True learning is born out of experience and observation practical experience is one of the best types of leanings that one can remember throughout the life. After II semesters in learning theoretical aspects of administration and management, the day come to apply these incorporate world in content of modern industrial enterprise that has to go through its different terminal to achieve that corporate goals.
The main object of practical training is to develop practical knowledge and experience and awareness about industrial environment and business practices in the student as a supplement to theoretical studies of administration and management in specific area like HRM. It increases the skill, ability and attitude of a student to perform specific job in industrial environment. Fortunately, I got golden opportunity to visit and complete my six week training at THE TIMES OF INDIA.
Here, I got chance to see the functioning HRD departments and imbibe alot learning of the subjects THE TIMES OF INDIA is a wide Organization producing newspapers, the main productsincludeTimes of India, Economic Times, Radio Mirchi etc. It has developed in many fields. Today guess is a legend in the world of business and organisation at a home and abroad. 2 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Through this acknowledgement, I express my sincere gratitude towards all those people who have helped me in the preparation of this project, which has been learning experience.
I appreciate the co-operation by the management and staff of ‘THE TIMES OF INDIA’ for having given me -the opportunity to training in their office. I would like to thanks the Head Of the Department Dr. A. Kumar , the faculty , the librarian and the administrative staff of Department of Business Administration, Bhavnagar University, Bhavnagar, for their support. Finally, I express my sincere thanks to Mr. Ashok Solanki and Mr. Hemant Patel who guided me throughout the project and gave me Valuable suggestion and encouragement. INTRODUCTION OF THE TIMES OF INDIA The first edition appears on November 3, 1838 known as “The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce”. Later to be known as “The Times of India “. The first edition appears on November3, 1838 known as “The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce”. The issue is published twice a week. Dr. J. E. Brennan the first editor also Secretary of the Chamber of Commerce. Rs 30/- is the annual subscription. 1846 The newspaper experiences proprietary changes and Dr. George Brit appointed editor. 850 Shareholders decide to increase the share capital and the paper converted into a daily 1855 Telegraph Services opens up in India shortly afterwards, the paper signs an agreement with Reuters for raising news coverage and lowering subscription rates. That old tie was renewed in 2006 with the pact between TIMESNOW & Reuters 1861 Editor Robert Knight amalgamates The Bombay Times, Bombay Standard and Bombay Telegraph & Courier to form ‘The Times of India’ and gives it a national character. 1880 The Times of India Weekly edition launched . The Times of India weekly edition launched, to meet the need for a weekend paper.
This later came to be known as the Illustrated Weekly of India in 1923. TheTimes of India Weekly edition launched. 1890 Editor Henry Curwen buys TOI in partnership with Charles Kane. 1892 Following the death of Henry Curwen, T. Bennett becomes the editor and enters into a partnership with F. M. Coleman to form a joint stock company – Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. (BCCL). 1902 The paper moves in to its current office opposite CST. It started out at the Paris Bazar and then moved on to Church gate where things got so bad that editor Bennett had to complete his editorial elsewhere after the ceiling fan collapsed in his room. 907 Editor Stanley Reed revolutionises news production by extending the deadline to midnight. Until then any news that came in after 5pm was held over for the next day. TOI’s first price war under editor Stanley Reed: price cut from 4 Anna’s to 1 Anna; circulation rises 5 times. 1923 Evening News of India launched 1929 The Times Of India Illustrated Weekly renamed The Illustrated Weekly Of India 1930The Column “Bombay 100 Years ago” published 1930 The Column “Bombay 100 Years ago” published First movie review published 1940 First time news items appeared on the front page 1946 For the first time the paper transfers to Indian ownership.
Seth Ramakrishna Dalmia buys out Bennett, Coleman ;amp; Co. Ltd. For Rs. 2 crores. 1948 Sahu Jain Group become the owners of the company. Shanti Prasad Jain is the first Chairman of the group 1950 ? Navbharat Times launched ?The TOI Crest changes from the lions to elephants ?Dharmayug, Hindi weekly pictorial magazine launched ?Frank Moraes succeeded Ivor Jehu to become the first Indian editor (1950-57)R K Laxman’s common man cartoon starts. * 1952 Filmfare- first film magazine in English launched * 1959 Femina- first women’s magazine in English launched * 1961 The Economic Times launched 1962 Maharashtra Times launched * 1965 Femina Miss India contest started. * 1987 Printing of The Times of India from Kandivili Press in Mumbai. * 1988 Times of India completes 150 years. Special stamp released by P ;amp; * 1991 BBC features Times of India amongworld’s six great newspapers * 1994 Bombay Times, the sassy colour supplement that chronicles the changing lifestyle mores of a globalising city is launched. * 1996 Times of India carry its first colour photograph. Times of India crosses 1 million mark in circulation. * 1998 BCCL enters into music market with Times Music. 1999 Indiatimes. com launched * 1999 BCCL enters music retailing business with Planet M and radio broadcasting business with Radio Mirchi * 2000 TOI crosses the 2 million mark in circulation. * 2001 TOI goes all colour and storms Delhi by being”Number One” * 2003 President APJ Abdul Kalam visits TOI to inaugurate Times Foundation * 2004 Television business launched with the launch of a lifestyle and entertainment channel called ZOOME Paper launched Times cape- the Times Group Intranet launched. Launch of the jobs portal Times Jobs http://www. imesjobs. com. Times Jobs. compioneered the concept of job fairs in India,branded as‘Big Leap’ * 2005 MT – Largest read Marathi Newspaper in Mumbai – IRSsurvey * TOI – Goes daily full colour * Mumbai Mirror launched TimesMatri. com – Launched in August – re-launched as * SimplyMarry. com in December 2006. * 2006 TIMES NOW – TV News Channel launched ET – first newspaper available on cell phone Mumbai Mirror – Afternoon edition launched Offers Mumbai Mirror or Maharashtra Times as complimentary copy with TOI at a price of Rs. /- TOI – The only English language daily to feature among the top 10 with a readership of 131. 4lakhs- IRS Survey by Hansa Research Times Group MD, Mr Vineet Jain awarded the scroll of honour for being the new age media guru – Hero Honda Indian TV Academy Awards Times cape the Times Group Intranet portal re-launched – now powered by SAP Net weaver BCCL goes live on SAP systemMagicBricks. com – launched in October 2006 targets the Online Real Estate Space Smart Hire – launched April2006, is witnessing stupendous growth with its focus on providing organisations with end-to-end recruitment solutions.
