment by exposing participants to a particular
brand name on either 8 or 20 occasions prior
to pairing it with an attractive US on the condi-
tioning trials. Participants in these conditions
showed poorer conditioning to the brand name
than those in a control condition who received
conditioning without any CS (i.e., brand name)
preexposure. It is valuable for marketing profes-
sionals to know that brand exposure prior to
conditioning can hinder conditioning during
advertisements. Not surprisingly, advertising
researchers have noted that ads are much more
effective for new products with names that have
not received much or any exposure prior to the
ads (e.g., Baker, 1999 ; Gresham & Shimp, 1985 ;
Vakratsas & Ambler, 1999 ). Baker ( 1999 ) noted
that that high familiarly can reduce the amount
of information processed when later exposures
occur; in other words, high brand familiarity can
mean that providing product information will
be less valuable since individuals will not use this
information in an ad about a highly familiar
product.
Overshadowing and Blocking
Blocking and overshadowing involve competi-
tion among CSs for processing (or competition
between the context cues and a CS) as described
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in the preceding section. McSweeney and Bierley
( 1984 ) and van Osselaer ( 2008 ) also discuss these
phenomena in their reviews. Overshadowing
refers to the poor learning that occurs to a CS if
it is conditioned (i.e., paired with the US) in the
presence of a second CS relative to a condition
that receives this CS paired with the US in the
absence of a second CS. Hence, if we use a sym-
bol for the “target” CS (e.g., the brand or prod-
uct that one is interested in assessing for the
degree of CR); “CS
X
”; and we use the symbol
“CS
A”
to refer to the second CS, and we use the
symbol “ + ” to refer to the US, then overshadow-
ing refers to the poor conditioning that occurs to
CS
X
when it is paired with the US when CS
A
is
also present (hence, CS
X
CS
A
+ trials). This group’s
performance is compared to a control group that
simply receives CS
X
+ trials. Simply put, CS
X
is
learned about much more if it is paired with the
US alone rather than in the presence of a second
CS (CS
A
). When an overshadowing effect is
obtained, researchers will often say that CS
A
overshadowed learning to CS
X
; often CS
A
is a
very salient stimulus and CS
X
is relatively less
salient, explaining why CS
A
obtains learning at
the expense of CS
X
, that is, CS
A
benefi ts from the
competition between the cues. For instance, a
product name may be presented during an ad
along with another salient item and these two
stimuli will compete for becoming associated
with the US. Salience of the CSs will infl uence
the degree of overshadowing. As mentioned ear-
lier, researchers have noted that some cues will
be more salient depending on certain factors
such as the amount of involvement (Gorn,
1982 ). Those interested in purchasing a product
may fi nd the product information more salient
than those not interested in purchasing the
product, and the latter individuals may fi nd the
music, if one can think of the music as a cue that
may compete with the product for processing, in
the ad more salient.
Conditioning theorists have known about
overshadowing for over 100 years (since the
work of Pavlov), but a more recently discovered
phenomenon is “potentiation.” Potentiation is
the opposite of overshadowing, but it uses the
same procedure. Potentiation refers to the
increased conditioning to a CS (e.g., a brand or
product) due to its pairing with a US in the pres-
ence of a second CS. This group’s performance is
compared to that of a control group in which the
CS was paired with the US in the absence of a
second CS to show the infl uence of the second
CS in the other (experimental) group. (The
treatment conditions are the same as in an over-
shadowing experiment.) One major interpreta-
tion of potentiation is a mechanism like that of
second-order conditioning (described later). It
is valuable for marketing researchers to know
that having a second stimulus (perhaps a differ-
ent product) present during an advertisement
could potentially promote the conditioning to
the target product, although competition for
conditioning between the stimuli (overshadow-
ing) may be the more likely outcome in most
conditioning situations (i.e., overshadowing is
likely more common that potentiation).
Blocking (Kamin, 1969 ) refers to the poor
conditioning that occurs to a target CS (a brand)
when it is paired with the US in the presence of a
second CS, when that second CS was previously
paired with the US. That is, if CS
A
is paired with
the US in an initial phase of the experiment
(CS
A
+ trials) and then CS
A
and CS
X
are both
paired with the US in a second phase of the
experiment (CS
A
CS
X
+ ), then CS
X
is poorly
learned about. CS
A
is said to “block” learning
about CS
X
. CS
A
has an advantage in the competi-
tion for learning since it already predicts the US
because of its initial training (CS
A
-US pairings).
