The applied psychologist


The applied psychologist – James Hartley – Alan Branthwaite.


Pg 22 “Our ego is a major preoccupation for us all. We are very attached to it. We want to strengthen it, rather than diminish it or lose it. One of the main ways we build and strengthen our ego is through roles we adopt and the power and authority invested in them. These give us status, standing, an identity, respect and so on.”


Pg 80 “In studying and analyzing consumers and the effects of advertising, psychologists draw widely from studies and theories of perception, emotion, decision making, language, social influence and cultural experience.”


Pg 80 “What is it that advertising seeks to influence and change in consumers that will affect their choices of products? From psychological studies of human thinking and actions, certain principles (if not law) have emerged which have shaped our approach to understanding consumer behavior, and how to influence it. For example it is accepted that:


.Individual, social and situation factors interest in determining behavior.

. Attitudes and actions are influenced by an individuals subjective interpretation rather than objective reality.

. Differences in ideas, attitudes and preferences arise out of the development of individuals and their past experiences – nothing occurs in location but in the context of what is going on now and what has gone before.

. Unconscious factors as well as rational considerations affect consumer choices.


These principles can be contrasted with the approaches arising from other disciplines, such as economics, that emphasize rational decision making and objective financial forces…”


“Central to the psychological approach(thought at times controversial) has been the principle that the causes of behavior are not always conscious or rational, but are influenced by unconscious associations, memories and wishes. This principle has usually been aligned with Freudian psychology, but it is fundamental to explanation in other areas, such as cognition. For example workon attention and experimental demonstrations of subliminal perception also show that stimuli are processed unconsciously in the first instance and then, depending on their significance, transferred to higher levels of consciousness for further processing. In subliminal perception research, words are presented without awareness by displaying them very briefly, or by speaking quietly through earphones against a background of white noise to mask the sound. It has been found that words, which are not consciously perceived, can colour the conscious perception of other objects or events. In one experiment, the mood and imagery evoked by music were change by words presented subliminally at the same time. In other research using different techniques, emotionally loaded words presented without awareness affected both self-reported feelings and physiological measures of anxiety……

Deliberate subliminal advertising is banned, but the subliminal perception of images and sounds occurs all the time……..

Background music subconsciously alters the perception of ads and the interpretation of the messages about the product.”


Pg 82 “The intuitive level of thinking involves those hard to articulate associations, perceptions and feelings that colour our impressions about objects, ideas, people and events,”


“This kind of intuitive thought is exhibited in dreams where images are personal symbols for the objects being dreamt about, in much the same way as images are used in poetry to expand the meaning and attach particular connotations to ideas.”


Pg 84  Thoughtful, rationally considered, manfully analyzed – Deliberator (conscious)


Past experience, learning, knowledge – interpreter (pre – conscious)


Sensory perception – visual, auditory images – recorder (non-conscious iconic storage)


“There are two distinct ways of processing information and experiences at the higher levels of cognitive perception: episodic knowing and semantic knowing.

Episodic knowing relates to the processing of everyday experiences, such as what we had for breakfast this morning and if we saw it on t.v.. Episodic knowing is experimental and autobiographical as it relates to direct, individual experience…..

Episodic knowing specializes in visual and special processing (faces, places, pictures) and records everyday experiences as meaningful events, images and symbols.”


Pg 85 “Sematic knowing is about knowledge ‘facts’ and ‘truths’, that are abstract and generalized. Semantic knowing is learnt and more deeply processed. It is rational and held in the front of concepts and propositions.”

“Semantic processing deals not with the observable properties of objects (their, colour, shape etc.) but with their abstract attributes and characteristics (their uses and ‘inner’ qualities such as whether they are edible, fragile, fashionable).It is used in the perception of verbal information, either spoken or as text.”


Pg 197 what is theory?

“At first glance psychology appears to have a well developed theatrical base…….however, the discipline is fragmented into several competing philosophical positions with ‘ an advances of theories and minimal consensual knowledge”.


“The first type of theory involves guesses or presumptions. These can be predictive (i.e. something will happen), but either way they involve speculation and require additional data for confirmation.

The second usage of term theory relates to models that employ hypothetical constructs to explain observed data. For example, many psychological theories invoke hypothetical variables to account for observed data (e.g. the concept of ‘memory’ was developed to explain how past experiences change current and future behavior – it is hypothetical because it is not directly accessible, but must be inferred from observations……”


This research was interesting when put with designing a controlled environment. Psychological effects on consumer perception and behavior is a necessary when designing a space that has to be manipulated for most success with the public.

If you can change peoples perception on products that they consume can you not change peoples perception on moral values within a social environment.?


About hannahruthkellett

I am currently doing my Masters in interior design, this blog is to reflect and inspire my progress through out my time on the course. View all posts by hannahruthkellett

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