Ads2Book. com – The World’s Only Global Ad Booking Engine -Relaunched in August 2006With intensive R&D, the Net-2-Print classifieds booking systemAds2Book. com was created and imbued with AI (artificial intelligence) that assisted users through the entire process of Creating, Booking & Paying for their Print Classified Ads, all from the comfort of their desktop. KEY MANAGEMENT & EDITORIAL HEADS KEY MANAGEMENT HEADS BCCL PROMOTERS & DIRECTORS Chairperson : Indu Jain Vice-Chairman & MD: Samir Jain Managing Director: Vineet Jain BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Executive Director : Trishla Jain Executive Director & CEO : Ravindra Dhariwal Executive Director & COO : Shrijeet Mishra Executive Director & President: Arunabh Das Sharma Non-Executive Director: A. P. Parigi Non-Executive Director: Kalpana J. Morparia Non Executive Director: M. Damodaran Non Executive Director: Leo Puri Times Television Network (comprising TGBCL and ZEN) Group CEO (TV business): Sunil Lulla ZEN CEO: Avinash Kaul Times Internet Limited CEO: Satyan Gajwani Times of Money President: Avijit Nanda Times Business Solutions Ltd CEO: Satyan Gajwani
Times VPL CEO: Sunil Rajshekhar Worldwide Media CEO: Tarun Rai Entertainment Network (India) Ltd CEO: Prashant Panday Alternate Brand Solutions (I) Ltd CEO: Prashant Panday Times Innovative Media Limited CEO: Sunder Hemrajani Absolute Radio CEO: Donnach O’ Driscoll Times Foundation Head: Shailendra Nautiyal EDITORIAL HEADS The Times of India Editorial Director: Jaideep Bose Executive Editor: Arindam Sengupta Economic Times Editorial Director: Rahul Joshi Maharashtra Times Executive Editor: Ashok Panwalkar Navbharat Times Executive Editor: Ramkripal Singh Mumbai Mirror Executive Editor: Meenal Baghel
Speaking Tree Executive Editor: Narayani Ganesh Vijaya Karnataka Executive Editor: E. Raghavan Times Now Executive Editor: Arnab Goswami ET Now Executive Editor: R. Sridharan Zoom Executive Editor: Omar Qureshi Code of Conduct for Employees You shall not borrow or lend money within the Company. You shall disclose all your interests including investments in other companies and your relatives in politics to ensure that you are unbiased in your work. You or your immediate relative(s) shall refuse any gift offered by any person(s) who has or may seek to have dealings with the Company.
The Company’s reputation and the respect of those with whom it deals with are among its most vital assets. These must not be jeopardized by acceptance of any gifts. However, gifts given as prizes at exhibitions, conferences, seminars, etc. or as part of a free raffle or draw may be accepted but in principle they belong to the company. Any Hospitality/ Entertainment which is of substantial monetary value should be refused. It would however be too rigid to say that no hospitality should be accepted. Some examples of hospitality / entertainment which may be acceptable (subject to a nominal limit of Rs. 00/-) depends on who is providing the hospitality, why the employee is there and the nature of the dealings between the Company, the employee and the provider of the hospitality: e. g. a working meal provided to allow parties to discuss or to continue to discuss business, invitation to attend a dinner or function of a Society, Institute or other non-commercial body with whom the Company has contact, invitations to attend functions where the employee represents the Company (opening ceremonies, public speaking events and conferences).
The Company shows more appreciation for those who keep away from smoking and drinking and discourages all forms of substance abuse. The protocols and culture of the Company should be respected as being different from those in other Institutions or Organizations. The Company does not encourage practices, designations, courtesies, etc. followed in other Institutions or Organizations because the same delays the process. The Company’s courtesies and protocols are meant to expedite the transactions. The Company believes that people who perform over-courtesies tend to cause divisiveness in the Company.
In the course of training and development as well as your engagement with the Company you will be privy to or possess proprietary and confidential information/ knowledge including trade secrets and the Company‘s confidential business, marketing and publishing strategies. The same shall not be used by you except in the interest of the Company. You will not part with any information that would be detrimental to the Company’s interests, nor shall you make any statement to the press/ media on any such issues on behalf of the Company or otherwise, unless authorized specifically by the competent authority.
In the event of any emergency where intellectual property created, written, given or made by you is sought by the Government, then the same will be delivered with due written permission of the Company. In such a case, an application for the same is to be made to the competent authority of the Company by the Government Agency desiring the same, citing appropriate reason. Other organs of the State including Government or Public Institutions may proposition you to do specialized writings on the plea that only you can do such specialized writing on laudable subjects such as military, national integration, etc.