The performance by CS
X
for this group is com-
pared to a condition that received the same treat-
ment to the group described except no CS
A
+
trials occurred in the initial phase; this control
group only receives the CS
A
CS
X
+ trials. The con-
trol condition will show a stronger CR to CS
X
because CS
A
was not pretrained. Both CSs will
still compete for learning on these trials for the
control condition, but CS
A
will not benefi t from
the great advantage of having been previously
paired with the US in the initial phase. The
control group produces a greater CR to CS
X
than
the blocking condition.
Blocking can be an important phenomenon
for marketing professionals interested in pro-
ducing an effective ad. If the ad involves pairing
a product (e.g., sunglasses) with an attractive US
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(people having fun on the beach), and this ad
contains other cues that already predict fun at
the beach, then those latter cues may block the
product from being learned about. One trou-
bling issue concerns how to discern which stim-
uli serve as the US in such a circumstance and
what cues are stimuli that might compete with
the target CS (the product). For instance, if the
ad contains people playing sand volleyball, is this
cue part of the US people having fun at the
beach? Or is it a competing CS a cue that
already predicts fun at the beach which will then
prevent learning about the product? The answer
is not clear to us, but marketing researchers may
appreciate knowing about the different possible
outcomes and the conditioning processes
believed to underlie these effects.
In support of fi nding competition between
cues in an advertising situation, Van Osselaer
and Alba ( 2000 ) found that learning about one
characteristic of a brand (e.g., that the brand is
high quality) will result in poor subsequent
learning about more reliable information (see
Oxoby & Finnigan, 2007 for a discussion). Oxoby
and Finnigan ( 2007 ) point out that such an
advantage of fi rst-learned information means
that companies should be careful about the
initial messages that are delivered to consumers
since subsequent information may not be ade-
quately processed. They also address how “brand
extentions” may not receive adequate processing
for similar reasons. Indeed, Oxoby and Finnigan
found blocking not just for subsequently exposed
attributes about that same product but also
for related products.
Janiszewski and van Osselaer ( 2000 ) exam-
ined interactions among brand names and found
that such interactions between two different
brand names can occur during advertising. That
is, when a product has two brand names, a regu-
lar brand and a “subbrand,” associated with it
(e.g., a certain brand of ice cream with Hershey’s
chocolate mixed in). These researchers mention
that such interactions are consistent with con-
nectionist, least-mean-squares models (e.g., the
Rescorla-Wagner model, Rescorla & Wagner,
1972 ) of conditioning rather than models in
which associations are formed independently of
each other.
Van Osselaer and Janiszewski ( 2001 , as
reviewed by Oxoby & Finnigan, 2007 ) examined
the learning processes that underlie consumers’
processing according to the human associative
memory (HAM) model (Anderson & Bower,
1973 ) and adaptive network (AN) models. The
former model involves associations being
acquired independently, whereas AN models
allow for associations to compete (they are not
necessarily learned independently). Van Osselaer
and Janiszewski conclude that HAM models
describe performance when the participants do
not have a specifi c processing goal, whereas AN
models describe performance when the subject
does have a processing goal. Given their import
in conditioning theory, the effects of competi-
tion may receive more empirical attention in
the future.
Second-Order Conditioning
Second-order conditioning refers to the condi-
tioning that occurs to a target CS because that
CS was paired with another (nontarget) CS, and
this latter CS had been previously paired with
the US. That is, the target CS (CS
A
) is paired with
the US in the initial phase of the experiment
(CS
A
+ trials). Then, CS
X
is paired with CS
A
. Note
that CS
X
is never paired with the US, yet CS
X
produces a CR. Second-order conditioning is
held as evidence that contiguity between the CS
(CS
X
) and the US is not necessary to produce
conditioning. A similar procedure, sensory pre-
conditioning, is essentially the same as second-
order conditioning except that the two phases of
conditioning are reversed: CS
A
and CS
X
are
paired together fi rst (CS
A
CS
X
trials) and then
CS
A
is paired with the US (CS
A
+ ). As with
second-order conditioning, a CR occurs to CS
X
as a result of this procedure. Second-order con-
ditioning can be said to occur if one product is
paired with an attractive US (and the product
now becomes attractive). A second product
is then paired with the fi rst product and the
second product is now attractive because of its
association with the fi rst product.
Blair and Shimp ( 1992 ) obtained second-
order conditioning during an advertisement
experiment in which music (music served as the
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CS
A
, which was perceived as very neutral to the
participants at the start of the experiment) was
paired with an aversive US (an unpleasant, bor-
ing experience while reading a selection from a
certain textbook). Then CS
X
(a fi ctitious sports
brand) was paired with the music (CS
A
). First-
order conditioning to the music was found, and
second-order conditioning to the brand was
also obtained. That is, when subjects were tested
on their liking of the music (CS
A
) after it had
been paired with the aversive event (the US),
they found the music aversive. The subjects
also found the brand (CS
X
) aversive after it had
been paired with the music (CS
A
) a second-order
conditioning effect. Note that the brand itself
was never paired with the US (the aversive
event).
