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Brain Sci. 2019 May 10;9(5). pii: E106. doi: 10.3390/brainsci9050106.

Can Evaluative Conditioning Change Well-Established Attitudes Towards Popular Brands? Your Brain Says Yes Even Though Your Mouth Says No.

Author information

1
School of Psychology, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Callaghan NSW 2308, Australia. shannon.bosshard@uon.edu.au.
2
Department Marketing, Vienna University of Economics and Business, 1020 Vienna, Austria. monika.koller@wu.ac.at.
3
School of Psychology, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Callaghan NSW 2308, Australia. peter.walla@webster.ac.at.
4
CanBeLab, Department of Psychology, Webster Vienna Private University, 1020 Vienna, Austria. peter.walla@webster.ac.at.

Abstract

In the present study, using both implicit and explicit measures, we addressed the issue of whether strongly developed relationships towards brands could be modified through the use of evaluative conditioning. Using an online survey, individual participant brand lists were created, and formed the basis of this experiment. Participants were then exposed to conditioning during a longitudinal study. Throughout the experiment, a combination of explicit and implicit measures was used to assess changes in attitude. Specifically, participants were asked to rate the brand names on a Likert-type scale. Simultaneously, changes in the brains electrical activity in response to the brands were recorded via electroencephalography (EEG). Upon completion of this task, participants underwent two Implicit Association Tests (IAT; one for liked brands and one for disliked brands). There were two main findings of this study. Firstly, no significant changes in attitude were observed via the use of explicit measures, and those that were found relating to the IAT were regarded as questionable. Secondly, EEG presented consistent results which showed that conditioning elicited changes in cortical activity towards both liked and disliked brands, which suggest it may be a useful tool in measuring the impact of evaluative conditioning that is not reflected in verbal responses.

KEYWORDS:

brain imaging; brand attitude; neuroconsulting; triangulation

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