You are aware that when you take up such assignments it is in deviation and conflict with your employment relationship with the Company. If ever you are permitted to make such a contribution for the nation, it will then, obviously, be the contribution of the Company and you will be duty bound to project and represent so that the Company gets due acknowledgement. As you are in employment with a high visibility leader media Company, you may be pampered, mollycoddled and felicitated by the Government and other organs of State or Sections of the Civil Society for their Public Relation (PR) reason.
Senior members of the Government including Ministers may visit you on various occasions such as your anniversaries, birthdays, etc. for their PR purpose. Since you would be involved in the processing of news and handling of events of importance to people belonging to public or special celebrity group, you thus occupy a position of importance to these groups, who will obviously make reverential gestures to you for their PR need. You will not expect the same from the Company, as your relationship with the Company strictly is that of employer-employee and the Company has no need to do any PR with you.
The Company has often welcomed former employees back, and it is a matter of record that people have left and returned. The Company has never felt the need to hold farewell events which have no rationale. In the event you resign/ separate from the Company, you will not recruit, select or influence in any way, any employee of our Company or anyone working with us on contract, to join your future employment, as an employee or partner or any other form of work association, after the separation of your services with us. Oral Promises/ Commitments: The Company believes that mere casual conversations are not commitments.
Where such conversations have led to commitments the onus is obviously on the employee to submit proof of such commitments if at all made. But the reality is that in the absence of any written commitment, no individual and no Company can ever get to the truth of such claims. And therefore any side talk or commitment unless duly recorded are unfounded and untenable. While such claims are generally without any substance they end up causing needless stress and wastage of time. Oral promises do not constitute a contract between the individual and the Company and are by no way binding on the Company.
Such oral talks even if so held sans contract, do not constitute any enforceable claims. Rewards are at best contextual, linked to obligations or performance or responsibility. A written contract therefore states in black and white the obligations followed by the reward and is therefore acknowledged and enforced by the Company as opposed to unfounded promises. Code of Conduct for Journalists (applicable for all Times Group brands) As a brand, all Times Group Brands (hereinafter referred to as Times) draws its power and influence from two things:
Our ability to deliver the complete story: making sure our facts are correct, citing our sources, and providing analysis and context The confidence of our readers that we are unbiased in our reporting and have no agenda to further save that of accurate reporting. This Code of Conduct must be observed in spirit, not just to the letter. The purpose is to avoid any conflict of interests, any compromise of the Company’s reputation and any bias, whether real or perceived, on the part of the Company staff, be it journalists, sub-editors, editors, cameramen, photographers or senior managers etc.
Adherence to these principles is an essential part of their responsibilities in Times and shall form part of their contractual obligations with the Company and hence they should at all times conduct themselves as per this code. This code is necessarily not comprehensive – it may not cover each and every ethical dilemma that a Times journalist might face. But we hope that it will indicate the spirit in which you should react to such dilemmas – and as always, when in doubt, please consult with your supervisor or your senior editor.
All Times staffers must conduct themselves by the following rules: Confidentiality: The Company will regularly receive confidential information as part of normal news gathering. All information which is not in the public domain is confidential. This includes information relating to the Company, its shareholders and to any company, for example information about advertisers’ credit and financial position. We will abide by the terms of confidentiality and shall not breach a confidence or use confidential information improperly or carelessly. “Church and State. Our reporting and analysis is entirely independent of our advertising and investment departments (Response / Sales and Brand Capital). We do not give preferential treatment to advertisers / treaty partners nor do we entertain requests from the business departments of BCCL to do so. We observe the “Chinese wall” between editorial and business. Quality journalism a) To provide the best reportage and analysis to our readers and viewers, we must ensure we are: Accurate: We must present information that is true, and we must verify every fact and quote what we print.
Your editors have the mandate to demand to see proof of any information that you base a story on, and to know the source of information that is potentially sensitive. Unbiased: We must carry both sides of the story. If we are doing a negative story, we HAVE to give the subject time to respond – and carry their official denial or statement that they declined to comment, if that is what they choose to do. We should always talk to an unbiased third party, which may or may not feature prominently in the story before printing it.
Attributed: While we must sometimes use anonymous sources, we should restrict them to the absolutely essential cases. In all cases we should explain why the source is anonymous, and we should attempt to describe the source’s relation to the story – for example “a banker involved with the negotiations” rather than “sources close to the development” Verified: We have missed stories because of our conservative approach. We have often had stories and not run them because of that elusive last bit of onfirmation; we have woken up the next morning or several mornings later to find the same news with far fewer details in some other paper. In the long run, missing a story here or there is better for the brand and its credibility than running with a story prematurely and being forced to retract it. Honest: We do not make up quotes or information to support our story, nor do we appropriate the work of others – whether it’s other media or any other written / audio-visual work – and pass it off as our own.
Plagiarism is a firing offence at Times. We must also be seen to be honest, which has implications on our interactions with sources, officials of the companies we cover, and communications professionals or mediators in these interactions. We are also honest about our mistakes: if we get something wrong, we will carry a correction, and we must do so at the earliest available opportunity. If we make corrections to our online copy, we will include an update/ editor’s note that states that a correction has been made.
We will not use offensive language, obscenities and racist / sexist / religious terms in any copy or script, unless they are part of a direct quote and their usage is critical to the story being reported. We do not pay for information, nor do we promise financial gain to our sources in exchange for information. We do not accept gifts or money from sources, PR agencies or companies that we cover. A box of chocolates / sweets or a calendar or diary is acceptable – anything else should be returned with a note explaining that it is our company policy, and reported to the Managing Editor.