One major explanation for second-order
conditioning (and sensory preconditioning) is
that the subject forms an association between
the two CSs. CS
A
becomes associated directly
with the US. Cognitive conditioning theorists
will claim that, if an association between CS
A
and
the US is formed, the presentation of CS
A
will activate a representation of CS
A,
in the indi-
vidual’s memory network. The activation of this
representation (CS
A
) will cause, via the associa-
tion between CS
A
and the US, the US representa-
tion in memory to become activated. Since CS
A
and CS
X
are associated, when CS
X
is presented
after all phases of conditioning are completed, it
will be able to activate a representation of CS
A
due to the association between the CSs. The acti-
vation of CS
A
will cause activation of the US.
This indirect activation of the US when CS
X
is
exposed (i.e., via the CS
A
representation) is the
reason for the CR to CS
X
(see Pearce, 2008 for a
discussion). The implications of second-order
conditioning is that marketing professionals
may fi nd that associations are formed between
stimuli during ads and changing the value of one
of these stimuli may infl uence the value of the
other stimulus.
Effects of Contextual Cues
Many marketing researchers mention the impact
of contextual factors (e.g., Allen & Shimp, 1990 ;
Cohen, 1990 ), but what is meant by that term
varies greatly. We will view contextual cues the
way they are often viewed in conditioning exper-
iments: environmental cues, including mood
and circadian cues. Allen and Shimp ( 1990 )
pointed out that contextual cues can be critical
as determinants of the CR; and, given its import
in many conditioning theories and phenomena
(e.g., Balsam & Tomie, 1985 ), more experimen-
tal work needs to be done on contextual factors
and advertising.
Janiszewski and Warlop ( 1993 ) noted, as
mentioned earlier, that changes in the atten-
tional response or orienting response to a brand
or product may be context dependent such that,
even if the response has dissipated for a certain
product or brand, presentation of the item in a
new context (at the point of purchase) may
increase that orienting or attentional response.
Stammerjohan et al. ( 2005 ), as noted earlier,
mentioned that presenting information in more
than one context or modality would improve
memory and attitude change.
One interesting context effect in the condi-
tioning literature should be noted before we
move to the next section of this review.
“Comparator theories” of classical conditioning
(Gibbon & Balsam, 1981 ; Miller & Matzel, 1988 )
argue that the reason that long intertrial
intervals and short CS durations enhance condi-
tioning is due to a comparator process in which
the durations of CS exposure and context expo-
sure are compared. Conditioned responding is
greater to the extent that the CS duration is short
and the context duration (the intertrial interval)
is long; and it is poorer to the extent that the CS
duration is long and the contextual period is
short (Miller & Schachtman, 1985 ). So these
theories would predict that conditioning to an
ad will be greater if the session period (the
“period” in which the brand name is paired with
the US, which might be the entire ad itself) is
lengthened. Shorter CS (brand name) exposure
will also help conditioning. In sum, if the entire
commercial happens to serve as a “context” for
the CS (the presentation of the brand name)
then longer commercials might facilitate condi-
tioning. For instance, let’s assume that the ad
shows a person using a lawn mower of a particu-
lar brand (CS) and the commercial shows that
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using the mower leads to some happy outcome
(the US); that is, the person on the mower is
happy and his or her neighbors wave (they like
him or her, in part, because of the lawn mower).
If this “trial” is contained within a commercial
(context) and the trial is longer rather than
shorter, then conditioning to the brand may be
enhanced. Conversely, if the ad simply gives the
CS-US pairing in 10 seconds and that is the
extent of the commercial, then conditioning
may be poor (meaning many trials might be
needed to get conditioning), according to com-
parator theory. Hence, it could turn out to be
more lucrative to have a longer, albeit more
effective, commercial than a shorter commercial
that requires many exposures.
As another issue pertaining to the role of con-
text in advertising, Gordon ( 2001 ) mentions
“need states” as a context for the consumption
or purchase of products (e.g., coffee). Clearly,
researchers and marketing specialists need to
take contextual cues into consideration when
assessing the effi cacy of advertisements.
Cognition and Affect
Vakratsas and Ambler ( 1999 ) as well as many
other researchers (e.g., Stout & Rust, 1993 ) have
discussed the complex relationship between
cognitive processes, including beliefs and affec-
tive processes, during advertising. They refer to
“affect” and “cognition” as “intermediate effects”
in modeling the processing that occurs during
the viewing of an ad. The issue of “which comes
rst: emotion or cognition?” is as old as the
famous Cannon-Bard/James-Lang debate of a
century ago and other early debates in the litera-
ture exist (e.g., Lazarus, 1981 ; Zajonc, 1980 ).
