Classical conditioning involves a learning process that associates environmental inducements with naturally occurring stimuli. Advertisers and Politicians should not use classical conditioning to influence thoughts and behaviors because it is spontaneous, and individuals have no control over it. They are likely to manipulate consumers and voters’ minds for their benefit. Psychologists believe that similar techniques used on dogs could work on persons. As a result, the advertisers who believe in this make their ads more appealing to influence human beings. Sellers use words, incentives, diagrams, among others, to promote and convince consumers, hence rendering shoppers involuntary to their incentives.
The Use of Classical Conditioning by Politicians
Politicians alongside Western Media have been using classical conditioning daily. They have managed to associate Muslims with terrorism, maiming, and killings (Malik, 2017). Further, leaders have also used framed tactics and rhetoric to instill people with anger, fear, and disgust so that to gain control over them. Public officials have driven the issue far to the extent that every symbol linked to Islamic is under inquiry (Malik, 2017). Therefore, society should be aware of involuntary learning behavior and inclination.
Moreover, propaganda is a common form of classical conditioning used by politicians. For instance, the state can create a slogan, such as the “American Dream,” which they use to attack the opposition as the one derailing the achievement of this goal or even create a big scandal that generates voter biasness (Temitayo, 2017). In an attempt to respond, the opposition can choose a word or a phrase, such as corruption or incompetence, which would naturally arouse negative influence (Temitay, 2017). The opposition then capitalizes and develops it as a significant way of countering this “victim” by destroying the moral stamina of the “accuser” on the matter previously raised. However, sometimes, propaganda can be half-true, but once repeated, it becomes absolute.
Examples of Classical Conditioning by Advertisers
Classical conditioning occurs in advertisements, too, for instance, where ads display people enjoying the product. Consumers would then associate good events and fun with the item, increasing the likelihood of purchasing it (Temitayo, 2017). For example, initially, marketers of sugary foods used television ads to persuade children into consuming products by reciting various slogans, gimmicks, and influencing kids from an early age. However, after considering its effect, some states, such as Chile, decided to ban such adverts.
Moreover, Coca-Cola has influenced people’s behaviors by using the Christmas season to stimulate particular emotions and force individuals to think about their brand. These adverts have comprehensive coverage and signify the beginning of the holiday for many people every year (Roese & Meyer, 2017). Besides, consumers have been conditioned to link Father Christmas with the color red, a move from its traditional shade green. This resulted from the 1931 advertisement crusade, where the company was attempting to increase sales (Roese & Meyer, 2017). They discovered that they were not achieving the desired returns during the winter seasons and, hence, interlinked their trademark with Christmas by producing an emblematic hidden relationship between the two.
Conclusively, classical conditioning has been widely used by advertisers and politicians to influence consumers and voters. Such manipulation is seen as a breach of trust because they understand that involuntary learning helps people behave according to their expectations. Buyers should not be influenced to decide which brand they wish to consume. Likewise, politicians should sell their policies and leave votes to make their own independent choice to achieve a balanced society.
Malik, Y. (2017). How classical conditioning is used to influence. The Khilafah.
Roese, N., & Meyer, A. (2017). Zopa: Time for a Brand Redesign? Kellogg School of Management.
Temitayo, L. (2017). Classical conditioning as a potent political strategy. The Cable.