An exception is sample products for review purposes: You may use / retain the product for only as long as it reasonably takes to review – a few days should be the outer limit. You should restrict the usage to what is required to write a well-researched review, and not for personal use that does not contribute to the review. No Times staffer should solicit a junket, plant/corporate visits or trips abroad. If they genuinely broaden horizons and add value to a person’s knowledge base, such a visit can be considered, but there should not be the slightest hint of solicitation.
At times, your sources might want to take you out to lunch, dinner, drinks etc. Since these are times when the source tends to relax and lower his guard, use your judgement on when to accept. But at all times make it clear that these are professional interactions, not social ones. The same applies to PRs — we’ve made it a rule for trainees that they do not have a drink/meal/coffee with any PR for the first two years that they are with Times. Apply the spirit of that rule to your interactions with all PRs – you should never give them the chance to act like you owe them something.
If you feel you need to return a lunch or dinner someplace a little more expensive than the Press Club, please inform your editor, and we will see if some reimbursement can be organized. We do not do previews of stories or package or shows – no source or company/person being featured can see the story or the package before it goes to print/air. We can, and should, however, email quotes that will be used in stories to sources for confirmation. In addition, no staffer will reveal the contents of the paper/channel to any outsider in advance of their appearance in print/on-air.
This includes the distribution/dissemination of advance copies/CDs or digital files of any Times content. Note: Times reserves the right to modify and expand the code of conduct from time to time, as appropriate. Economic Times and ET Now Code of Financial Conduct ET/ET Now are India’s most respected financial-news brand because it stands squarely for certain values: accuracy, reliability, fairness and integrity. Our journalism, across media platforms, is committed to these values.
The changing industry and regulatory environments require us to uphold even higher standards to protect, defend and enhance the Company’s reputation for accurate, unbiased journalism. Whatever it is you report on, you should ensure that there is never a situation which could lead to a suspicion that the Company, its publications and television channels, or its editors and journalists are biased. Hence you, whether in a managerial or an editorial capacity, must conduct yourself in a manner that reinforces the integrity of the company’s operations as well as perceptions of such integrity.
No employee will take advantage of information that is not in public domain but to which he/she has gained access by virtue of his/her association with ET/ET Now or its affiliates. No employee will communicate such privileged information to another person, either within or outside the organization, who may be in a position to take advantage of it. To ensure that our integrity is not compromised, especially in our coverage of markets, companies and policy, all employees are required to adhere to certain rules about financial investments made by them or their close relations, including spouse/companion.
You may invest in individual equities but are required to hold each stock for a minimum of three months in order to eliminate the possibility of short-term trades based on privileged access to corporate information. Any exceptions must have prior approval of the Executive Editor, in writing. You will not buy or sell shares in a company that competes with ET/ET Now or its affiliates. You are, however, free to hold and/or sell any such shares that you currently own by virtue of previous employment. . You must not engage in, or facilitate, inside dealing.
The fundamental principle of inside information is that if you are in possession of non-public (unpublished) information which could have an impact — negative or positive — on the value of a financial investment or other investments, you must keep it strictly confidential and not deal or recommend to others to deal in those shares. This restriction applies to your immediate family, friends and associates or any family trusts or other investment vehicle and lasts for as long as the information is outside the public domain.
Reporters, researchers and anchorpersons who cover and comment on particular companies may not hold stakes, in the companies they cover, to avoid any conflict between their coverage and investment interests. The principle behind this is that if the story or comment that goes to print or air is expected to have an impact in the price / value of the asset class, it would be conflict of interest for the ET/ET Now staffer to have a holding in that asset class.
In general, you are encouraged not to participate in the futures-and-options segment of the equity market except to hedge your equity investments against market risk through index futures and options. You will not buy or sell single-stock futures. Investments in bonds issued by companies/governments/state agencies/municipalities are permitted as long as these are held for a minimum of three months. . There are no restrictions on investments in instruments issued by banks, post offices and small-savings institutions. Mutual fund investments are permitted in any asset class (equity, index, commodity, real estate etc. . You are required to make a disclosure of your securities holdings as per the format prescribed by the Company, at the end of every quarter. The company undertakes to keep your declarations confidential In addition, designated managers and journalists are required to disclose their current portfolio and declare their specific investment transactions during the reporting period in a format prescribed by the company. The management is committed to keeping this information confidential, but reserves the right to share the records with a regulatory / inquiry agency investigating securities fraud or insider trading.
This Code of Conduct along with the Code of Financial Conduct is meant to facilitate our adherence to integrity, not to exhaust unfair ways of information arbitrage. These are central to the Company’s mission; any failure to abide by them could attract civil and criminal liability on yourself and on the Company, its Directors and officers, and therefore could be subject to review, and result in disciplinary action, ranging from admonishment to dismissal, depending on the gravity of the infraction.