Cohen ( 1990 ) assumes that affective traces must
be interpreted by the cognitive system before
they can become manifest in behavior. Vakratsas
and Ambler’s fi ne review article on models of
advertising show that there are many different
ways of conceptualizing the relationship between
affect and cognition (see also Cohen, 1990 ).
Among the many potential processes by
which conditioning might change behavior
following advertising, “affect transfer” and a
“change in beliefs” are two such mechanisms.
Kim et al. ( 1998 ) investigated the role of
forming beliefs as well as acquiring affective
properties of a product during advertising. They
reported that beliefs are not the entire story to
successful conditioning in that affective proper-
ties can also be transferred from the US to the
CS. The two effects are not mutually exclusive
during an advertising experience (see also Kim
et al., 1996 ; Lutz, 1978 ). Lutz ( 1978 ) claimed
that affect transfer is more likely when low
involvement occurs.
Kim et al. ( 1998 ) used a single conditioning
trial and obtained conditioning; they concluded
that only affect (not belief) could have been
responsible for the conditioning effect they
observed because, they claimed, the US they used
did not provide any belief-related information.
However, one could say that the participants
generated belief information on their own
through elaboration. Nonetheless, Kim et al.
concluded that multiple conditioning trials pro-
duce belief information in addition to the previ-
ously produced affect, and they stated that both
affect and belief can occur during advertising.
When they used multiple pairings, they found
that the size of the effects of these two processes
(affective and belief formation) were found to be
statistically indistinguishable from each other.
They concluded that the learning of affective
properties was stronger than the forming of cog-
nitive beliefs with a single trial but both processes
are equally infl uential with multiple trials. Kim
et al. discusses an article by Pechmann and
Stewart ( 1988 ) in which affective conditioning
occurred with fewer trials than cognitive-based
ads. Allen and Madden ( 1985 ) argue against
affect transfer as a mechanism of classical condi-
tioning effects during advertising effects.
Kroeber-Riel ( 1984 ) believed that classical con-
ditioning occurs without cognition, while stat-
ing that limiting cognitive processes during
classical conditioning is important. He may have
been assuming that conditioning would be worse
if such cognitive processes (such as awareness)
occurred, which we know to not be true because
cognition/awareness can enhance conditioning
(see next section). Kroeber-Riel also said that
cognitive responses are always accompanied
with emotional responses.
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Many researchers agree that noncognitive
processing of advertisements (suggesting less
involvement as will be discussed later) lead to
more positive evaluation of the ad than more
in-depth cognitive processing. Vakratsas and
Ambler ( 1999 ), when discussing advertising,
also pointed out that, according to some models,
the order in which cognitions, affective responses,
and memories for past experiences occur during
ad viewing depends on the level of involvement.
They also mention that “affect is relatively more
important in low involvement and nonelabora-
tive situations” and that “cognitive and affective
beliefs may occur independently in these cir-
cumstances” (see also Janiszewski, 1988 ). They
point out how hard it is to dissociate cognition
and affect; for instance, asking about feelings will
give rise to cognitive processes. This topic of
modeling of the processes that occur during ad
viewing is so complex that this terse sketch of the
issue hardly does it justice; but viewers are
encouraged to turn to the Vakratsas and Ambler
( 1999 ) review for much more detail about the
subject.
Evaluative Conditioning (as a Type of
Referential Learning) Versus Classical
Conditioning (Expectancy Learning)
and the Role of Awareness During
Advertisements
It is useful to distinguish between the implicit
and explicit processes that can underlie classical
conditioning, and the degree that conscious (or
nonconscious) and effortful (or noneffortful)
processing is involved (e.g., Baeyens, Crombez,
Van Bergh, & Esten, 1988 ; Dawson, Beers, &
Kelly, 1982 ; Gordon, 2001 ). Many possibilities
exist. A learning experience can involve aware-
ness or lack of awareness and may be effortful or
noneffortful. These types of processes can be
applied to the experience of association forma-
tion, as well as to the time of performance when
this learned information is used for behavior.
A stimulus can acquire an association with
another event automatically (i.e., without any
cognitive effort or awareness of the processes
involved) or explicitly (with awareness). This
stimulus can evoke the conditioned response
after such learning through an automatic,
implicit process or does so explicitly (i.e., the
subject is consciously aware that this stimulus
predicts an outcome stimulus and this awareness
promotes the CR).
