Skip to main content

Perceptual Blocking on a Bus ride

The most stressful a bus ride gets for me is when there's a psycho driving and I sitting up front, am witness to his insane manoeuvres on the road. I try my best not be hassled by the bus' swerving and weaving. But I tell you, at times your body involuntarily flinches as the bus gets too close to another vehicle. The best way to manage this stress, I found, is to close your eyes and let your ears tune into music from an MP3 player.

This 'defense act' of mine comes close to being termed as perceptual blocking. Note, mine is a conscious act. Perceptual Blocking is about consumers protecting themselves from being bombarded with stimuli by simply "tuning out", blocking such stimuli from conscious awareness. They do so out of self protection because of the visually overwhelming nature of the world they live in.

Perceptual blocking is one reason why marketers need to careful using, for example, fear appeal as content in their communiques. Push the fear too hard, and consumers will block out the 'fear-instilled' stimuli. That is, if the image in the advert is too macabre, then rather than shocking people into compliance, it would only have them shielding their eyes from what's featured.

Perceptual blocking is our way of ensuring that we aren't overwhelmed by all the stimuli around us. Stimuli that our senses can respond to. Its what helps us maintain a sense of balance in an otherwise uneasy world of stimuli overload.

Its also my way of ensuring I have a stress free ride on a bus.


Popular posts from this blog

Situational Involvement of Consumers

There are two types of involvement that consumers have with products and services, Situational and Enduring. Situational involvement as the term suggests, occurs only in specificsituations whereas Enduring involvement is continuous and is more permanent in nature.

Decisions to buy umbrellas in India are driven by the onset of Indian monsoon. Monsoon rains arrived in India over the South Andaman Sea on May 10 and over the Kerala coast on May 28, three days ahead of schedule. But then, after a few days of rain, South India is witnessing a spate of dry weather. Temperatures are soaring in the north of India. The Umbrella companies in the state of Kerala are wishing for the skies to open up. So is the farming community and manufacturers of rural consumer products whose product sales depend totally on the farming community. The Met. department has deemed this dry spell as 'not unusual'.

India's monsoon rains have been static over the southern coast since last Tuesday because of a…

Prior Hypothesis Bias

Prior Hypothesis bias refers to the fact that decision makers who have strong prior beliefs about the relationship between two variables tend to make decisions on the basis of those beliefs, even when presented with the evidence that their beliefs are wrong. Moreover, they tend to use and seek information that is consistent with their prior beliefs, while ignoring information that contradicts these beliefs.

From a strategic perspective, a CEO who has a strong prior belief that a certain strategy makes sense might continue to pursue that strategy, despite evidence that it is inappropriate or failing.

Ref : Strategic Management : An Integrated Approach, 6e, Charles W L Hill, Gareth R Jones

Consumer Spending

Carpe Diem Blog: From Visual Economics, a graphical representation appears above (click to enlarge) of Consumer Expenditures in 2007, using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Note that total spending on food ($6,133), clothing ($1,881) and housing ($16,920) represented 50% of consumer expenditures and 30% of income before taxes in 2007. In 1997 by comparison, 51.1% of consumer expenditures were spent on food, clothing and housing, and 44.6% of income before taxes was spent on food, clothing and housing (data here).