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Cognitive Structures

  • By: Christian A. Klöckner
  • In: Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture
  • Edited by: Dale Southerton
  • Subject:Sociology of Consumption, Consumer Psychology, Consumer Culture

Cognitive structures refers to distinct subprocesses or mechanisms identifiable in mental information processing that mediate consumers' reactions to external stimuli. Cognitive structures is the generic term for a huge variety of different aspects related to the way humans process, store, retrieve, and use information for decision making. Cognitive mechanisms often lead to characteristic biases or simplification in information processing. An analysis of these basic processes in human information processing is essential for understanding consumer behavior: What information people attend to, which aspects of a product description they remember, which characteristics of a product they use in decision making, and how they alter given information during storage in or retrieval from memory are all influenced by these mechanisms. Information people perceive, process, store, recall, and use ...

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