Therefore at all times, employee conduct should conform not only to the rules but also to the principle of integrity. “Mission of “TIMES OF INDIA”: “The Times of India Group is the aggregator of content in any form in the infotainment Industry. We collect & sell content to right target audience”. The Mantra “YOU ARE EMPOWERED “ STAGES OF GROWTH * To empower the reader to live the life of their dreams. * To facilitate better decision. * To provoke Thought * Global Experience Love for the community * Adopt the Reader’s worldwide view. * Liberate the mind * Cheerfulness in the circus of life. We grow at this stage because: OUR CENTRAL VALUE IS YOU! The Times of India (English) Operated by Bennett Coleman and Company Limited With a lineage stretching back to more than 170 years, Time of India sells more than 3. 5 million copies each day across 41 locations in India – making it not only the largest English daily in India, but also the world. TOI, hich was voted as the among the world’s six greatest newspapers way back in 1988 by BBC, has now moved ahead of international stalwarts like The Sun, The Daily Mail, USA Today, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post amongst others. Today TOI is India’s national newspaper with editions spread across most states, which is complemented by its robust presence in on-line domain too through its e-paper and dynamic online site timesofindia. com
Apart from meeting the information and entertainment needs of readers cutting across communities, cultures and geographic locations, The Times of India also uncovers many a India left untouched. And in this exercise, brand extensions of our existing English titles into regional languages plays a pivotal role in transiting readers to the English mainstream. It would not be wrong to say that most English-speaking Indians across all prominent metros and state capitals, begin their day by reading a copy of TOI.
So be it the civil society or the ruling class, businessman or student, executive or manager, professional or amateur, clergy or judge – the day is not complete without reading The Times of India. The Times of India has a pan-India presence in 41 centres with 15 main editions, namely: Ahmedabad Bangalore Chennai Goa Hyderabad Jaipur Kanpur Kolkata Lucknow Mangalore Mumbai Mysore Nagpur New Delhi Pune The Times of India Supplements: Times of India Metro Supplements (TIMS) In 1994 The Times of India took a bold step at experimenting with not just news, but something which was more.
The resultant was a supplement –Bombay Times – which broke the mould when it came to capturing the latest about what’s happening in and around the city in a package captured the essence of the city – its people, culture, fashion, art, theatre, sports, films and private and public social gatherings. Times Pluses Times Pluses are supplements with local news and advertising which is customized for various readers through geographic zones within a particular market. The Pluses are a tool for readers to address their civic and other local and topical issues which are specific to their location.
The immense success of Pluses has sparked of various Pluses across the length and breadth of India. Needless to say, they have also bred me-too clones published by our competitors – but not with that great degree of success as ours. Times Ascent A weekly supplement that has the best job postings and career related news and views from doyens of corporate world and academicians. Education Times The weekly supplement that has the best of content related to education and career options – right from primary level to doctorate. What’s Hot
A weekly tabloid on entertainment and lifestyle published ahead of each weekend with the specific focus on informing readers about the events and activities that one can participate over the weekend like movies, TV shows, theatre, eating out, shopping etc. Life Aimed at initiating a dialogue and provoking thought and debate among its readers, Life is the glossy lifestyle supplement published every Sunday with The Sunday Times of India. Often the topics touched upon are the ones which normal run-of-the mill newspapers would like to avoid in fear of generating extreme opinions.
Life lays every aspect of life bare for the reader to think and decide. Times Property This is a weekly supplement that contains the best of news, analysis and announcements on real estate that is read by investors and buyers/sellers of real estate. The Times of India New Media: The Times of India Online The Times of India Online is India’s most popular news site. With 13 million unique visitors and more than 300 million page views per month, it consistently ranks among the world’s Top 10 English-language newspaper sites.
It offers complete, in-depth and up-to-date coverage — in text and video formats — of national, international, city, sports, entertainment, lifestyle, business, health, science and technology topics. The Times of India epaper The Times of India is among the first newspaper in Asia to launch the online replica version of the physical edition. The Times of India mobilepaper The Times of India was also among the first newspapers in India to launch the replica of the physical edition exclusively for mobile users. DIGITAL The Times of India Online
The Times of India Online is India’s most popular news site. With 13 million unique visitors and more than 300 million page views per month, it consistently ranks among the world’s Top 10 English-language newspaper sites. It offers complete, in-depth and up-to-date coverage — in text and video formats — of national, international, city, sports, entertainment, lifestyle, business, health, science and technology topics. The site is the first choice of NRIs for news about India – with nearly 55% of visitors logging in from outside India — mainly USA.
One of the unrivalled features of the site is its exhaustive local coverage of more than 30 Indian cities. Another unique feature that was unveiled few months back is Speed News — a first-of-its-kind service in the world that provides real-time news updates by more than 500 Times of India reporters from across the country. Today, toi. com is the only Indian newspaper site to have apps for five major mobile platforms — iPad, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Nokia – with the site being already popular on social media with more than one million fans on Facebook alone
The Economic Times Online The number one financial and business news website in India, economictimes . com gets over 4 million unique visitors every month. Having synergies in key operational areas with The Economic Times daily, the site is the prime mover in the business news segment – having started operations way back in 1999. Presently, about a third of ET’s traffic comes from outside India – both from the Indian Diaspora and the international business community keen on investing in India.
The numerous features, analysis and stories relevant to the NRI and PIO community not only do the job of keeping them informed about various opportunities, but also help them in reaching out to their potential partners and customers. Today et. com is probably the only Indian business news site that provides 24X7 business news coverage, cutting-edge stock market information and real time data from leading Indian stock exchanges like BSE, NSE and MCX in both the cash and derivative segments – which is made possible due to a dedicated team of over 50 online professionals who file 700-800 business and market reports every day.
