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Classical Conditioning of Preferences for Stimuli

Calvin Bierley, Frances K. McSweeney and Renee Vannieuwkerk
Journal of Consumer Research
Vol. 12, No. 3 (Dec., 1985), pp. 316-323
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/254376
Page Count: 8
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Classical Conditioning of Preferences for Stimuli
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Abstract

Several authors have recently discussed the implications of classical conditioning for consumer behavior (e.g., McSweeney and Bierley 1984; Nord and Peter 1980). However, little empirical evidence actually shows that classical conditioning can alter behaviors that are of interest to consumer research. The present experiment provides some initial evidence that it can. In this experiment, preference ratings for stimuli that predicted pleasant music were significantly greater than preference ratings for stimuli that predicted the absence of music. These preferences also generalized to other stimuli that resembled the ones actually used.

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