Psychological Processes and Advertising Effects: Theory, Research, and Applications

By Linda F. Alwitt; Andrew A. Mitchell | Go to book overview

tions to the moment-by-moment flow of events within television commercials.

In Chapter 8, Anderson discusses how people process television programs on a moment-by-moment basis, based on ten years of monitoring people watching television both in the laboratory and in their own homes. He discusses their viewing behavior as well as three principles that seem to determine attention to television.

All of us would agree that a viewer's responses to on-going events in a commercial are controlled by the brain. In Chapter 9, Alwitt relates the electrical activity of the brain (EEG) to the presence of events such as brand mention, zooms, or music in commercials. Despite the complexity of brain activity, individual differences among people's backgrounds and needs, and the limits imposed by a new experimental area of research where there are few guidelines, relationships were found between the commercial content and EEGs.

Involvement of a person with ongoing events, with an object, and with characteristics of an object are aspects of a somewhat vague concept that plays an increasingly central role in theories of persuasion. Indeed, many of the papers in this volume discuss one or another aspect of involvement. Part IV includes three papers that concentrate on different aspects of the concept of involvement. In Chapter 10, Greenwald and Leavitt define involvement in terms of the amount of attention devoted to an advertising message. They argue that involvement with advertising increases as one moves from focal attention to comprehension to elaboration and that different advertising objectives require different levels of involvement in order to be optimally effective.

Another aspect of involvement is how products and brands fit into the lives of the people who buy them. Four types of product users are characterized in terms of how they relate to products by Cushing and Douglas-Tate in Chapter 11. They also demonstrate that these four types of product users respond differently to advertising.

Still another way of considering involvement is how people relate products to their values, motivations and lifestyles in making consumer decisions. Reynolds, Gutman, and Fiedler, in Chapter 12, analyze "laddering," a consumer research methodology for relating product attributes to a consumer's values. By examining product preferences and the perceived importance of reasons for buying a product, they conclude that, because laddering taps basic values as well as attributes and benefits to the user, it has an advantage over techniques such as conjoint measurement or multi-dimensional scaling in developing advertising strategies.


REFERENCES

Chaiken, S. ( 1980). "Heuristic versus systematic information processing and the use of source versus message cues in persuasion". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39, 752-766.

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