Latent Inhibition in Advertising

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The concept of latent inhibition formally means, "difficulty in establishing classical conditioning to a conditioned stimulus we've repeatedly experienced... without the unconditioned stimulus"(Lilienfeld pg. 208). In other words, this means that if there is a stimulus that had little significance to us in the past then it will probably take more time for that stimulus to acquire more meaning compared to a brand new stimulus. This phenomena is basically saying it is hard to break norms that we have already known.

Perhaps this is a phenomena that can be applied to the Advertising world. Marketers come up with thousands of new advertisements and commercials throughout the year and each of them is pushing a single product. Specifically in commercials there is usually always background music that can become associated with the product being advertised. Because of Latent Inhibition, these songs are chosen instead of sounds that we hear every day, like the air conditioner, or even the flushing of a toilet. If these were sounds that were in the background, then it would be more difficult to become classically conditioned to the product. By choosing a perhaps more new and exciting song, or noise, the product is easier to become conditioned to.

Psychologists are found in any marketing agency and I think that this is especially important for consumers to be aware of. Psychologists know how people think and how they react. They know exactly how to get consumers to by the products they want them to. But by becoming aware of this fact, it is easier to distinguish what a commercial is actually trying to sell you and how.

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This page contains a single entry by berg2177 published on October 23, 2011 7:29 PM.

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