The spirit of innovation also drives the site forward. Not only is it the first business news site in India to have a mobile version, the subsequent launch of business news channel ET Now and the resultant integration has once again made the site the first in India to offer live streaming of content from ET Now round the clock. Presently, the site is in the process of launching specific mobile applications for Blackberry, Iphone, Symbian, Android and other popular mobile/tablet platforms – which will bring many more users into the ET family. Maharashtra Times Online
The online edition of the popular Marathi daily – Maharashtra Times, the news portal is very popular with Marathis in India and abroad Nav Bharat Times Online The web-edition of the popular Hindi daily – The Nav Bharat Times, the news portal is very popular with Hindi-knowing business community Mumbai Mirror Online The online edition of India’s largest city-centric tabloid – Mumbai Mirror. TIMES NOW TV Online The online portal of TIMES NOW gives synergy to the popular news channel by providing breaking news and showcasing them through streaming videos E-PAPER
The Times of India epaper The Times of India is among the first newspaper in Asia to launch the online replica version of the physical edition. The Economic Times epaper The online replica of The Economic Times is also available to internet users. Ahmedabad Mirror epaper Ahmedabad Mirror epaper: The online replica of Ahmedabad Mirror Bodhi Vruksha epaper Bodhi Vruksha is among the first Kannada spiritual newspaper in Asia to launch the online replica version of the physical edition. Pune Mirror epaper Pune Mirror epaper: The digital replica of Pune Mirror.
CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR The Management of PROCTER & GAMBLE once stated : ” Our business is based on understanding the consumer and providing the kind of products that the consumer wants. We place enormous emphasis on our product development area and our marketing area, and on our people knowing the consumer. ” The human mind is the most complex entity in the whole universe as it is very unpredictable how a person would behave in or react in a particular situation. A person’s behavior changes from place to place and situation to situation or, say it is very inconsistent.
The person when has a need, is willing and able to satisfy the need is called a CONSUMER. The consumer would go different ways to satisfy it’s needs depending on his social, cultural, family, economic and educational background. Consumer is the principle a priori of business. The efficiency with which a free market system of enterprise operates, depends upon the extent of consumer understanding possessed by the business community. A business community that is ignorant of consumer preferences cannot possibly fulfill it’s obligations in a meaningful and responsive manner.
So here comes the need to prepare project report onCONSUMER BEHAVIOUR. Consumer Behavior is broadly defined as “the behavior the consumer displays in searching for, purchasing, using and evaluating products, services, and ideas which they expect will satisfy their needs. ” Consumer Behavior is not only the study of what people consume, but is also the study of who the consumers are, why they consume, how often they consume, and under what conditions they consume. CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR refers to the buying behavior of ultimate consumers, those persons who purchase products for personal or household use, not for business purpose.
There are Psychological Theories that help us to understand and predict the effect of all external and internal factors on a consumer. External factors include Culture, Society, Reference group and family etc. Internal factors comprise in a consumer mind and how consumers learning, memory, attitude, personality, lifestyle and motivation levels effect consumer behavior. What would initiate a buying process and how a buying decision would end is all covered under the study of consumer behavior. This all further helps relate product / service, price and promotion etc. ith consumer behaviour. Thus organisation can place marketing mix so as to propogate their product/services. The present study on SHAMPOO is also trying to find Consumer Perception about different features of Shampoos and how Price, Environment, Packaging, Quantity, Easy Availability and Variety are affecting the sale of Shampoo’s. PSYCHOGRAPHIC In psychographic segmentation buyers are divided into different groups on the basis of lifestyle and or personality. People within the same demographic group can exhibit very different psychographic profiles.
These psychographic bases are often difficult to measure, but they offer potential rewards in terms of providing management with a more relevant basis for differentiating between segments of a market. LIFESTYLE People exhibit many more lifestyles than are suggested by the seven social classes. People’s product interests are influenced by their lifestyles. In fact the goods they consume express their lifestyles. Marketers are increasingly segmenting their markets by consumer lifestyles. Companies making cosmetics, alcoholic beverages, and furniture are always eeking opportunities in lifestyle segmentation. PERSONALITY Personality affects the consumption of many goods, particularly those consumed publicly. An aggressive personality for example, may be reflected in the choice of ostentatious clothing, furniture, and automobiles. Preferences are frequently so different that it is impossible to serve all personality types with the same product or brand. A recognition of important personality types can help management “position” it’s towards a profitable segment or segments. Marketers have used personality variables to segment markets.
They endow their products with brand personalities that correspond to consumer personalities. Objectives After reading this chapter you should be able to: Name the elements in the stimulus–response model of consumer behaviour. Outline the major characteristics affecting consumer behaviour, and list some of the specific psychological, personal, cultural and social factors that influence consumers. Explain the buyer decision process and discuss need recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, the purchase decision and post-purchase behaviour.
Identify and define the consumer buying roles of initiator, influencer, decider, buyer and user. Illustrate different types of buying decision behaviour, including complex, dissonance-reducing, habitual, and variety-seeking buying behaviour. Express the basics of the buyer decision process for new products and identify stages in the adoption process, individual differences in the adoption of innovation, and the influence of product characteristics on the rate of diffusion of innovation. Consumer Behaviour: a Literature Review In order to develop a framework for the study consumer behaviour it is helpful o begin by considering the evolution of the field of consumer research and the different paradigms of thought that have influenced the discipline. As described in this article, a set of dimensions can be identified in the literature, which can be used to characterize and differentiate, the various perspectives on consumer research. It is argued that consumer behaviour itself emerged as a distinct field of study during the 1960s; and is characterized by two broad paradigms, the positivist and the non-positivist. The positivist paradigm encompasses the economic, behavioural, cognitive, otivational/trait/attitudinal, and situational perspectives; these perspectives are referred to as the traditional perspectives as they pre-date the development of the non-positivist paradigm. The positivist paradigm, which is still the dominant paradigm, emphasizes the supremacy of human reason and that there is a single, objective truth that can be discovered by science. This paradigm regards the world as a rational and ordered place with a clearly defined past, present, and future. The assumption of rationalism is therefore fundamental to the traditional perspective.