Allen and Shimp ( 1990 ) correctly point out
that classical conditioning is often described as a
theoretical explanation of the changes in behav-
ior that can occur as a result of advertising
(rather than as a procedure). Classical condi-
tioning is the mechanism that is usually associ-
ated with the processing of ads with
low-involvement products. This theoretical
explanation usually makes assumptions about
the processes that underlie such learning; that is,
they assume the conditioning is a noncognitive
process and it might be assumed that the process
is implicit and automatic. However, these
authors (p. 22) also point out that awareness
during classical conditioning is possible and can
even be expected during such conditioning.
Kahle et al. ( 1987 ) claim that conditioning
theory requires that classical conditioning in
adults occurs without awareness. Although, as
Kahle et al. point out, conditioning was discov-
ered and developed by early researchers with
such a view in mind, it seems bold and errone-
ous to make such a claim in the 1980s. Kahle
et al. also mention that awareness during condi-
tioning “implies that participants grasp the
nature of the hypotheses of the study” [italics
added]. Although awareness can give rise to
knowledge of the hypothesis, this implication is
a bold assumption. Other researchers (e.g.,
Brewer, 1974 ) have claimed that awareness is
necessary for conditioning.
Allen and Janiszewski ( 1989 ) found that
contingency awareness existed when condition-
ing occurred in an advertising situation, suggest-
ing that conditioning may not occur without
awareness. The nonaware participants did show
a small conditioning effect in their initial experi-
ment, and so their data are not unequivocal
with respect to the role of awareness on condi-
tioning. Priluck and Till ( 2004 ) found that aware-
ness of the contingency in an ad increased the
degree of conditioning. Bierley et al. ( 1985 ) found
conditioning of colors paired with attractive
music; and awareness increased conditioning
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but conditioning did not require it. Shimp,
Stuart, and Engle ( 1991 ) found that awareness
increased conditioning as well.
Baeyens and colleagues, albeit not using an
advertising situation, have found that evaluative
conditioning in humans, a type of conditioning
that seems quite related to advertising effects
since outcomes are used to modify the attitude
toward a stimulus, is not dependent on contin-
gency awareness (see Chapter 18, this volume).
Baeyens et al. ( 1988 ) provided evidence that
evaluative conditioning is retained for at least a
2-month period and is resistant to extinction.
Extinction refers to the typical loss in condi-
tioned responding when the CS is now presented
without the CS following the original condition-
ing (pairings of the CS and the US). Baeyens and
De Houwer and colleagues have discussed the
difference between signal learning and evalua-
tive conditioning (the latter is also assumed to
be a form of referential learning). Expectancy
learning involves a cue that predicts or signals
the presence or absence of an outcome, and an
expectancy regarding this outcome is produced.
This theoretically defi ned form of learning cor-
responds to Pavlovian conditioning or classical
conditioning. In referential learning, the CS
makes one think (consciously or unconsciously)
of the outcome without activating an expectancy
of the US (see De Houwer et al., 2001 ).
It may be valuable to map various advertising
effects onto these processes; that is, is the pro-
cessing that occurs during ad exposure more like
expectancy learning or referential learning? The
current and published work on contingency
awareness during ad viewing may begin to
answer these questions. It is easy to imagine a
larger wave of assent for a referential learning
view of ad processing than a signal learning view.
Nonetheless, I can imagine many young adults
claiming quite consciously that they expect to
have a good time when they are drinking Bud
Lite. Bud Lite signals a good time. These conclu-
sions could be the results of experience with Bud
Lite or the result of viewing ads, or both. But
referential learning also seems quite common in
low-involvement advertising effects, and many
would claim that explicit awareness of the con-
tingency is not needed for such effects. Baeyens
et al. ( 1988 ) also dissociated expectancy learning
from referential learning in that signal learning
may be less resistant to extinction.
Refl ecting on Brewer’s conclusion that
explicit knowledge about the relationship
between a CS and a US can infl uence the CR, we
agree with the conclusion of McSweeney and
Bierley ( 1984 ) that just because manipulation of
awareness can infl uence conditioning does not
necessarily mean that awareness is necessary.
Awareness of the contingency appears to enhance
conditioning, but it is likely not necessary
for conditioning to occur. It is our suggestion
that the referential-signal learning distinction
is an extremely important one (see also the
Introduction to Reilly & Schachtman, 2009 ), but
that implicit and explicit processes can apply
to both of them (depending on the circum-
stances). One very promising approach that
mirrors much of the research in animal condi-
tioning and human cognition is work that
attempts to empirically dissociate different pro-
cesses that might be producing an effect. Such
research makes predictions that one outcome
of the experiment will occur if one theoretical
process is at work while another outcome will
occur if the alternative process is infl uencing the
subjects. This approach was pursued by
Janiszewski and Warlop ( 1993 ).
