How We Develop Preferences?

29 Jun 2005 (Wed)

From Elearningpost, June 27, 2005:

“This is a wonderful explanation for why we prefer some items over others. This can have some learning design implications. The finding: We prefer items that we ‘remember’, rather than that we ‘know’. So, what’s the difference between ‘remembering’ and ‘knowing’?

“When we ‘know’ something, we’re completely aware of its existence, but we don’t recall the specific instance when we learned of it. When we ‘remember,’ we’re recalling a particular occasion.”

“To put it simply, if we have story to tell about the item, we are inclined to prefer it. Not a bad marketing mantra if you think about it.”

Strange. Wouldn’t it be the other way round? When we like something, we are impressed by it and so we remember it? Could the researchers be inverting the symptom (remembering) and the cause (preference)?

GETTING lazy. Just quoting some interesting posts of others and then commenting on them. Originally wanted to post my comment on Elearningpost, but comments are not allowed for its news items.

From what i’ve learnt last semester, there is a concept in social psychology which suggests that the probability of liking someone or something increases with familiarity. This does not always happen, but it can happen quite often. Sometimes, “familiarity breeds contempt”. Remember this proverb?

But “we prefer something because we remember it”? This could become a convenient excuse for marketing folks to persuade advertisers to put in more money into their ads. But remember how we can get so very irritated by songs or products that are advertised incessantly? Maybe there’s an optimal balance in exposure somewhere.

In any case, i can think of songs which i ::like:: very much and whose lyrics/title i can’t remember. The reverse is true for me too — i can also think of songs which i ::dislike:: very much and whose lyrics/melody i can remember.

(Note: i read Elearningpost regularly because i’ve found the information there very interesting and useful most of the time.)

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Posted by J.K. in Cognitive, Problems, Psychology, Research | View Comments |

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