The opposing, non-positivist paradigm, envelops the interpretive and postmodern perspectives, which have emerged more recently during the period post-1980 to date. The proponents of this emerging perspective argue that positivism overemphasizes the rational view and the ideology of a homogenous social culture and thereby denies the complex social and cultural world in which consumers live. This paradigm instead stresses, the importance of symbolic and subjective experience and the idea that consumers construct meanings based on unique and shared cultural experiences, and thus there can be no single unified world view.
Unsurprisingly, the two paradigms differ in their views on the benefits derived from consumption and the objectives that underscore consumer research. The traditional, positivist perspective takes a very utilitarian approach to the benefits from consumption. While the non-positivist perspectives place much greater emphasis on the symbolic dimensions of choice. The objective of non-positivist research endeavour is to achieve a better understanding of consumer behaviour with no specific intent to influence consumer processes. Conversely, outcomes of positivist research are directed toward advancing he goals of marketing practice. By identifying the paradigmatic shifts within the field, this article aims to identify different streams of thought that could guide future consumer research. Research that studies consumer behaviour as a subdiscipline of marketing with the aim to identify how consumer research can be put to use in marketing practice, regards the field of consumer behaviour as an applied social science. Accordingly, the value of the knowledge generated should be evaluated in terms of its ability to improve the effectiveness of marketing practice. According to this perspective, marketing management inevitably ests upon some conception of how consumers behave and of the consequences their reactions to product, price, promotion, and distribution strategies are likely to have for the attainment of corporate goals. In affluent, competitive economies, successful marketing depends above all on matching the marketing mix, which results from the integration of these strategies with the willingness of consumers to buy and in doing so more effectively than one’s rivals. The consumer-oriented management which results from such matching, is a response to the enormous discretion exercised by purchasers in these economies.
Moreover, the choices made by consumers have consequences not merely for competing companies within a given, traditionally-defined industry; because of the high levels at which discretionary income is running, companies are increasingly forced to compete across the conventional boundaries of markets and industries (Foxall 1987). Recently, though, some researchers have argued that consumer behaviour should not have a strategic focus at all. It should instead focus on the understanding of consumption for its own sake, rather than because the knowledge generated can be applied by marketers (Holbrook 1985).
While this view has emerged relatively recently, it has encouraged many to expand the scope of their work beyond the field’s traditional focus, on the applied benefits of undertaking consumer studies. This more critical view of consumer research has also led to the recognition that not all consumer behaviour and/or marketing activity is necessarily beneficial to individuals or society. As a result, current consumer research is likely to include attention to the “dark side” of consumer behaviour, such as addiction, prostitution, homelessness, shoplifting, or environmental waste (O’Guinn and Faber 1989;
Barron 1989). This activity builds upon the earlier work of researchers who have studied consumer issues related to public policy, ethics, and consumerism. There is a growing movement in the field to develop knowledge about social marketing, which involves the promotion of causes and ideas, such as responsible drinking, energy conservation, and population control. This article presents a review of the literature, in the field of consumer behaviour. The first section, describes the dominant, positivistic consumer perspectives. The second section, presents a methodological and analytical verview of the traditional perspectives, already discussed in section one. Further discussion on the paradigm shifts within consumer research, is supported by a diagrammatic representation of the evolution of the field of consumer behaviour. The remainder of this section is devoted to presenting the highlights of the debate between the recent non-positivist perspectives and the traditional positivist-based approaches. This discussion surrounds the issues of fundamental assumptions and techniques of analysis of various alternative modes of enquiry. And finally, the last section presents an verview of the developments within the field of consumer research. The Traditional Perspectives on Consumer Research This first section outlines the perspectives that emerged during the traditional-positivist era in consumer research. Thus, a brief discussion on the early models of buyer behaviour, proposed by economists is presented, followed by a discussion on each of the traditional perspectives in consumer research that emerged thereafter. These are the behavioural, cognitive, trait, motivational, attitudinal, and situational viewpoints. Overall, the objective of his section is to outline the features and the central arguments of each of these perspectives. While a detailed analytical review of the paradigms is presented in section two, at this stage it is worth noting, that the traditional perspectives while diverse with respect to the many aspects of consumer behaviour they investigate, are fundamentally similar in terms of their philosophical and methodological bases for undertaking the examination of consumer issues. That is, they are built on the common foundations of “rationalism” and share allegiance to the principles of a single traditional, ositivist-based approach to consumer research. The Rational Perspective The economists were the first to dominate model building, in the area of buying behaviour. The early economic view considered consumer behaviour in terms of a single act of purchase itself, and post-purchase reactions. Economic theory holds that purchasing decisions are the result of largely “rational” and conscious economic calculations. Thus, the individual buyer seeks to spend his income on those goods that will deliver the most utility (satisfaction) according to his tastes and relative prices. The antecedents of his view can be traced back to Adam Smith (1776). Alfred Marshall (1890) consolidated the classical and neoclassical traditions in economics, into a refined theoretical framework which came to be known as the theory of marginal utility. His theoretical work aimed to simplify assumptions and thereby examine the effects of changes in single variables (e. g. , price) holding all other variables constant. While economic models such as the Marshallian theory of “marginal-utility” are useful to the extent that they provide behavioural hypotheses (e. g. , the lower the price of a product the higher the sales), the validity of these ypotheses does not rest on whether all individuals act as calculating machines in making their purchasing decisions. For example, Eva Muller (1954) reported a study where only one-fourth of the consumers in her sample bought with any substantial degree of deliberation. The Marshallian model ignores the fundamental question of how product and brand preferences are formed. While pure economics alone cannot explain all variations in sales (Westing and Albaum 1975), several sub-perspectives within the discipline set-out to provide rational explanations for behavioural, psychological, referential, and aggregate demand variations in behaviour, to name just a few3. For example, the experimental treatment of economic choice variables has been useful in providing rational explanations for changes in behaviour. Several studies have identified the impacts of price differentials on consumers’ brand preferences; changes in product cues on demand variations; changes in price on demand sensitivity; and scarcity on consumer choice behaviour amongst many others (Lewis et al. 1995). Moreover, while a number of perspectives on consumer research such as the learning heories, as discussed below, emphasize the external rather than internal factors that influence behaviour, it is important to note that it is the very basis of rationalism, the fundamental justification of the economic argument, on which these traditional views rest. The Behavioural Perspective As mentioned above, in contrast to the economic view which underscores the importance of internal mental processes in consumer decision making, the behavioural perspective emphasizes the role of external environmental factors in the process of learning, which it is argued causes behaviour.