PERSONALITY AND INDIVIDUAL
DIFFERENCE VARIABLES
This section will review a few characteristics of
the individual that can affect the infl uence of
conditioning during advertising. Many advertis-
ing researchers mention in their reports that
they acknowledge individual differences among
people with respect to such effects; and, rather
than approaching an advertisement with a tabula
rasa, people are exposed to a trial while possess-
ing a history of experience as well as personality
differences and acquired biases and heuristics.
High Versus Low Involvement
Many marketing researchers have examined the
role of involvement during advertising.
Involvement is a concept initiated by Krugman
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( 1967 ), but there has been little agreement on
the defi nition of involvement (see, for example,
Burnkrant & Sawyer, 1983 ). Involvement can be
said to refer to the connections a person has with
the stimulus prior to the target experience of
interest. High involvement, of course, suggests a
stronger and qualitatively different set of con-
nections with the stimulus, which often means
that such a person might be interested in pur-
chasing the item. The defi nition of involvement
provided by Celsi and Olsen ( 1988 ) is the degree
of perceived personal relevance. Cohen ( 1990 )
describes high involvement as perceiving the
product as having a large number of perceived
benefi ts. Some individuals may have low involve-
ment for a particular product, brand, stimulus,
or US, whereas others may have high involve-
ment. Involvement can have a large impact on
conditioning.
Batra and Ray ( 1983 ) discovered that differ-
ent processes may result from exposure to adver-
tisements with low versus high involvement.
Specifi cally, low involvement results in simple
awareness (a low level of cognitive process),
which may result in action, but little affective
attitude change will result from the process;
whereas high involvement can results in aware-
ness, comprehension, action, and then affective
attitude change. Lutz (1988) stated that affect
transfer is higher when low involvement occurs.
Gardiner et al. ( 1985 ) provide an extensive
discussion of involvement. As mentioned earlier,
Gardiner et al. found that memory differences
occur for low- versus high-involvement process-
ing. Grossman ( 1996 ) found more conditioning
for highly involved participants. Priluck and
Till ( 2004 ) noted that highly involved subjects
will use belief information, whereas those low in
involvement may only be subject to affective
transfer. This point appears to confl ict with the
conclusions of Batra and Ray, who suggest that
beliefs are needed for affective transfer to occur.
Celsi and Olsen ( 1988 ) found that partici-
pants devote more attention to stimuli (brands)
if they have high involvement (i.e., described as
situational factors of the person’s environment
that contribute to personal relevance). A high
amount of a second type of involvement, “intrin-
sic involvement,” also resulted in a large amount
of time attending to the stimulus, but it did not
produce an independent source of attention
(based on other measures they looked at, see
Celsi & Olsen, 1988 ). Note that Celci and Olsen
found that greater involvement produced more
time attending to the information, whereas
Gardner et al. ( 1985 ) found that the noninvolved
group spent a longer time looking at each ad. It
should be pointed out that Gardner et al. had the
noninvolvement condition engaged in a mun-
dane but potentially demanding task in which
they had to look for grammatical, word-sound,
and conceptual features, which can explain why
this group looked at the ad such a long time.
Gardner et al. ( 1985 ) distinguish between
stages of processing based on low and high
involvement such that low involvement while
viewing advertisements involves basic, minimal
comprehension in which the basic meaning of
the elements in an ad are recognized (see also
Vakratsas & Ambler, 1999 ), whereas high
involvement produces elaboration such that
internally generated information occurs. They
discussed the issue of distraction during ad pre-
sentation, noting it can produce more favorable
brand attitudes because distraction requires
attention that disrupts elaborative processes
(such as the production of counterarguments).
If you are not interested in purchasing the prod-
uct, then you may not engage in elaboration, but
purchase-oriented individuals will elaborate and
make inferences, and associate these inferences
with the product (and counterarguments may
arise).
Gorn ( 1982 , Experiment 2) examined sub-
jects that were in a non-decision-making context
(e.g., what can be considered eliciting low
involvement) and those in a decision-making
context with respect to their relative sensitivity
to background cues (i.e., music) and to product
information. Gorn found that non-decision-
making participants were most infl uenced by the
music, whereas decision makers (more involved)
were most infl uenced by the information
provided.
Some additional points about involvement
will be made in the following text, but we will
not have printed space to be able to elaborate on
these issues at this time. Bruner ( 1990 ) discusses
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a fact likely well known to marketing researchers
some items elicit more cognitive involvement
than others for most people. For instance,
items with high cognitive involvement include
appliances and vehicles, whereas low cognitive
involvement occurs for other products such
as jewelry and beer (and Vakratsas & Ambler,
1999 noted that frequently purchased packaged
goods often induce low involvement). Complex
ads require inferences that use cognitive elabora-
tive analysis and high-involvement occurs (see
Vakratsas & Ambler, 1999 for a discussion).
