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Although some memories remain veritable and intact from the original experience, many memories are inextricably mixed up with post-analysis and interpretation. Furthermore, the authors examine psychological literature for information on memory processing, noting that false memories and actual reproductive memories activate the same brain regions and are therefore processed similarly. However, research shows that when people recognize the falseness of the memory at the time of encoding, they will process the cues differently. The researchers designed the present study based on these prior researches. Furthermore, the current study hearkens to advertising literature in general, which investigates the impact of ads on consumer behavior. The authors note that the retroactive impact of advertising has been studied far less than the proactive impact of advertising and therefore the present study can fill gaps in the literature and offer impetus for conducting future studies.
2. The psychological concepts discussed center on memory: both the creation of memory and memory retrieval. In particular, the authors investigate the differences between reconstructive and reproductive memory; the differences between verbal and pictorial cues in the triggering of either false or true memories; and the impact that awareness of false cues might have on the processing of memory. The marketing concepts discussed include the relevance of memory on the consumer's perception of a product; the potential of advertising to be retroactive; and altering the consumer's attitudes toward products he or she already had experiences with. Product slippage, brand recognition, and other marketing terms are discussed.
2a. The current study applies directly to real-world concepts and experiences because all persons are exposed to advertising in some form or another. While the current research focuses exclusively on the impact of print advertising on consumer perceptions of products, the study can be extended in the future to examine the impact of television or radio-only advertising. Furthermore, the current research can extend beyond the realm of consumer-related advertising to the world of politics and political propaganda, media literacy, and general concepts related to memory and especially to false memory.
2b. The authors' model for the study include Disney print advertisements. In all three experiments used in the study, respondents viewed a print advertisement purportedly for Disney. The false Disney ads contained Bugs bunny, while the true ones contained Mickey Mouse.
3a,b, c. The current study employs three separate experiments. For Experiment 1, the respondents were 66 undergraduate students, 32 female, 34 male, from a large Northwestern University; their average age was 21. They were assigned to one of two conditions randomly: either a true or a false advertisement for Disney. Data was collected via questionnaire, in which the respondents answered questions related to the ads. The ads were autobiographical in nature and contained a vignette. Data was collected from the questionnaire results and analyzed by coding the responses. For Experiment 2, the respondents were one hundred undergraduate students, 56 female and 44 male, from a large Southeastern University. They were assigned to one of three groups: verbal-only ad, picture-only ad, and combination of picture and verbal ad. All three advertisements were false because this study was designed to measure which was more conducive to the creation of false memory. Procedures for data collection and analysis were similar to Experiment 1. For Experiment 3, the respondents were one hundred and ten undergraduates at a large Southeastern University: 53 female, 57 male. For this experiment, respondents participated in computer-assisted and written tests that were analyzed using basic post-hoc statistical analyses.
4. The concepts discussed by the authors in the article include reproductive memory, which refers to the retrieval of factual information; and reconstructive memory, which refers to the tendency of a person to recreate memories based on a combination of actual experience and interpretation. Reconstructive memories can be called "false memories" when the person incorrectly "remembers" events that never actually occurred. In psychological literature, much attention has been given to the relevance of false memory in retrieving memory of painful childhood events like sexual abuse.
5. The current study illuminates an area of advertising rich with potential. Advertising can powerfully mold a person's thoughts and emotions, and can even be used to create false memories of a product. One of the greatest challenge for the advertiser is…[continue]
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