Perception – Perceptio (Latin) =reception, understanding, insight. Getting to know the world around us by making use of all senses. Perception does not refer solely to the sense of sight (as is commonly thought) but also to hearing, smell, and taste. Perception is more than just the engagement of one or more senses; it is strongly influenced by factors such as experience, attention, attitude, frame of reference, and needs: they collectively determine what is being perceived and how. The perception of an identical situation may differ (considerably) for two people (eye witnesses). For example: someone with fondness for automobiles sees different things in an automobile showroom than that person who has no interest in automobiles. See also: Gestalt laws/Gestalt/Interest
Perceptual Mapping – A geometric representation of an object’s attributes – for example, a product brand as perceived by respondents. Gaps between “maps” of different brands and the ideal product may serve as a guide for the development of new products. See also: Development research
Psychology of Perception – An area of study within psychology, involving all forms and aspects of perception. See also: Perception
Selective Perception – A principle of perception. It is impossible to perceive everything in our immediate environment. For this reason everyone selects and sifts, and only such objects as seem familiar, pleasant and in accordance with our existing attitudes, expectations and experiences are perceived. See also: Perception/ Attitude
Stimulus Threshold – Syn: Threshold The minimum level of energy required to perceive a stimulus. Below this minimum no stimuli can be perceived. The minimum varies from person to person. It is also dependent on a variety of environmental factors, such as surroundings, weather, darkness. See also: Psychophysics/Subliminal perception
Subception – Syn: Subliminal perception See: Subliminal perception
Subliminal Perception – Syn: Subception Perception below the stimulus threshold; the perception of images that cannot be perceived. The stimuli are too weak in intensity to permit perception; they are, nevertheless, perceived. It is not as yet clear whether this phenomenon does actually exist or whether it has been identified as a consequence of experimental error. See also: Perception/Stimulus threshold/Subliminal Advertising
Threshold – Syn: Stimulus Threshold See: Stimulus Threshold
Von Restorff-effect Syn: Isolation Effect The phenomenon in which a stimulus that does not belong or fit into a specific sequence draws particular attention. For example: a number placed between a variety of letters (a, c, d, 3, g, h).
Abundancy Drive – That motivation that involves the gratification of needs, the search for pleasures and delights. For example: the desire for tasty food, a vacation, attending a concert. See also: Hedonistic theories/Deficiency motives/Motivation
Deficiency Motives – that motivation that is directed at the removal or termination of specific deficiencies or problems -the avoidance of hunger. See also: Hedonistic theories/Abundancy drive/Motivation
Dynamic Psychology – Umbrella term for variety of psychological disciplines concerning the causes and effects of behavior (motives) -for example, psychoanalysis.
Hedonistic Theories (Pleasure principle) Hedonism: A philosophy that proposes that pleasure is the goal for which man strives. Collective term for a group of theories that have in common the view that man is stimulated to activity because he strives for whatever is pleasant and avoids whatever is unpleasant. See also: Motivation
Hierarchy of Needs (Maslow) – Well known motivation theory by the American psychologist Maslow (1908-1072). He distinguishes between five levels of motivation in man. Only when a lower level has been gratified can a higher level become effective as a motivator for behavior.
These levels are (from low to high):
- psychological needs (the alleviation of hunger, the quenching of thirst)
- the need for safety and security
- the need to affiliate (desire to belong to something, love, tenderness)
- the need for status, prestige, success
- the need for self-actualization (self-development).
For example: someone who is hungry (level 1) is not concerned with status or prestige (level 4).
Even though this theory appears plausible, very little research has thus far been carried out to determine its validity. See also: Motivation/Face-validity
Level of Aspiration – The height of one’s personal future achievement according to one’s own expectations. For example: the aspiration to own a house within 5 years, become a millionaire, obtain a degree. A level set too high results in frustration.
Motivation – Often used, but difficult to define, term in psychology and marketing research. See also: Motivation Research
- The total of motives active at any given moment.
- The extent to which (some) motives are active at a specific moment.
Motive – The underlying reason(s) for an idea, plan, purchase, etc. This reason may be logical but not necessarily so. It is a vague, but often used, term. See also: Motivation research
Need – A vague but frequently used concept. What is the need of man, of the consumer? Is it food? Bread? Poppy-seed bread? Toast with caviar? The “needs” of the consumer are closely related to price, availability (distribution), competition from other products (substitution), as well as a variety of personal and social factors. See also: Hierarchy of needs (Maslow)/Motivation
Value System -The collective values that a person or organization holds or considers important.
Zeigarnik Effect – Effect described by the psychologist Zeigarnik. As a rule, we find it difficult and irksome not to compete a task once we have started it; we prefer to complete an assignment. Unfinished tasks are remembered better than those we finish, precisely for the reason that completion of the task was interrupted.