Alternatively, it has been said that simple condi-
tioning effects stem from less complex ads, such
ads will be processed without elaborative cogni-
tive evaluation, and lower involvement will
occur (Petty, Cacioppo, & Schumann, 1983 ).
Vakratsas and Ambler stated that with low
involvement, “advertising merely serves to rein-
force behavior rather than causing it” and that
“the ‘weak theory’ of advertising (Jones, 1990 )
is similar to operant, or instrumental, condition-
ing .” This article mentions that, according
to one model (the IIRM model), ads infl uence
low-involvement situations by increasing aware-
ness via lower order beliefs and introducing
uncertainty, such that experience with the prod-
uct will resolve the uncertainty and allow the
expectations to be confi rmed or not. Higher
order beliefs occur with high-involvement prod-
ucts or after many purchases of a product (but
note that frequent purchases may produce low-
involvement interactions with the product even
if higher order beliefs exist).
Need for Cognition
Priluck and Till ( 2004 ) examined the role of
“need for cognition” on advertising. Need for
cognition (Cacioppo & Petty, 1982 ) is a person-
ality construct in which individuals enjoy think-
ing about events and engaging in diffi cult
cognitive processes. Priluck and Till found that
individuals with high need for cognition showed
the greatest conditioning during advertisements,
and they recalled the information better later.
They stated that these participants were more
likely, due to their extra thought processing, to
be aware of the pairing of the events. Priluck and
Trill also suggested ways that one can inspire
other individuals to engage in such extra pro-
cessing: (1) pay them for paying attention;
(2) tell them that they will be questioned about
the material later; or (3) make the information
relevant to their lives so they are motivated to
process the information. Perhaps related to high
need for cognition, Cohen ( 1990 ) discussed
the dimension of “cognitive complexity” and
research fi ndings by Zinkhan and Martin ( 1983 )
that those individuals that are high in cognitive
complexity preferred more complex ads (and
those low in cognitive complexity prefer simple
ads) and so the adage that “simple ads are always
better” may not always hold true (see Cohen,
1990 ).
The Role of Prior Belief
Many marketing researchers (e.g., Kim et al.,
1998 ; Stammerjohan et al., 2005 ) note that an
individual possesses prior beliefs about a prod-
uct and this can greatly infl uence the individual’s
current assessment of the product when viewing
an ad. Vakratsas and Ambler ( 1999 , p.27) remind
us that: “ the consumer’s mind is not a blank
sheet awaiting advertising but rather already
contains conscious and unconscious memories
of product purchasing and usage. Thus, behav-
ior feeds back to experience Stammerjohan
et al. ( 2005 ) point out that individuals that
already have opinions about a familiar product
do not always process new information very
effectively.
When analyzing the relationship between
two types of information the current “situa-
tional data” in the present advertisement and
the data from past experience we cannot help
but allude to Alloy and Tabachnik’s ( 1984 )
article on the relationship between these types
of information. Like the conclusions of many
marketing researchers, this article points out
how infl uential previously acquired knowledge
can be for the processing of current information;
they discuss many of the learning phenomena
mentioned in this review, including latent inhi-
bition, blocking, and the US preexposure effect.
However, we wish to point two opposing pro-
cesses that highlight this interaction between
past and current information. On the one hand,
there are a lot of data showing that individuals
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(relatively speaking) disregard current data
because of knowledge that has already been
acquired. On the other hand, effects such as the
“hindsight bias” (see Hawkins & Hastie, 1990 )
show that subjects exposed to contemporaneous
events (e.g., the outcome of an election) will bias
their past processing greatly in favor of making
that event fi t into their existing schema. Hence,
if Candidate A wins the election, people will
distort their own history to convince themselves
(erroneously) that they predicted Candidate A
would win “all along.” Future research should
isolate which variables determine when current
data are weighed so heavily that they result in
the transformation of existing data in memory
(e.g., hindsight bias) and when current data are
more or less neglected because of the strong
infl uence of previously acquired knowledge (e.g.,
blocking, latent inhibition).
CONCLUSION
As most marketing researchers know, certain
factors have been found to have a large impact
on the effectiveness of advertising, including
(1) the degree of involvement; (2) the temporal
placement of the brand name during the ad;
(3) the use of music; (4) the relationship between
product information and affective qualities; and
(5) the extent that the processing during an ad is
implicit (occurs without awareness) or explicit
(occurs with awareness), to name just a few.
Given that many (or most ads) involve a classical
conditioning procedure, it is not surprising that
these processes are also critical in the fi eld of
conditioning theory per se and they also illus-
trate how conditioning theory can shed light on
the processing of ads.
