Cognition, Reasoning, and Choosing
The topic of information processing is immense. It is often construed to include perception, learning, and memory. A distinction has been drawn between information processing (which is assumed to be cognition) and an affective choice mode (Mittal, 1988). We can see this in advertising where two appeals based either on cognition or on affect have developed. The predominately affective approach is called “value-expressive” after Katz (1960) and involves image more than function. It taps into psychological needs that people have, particularly self-image that we explore in chapter 10. The more cognitive approach is usually termed “utilitarian,” again after Katz, and involves the presentation of information about product benefits and attributes. Which approach is the more effective depends on a number of factors we shall consider, but primarily on the type of product and the attention or involvement of the audience (Johar and Sirgy, 1991).
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