The decisions a consumer makes to purchase a product and services are based on a process of learning. Learning is the process each person absorbs and retains information and/or skills (2000). It is a process based on newly acquired knowledge and past personal experience. Both newly acquired knowledge and personal experience lead consumers to future behavior in similar situations. Among all researches and studies of consumer learning, there're two major branches: behavioral learning theories and cognitive learning theories.
Behavioral Learning Theories
Behavioral learning theories are sometimes called stimulus-response theories, explaining an association between a stimulus and a response (2000). In the context of consumer behavior, the result of this association is a change in the consumer's behavior toward a product or service. For example, the consumer might develop an association between drinking the beverage and the satisfaction of thirst. This is associate may lead the consumers to be more likely to use the product in the future.
Various principles are included in behavioral learning theories, such as classical conditioning, instrumental conditioning, and modeling/observational learning. Here modeling/observational learning will be further examined.
Modeling/observational learning exams the capacity of humans to learn through the observation of others and results of someone else's behavior (2000). Some observational learning can occur under instrumental conditioning. For example, if a child was grounded for not passing the class, another child observer would be less likely to fail the class. In many cases, observational learning happens because the role models have some traits such as appearance, accomplishment, skill that observer admires (2000), and often it result in positive consumer behavior.
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