As a fi nal note, we wish to point out three
additional issues in conditioning research that
might offer interest for marketing researchers.
These three conditioning phenomena are, in our
opinion, among the more recent and fascinating
areas of such work. First, marketing researchers
should be aware that conditioning can occur for
cues that are not present on a particular condi-
tioning trial. For example, if two CSs are associ-
ated (CS
A
and CS
B
) and two other events are
associated (CS
C
and the US), if CS
A
and CS
C
are
presented, then CS
B
and the US can become
associated since CS
A
will activate the representa-
tion of CS
B
and CS
C
will activate a representation
of the US. Hence, the representations of CS
B
and
the US will be contiguously active in memory.
Research has found many instances in which CSs
that are not present on a trial are changed in
their associative strength (Dickinson & Burke,
1996 ; Holland & Wheeler, 2009 ; Van Hamme &
Wasserman, 1994 ). Such outcomes, sometimes
called “representation-mediated conditioning”
are an important and exciting area of condition-
ing research and may apply to a brand that is not
even present during an ad.
Secondly, many instances in which an indi-
vidual shows no evidence of having acquired
information are cases in which the information
has been acquired but is not retrieved or per-
formed due to lack of motivation or poor retriev-
ability of the information (Lewis, 1979 ; Miller
et al., 1986 ; Tolman & Honzik, 1930 ; Warrington
& Weiskrantz, 1968 ). Many of the phenomena
discussed in this chapter (blocking, latent inhibi-
tion, overshadowing) in which a relatively poor
CR is observed have been shown to be due to a
retrieval problem rather than a lack of acquisi-
tion of the association (Miller et al., 1986 ).
Hence, marketing researchers may value know-
ing that if few trials are used (or a brief stimulus
presentation) and that causes the individual to
show little evidence of a change in attitude,
acquisition of such a change in attitude or affect
might have occurred although it is not expressed.
Certain tests can be used to show that process-
ing did occur in the past even though it is not
presently manifest in behavior.
The effects reported in this chapter illustrate
the ways in which conditioning and marketing
can benefi t from the interdisciplinary confl uence
of fi ndings and theories. As mentioned in this
chapter, D’Souza and Rao ( 1995 ) describe two
different models of information processing: an
accumulation model and a replacement model
(see Stewart, 1989 ). The accumulation model
claims that new information is acquired along-
side of the old information, and it is the relative
strength of the new and old responses that deter-
mine which will be expressed. A view of perfor-
mance defi cits that focuses on retrievability will
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likely claim that new information is acquired
along with old information, but the less seem-
ingly adaptive information will be poorly
retrieved and other, more adaptive information
will be better retrieved (Miller et al., 1986 ).
Indeed, newly acquired information can com-
pete for retrievability with the earlier learned
information. Hence, associations compete for
retrievability and the relative retrievability of the
cues/brands will determine which are expressed
in behavior.
Finally, as noted earlier, brand competition
effects during an ad have begun to be explored
by advertising researchers (Janiszewski & van
Osselaer, 2000 ; van Osselaer & Alba, 2000 ;
van Osselaer & Janiszewski, 2001 ). Moreover,
van Osselaer and Janiszewski ( 2001 ) also exam-
ined a conditioning phenomenon often referred
to in the conditioning literature as “retrospective
revaluation” or, as van Osselaer and Janiszewski
called it, “backlooking learning.” This phenom-
enon involves competition between features or
brands (CS
A
and CS
B
) such that one brand or
product (CS
A
) is dominant in getting control
over the participant’s behavior (e.g., purchas-
ing power or attention or memory) as a result
of the ad. Then, subsequently, this brand or
feature has its status changed such that it loses
value (the feature or product becomes less
credible or less interesting). When this happens,
even without any additional presentations of the
other brand (CS
B
), this alternative brand or
product is increased in its status. That is, CS
B
now is improved in its ability to infl uence the
person’s performance, even though it had not
been presented between the viewing of the ad
and the fi nal assessment of this behavioral
control (i.e., only CS
A
was manipulated). The
competition between cues can be infl uenced
by the later change in status of one cue, and
this will infl uence the other cue. This fi nding,
retrospective revaluation, has been very impact-
ful in the human contingency judgment litera-
ture as well as in animal conditioning; and
van Osselaer and Janiszewski ( 2001 ) were the
rst to examine its potential in an advertis-
ing situation (see also Chapters 1 and 8, this
volume, for additional discussion or examples
of this effect).
There are many ways that the fi elds of condi-
tioning and marketing potentiate each others’
ndings and theories. Many additional condi-
tioning phenomena have been and will continue
to be applied to an advertising setting (e.g., Till
& Priluck, 2000 and its application to brand
extensions) for the mutual benefi t of both
elds.
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