Consumer Memory, Fluency, and Familiarity [chapter]

Antonia Mantonakis, Bruce W. A. Whittlesea, Carolyn Yoon
Handbook of Consumer Psychology  
Th e systematic study of consumer behavior is heavily infl uenced by theories and paradigms from memory research, as the behavior of the consumer is largely infl uenced by prior experiences. Th e distinction is oft en drawn between memory-based, stimulus-based (all relevant information is physically present at the time of judgment or choice), and mixed (a combination of memory-based and stimulus-based) decisions (Lynch & Srull, 1982) . However, purely stimulus-based decisions are relatively
more » ... are relatively rare; most consumer decisions are necessarily dependent on memory and thereby range from the purely memory-based to mixed (Alba, Hutchinson, & Lynch, 1991) . Given the importance of memory in consumer research, it behooves us periodically to take stock of the contemporary theories of memory and consider their assumptions and implications. To that end, we aim in this chapter to provide a review of the dominant accounts of memory and the way they have shaped our understanding of consumer behavior in the past two decades. We discuss the advances that have been made as well as some areas of potential concern. Specifi cally, we frame the review and discussion vis-à-vis an alternative account of memory, the SCAPE framework, developed by Bruce Whittlesea and his colleagues (e.g., Whittlesea, 1997) . In addition, we off er some suggestions and future directions for research on consumer memory. MEMORY Memory is the record of our personal past. As such, it is useful for remembering. But memory is also much more than that: it also involves the capacity to learn, to be infl uenced by prior experience, and to behave diff erently in the future as a consequence of an experience. Memory is the controller of all acquired human behavior, including speech, conceptual knowledge, skilled activities, social interactions, and consumer preferences. To achieve a true understanding of any aspect of human behavior, it is therefore essential to have an eff ective theory of memory. Haugtvedt_ER5603X_C003.indd 77 Haugtvedt_ER5603X_C003.indd 77
doi:10.4324/9780203809570.ch3 fatcat:5onhkcis3jaapbvyaumndt4fli