Thus, the behaviourists approach the consumer, as a “black box” and thereby assume that consumer behaviour is a conditioned response to external events. The behavioural perspective therefore focuses on external environmental cues (such as advertising) that stimulate consumer response through learning. The strategic emphasis, of the behavioural modification theories, for example, are to devise a set of expanded behaviour modification techniques (e. g. , respondent conditioning; operant conditioning; vicarious learning etc. ) that can be used to influence, modify, and control consumer behaviour (Peter and Nord 1982).
While a number of researchers have proposed models to study learning principles e. g. , Thorndike (1911); Watson and Rayner (1920), this view is represented by two major approaches to learning: classical conditioning and instrumental learning. Classical conditioning occurs when a stimulus that elicits a response is paired with another stimulus that initially does not elicit a response on its own. Over time, this second stimulus causes a similar response because it is associated with the first stimulus. The theory of classical conditioning is rooted in Pavlov’s research on digestion in animals.
Pavlov induced classically conditioned learning by pairing a neutral stimulus (a bell) with a stimulus known to cause a salivation response in dogs (dried meat powder). The powder was an unconditioned stimulus (UCS) because it was naturally capable of causing the response. Over time, the bell became a conditioned stimulus (CS) resulting in a conditioned response (CR). Thus, conditioned effects are more likely to occur after the conditioned and unconditioned stimuli have been paired a number of times. The basic form of classical conditioning demonstrated by Pavlov primarily applies to responses ontrolled by the autonomic (e. g. , salivation) and nervous (e. g. , eyeblink) systems. That is, it focuses on visual and olfactory cues that induce hunger or thirst. When these cues are consistently paired with conditioned stimuli, such as brand names, consumers may learn to be hungry or thirsty, when later exposed to brand cues. Classical conditioning can have similar effects for more complex reactions. Even a credit card becomes a conditioned cue that triggers greater spending, especially since it is a stimulus that is presented only in situations where consumers are spending money.
People learn that they can make larger purchases when using credit cards, and they also have been found to leave larger tips than they do when using cash (Feinberg 1986). While responses in classical conditioning are involuntary and fairly simple those in instrumental conditioning are made deliberately to obtain a goal and may be more complex. The Cognitive Perspective In contrast to behavioural theories of learning, the cognitive perspective stresses the role of information processing in consumer decision making. This perspective views people as problem solvers who actively use nformation from the world around them to master their environment. However, much debate surrounds the issue of whether or when people are actually aware of these learning processes. On the one hand, there is some evidence for the existence of unconscious procedural knowledge. That is, people apparently do process at least some information in an automatic, passive way, which is a condition that has been termed mindlessness (Langer 1983). Nonetheless, many modern theorists are beginning to regard some instances of conditioning as cognitive processes, especially where xpectations are formed about the linkages between stimuli and responses. Studies using masking effects, wherein it is difficult for subjects to learn CS/UCS associations, show substantial reductions in conditioning (Allen and Madden 1985). The information processing theory (or cognitive theory) is central to the variety of hierarchy of effect models which, as Barry and Howard (1990, 121) explain, posit that consumers go through a “variety of stages, namely cognitive, affective, and conative, in responding to advertising, and other marketing messages”. Accordingly, “the dominant pattern of relationship etween the three stages is that cognition (thought) precedes both affect (feeling) and conation (behaviour)” (Marsden and Littler 1998, 7). The most widely accepted position that opposes behaviourism is that thought and feeling can produce change in action directly. This is cognitivism; in its strongest form it suggests that attitudes control behaviour, and reinforcement only acts by changing attitudes. Overall, the implication for marketing strategy is that – “Consumers must be exposed to information [e. g. , advertising] if it is to influence their behaviour” Kiser 1951; Barwise and Ehrenberg 1985; and Marxist ideology – a ociological equivalent for the primacy of behaviour over attitude); as well as for the cognitive perspective (e. g. , Kahle and Berman 1979), evidence suggests that precedence in the attitude-behaviour relationship, when it can be detected, varies depending upon the person, action, and context (East 1990). In addition, the cognitive theories have been criticized for assuming that individuals are complex information processing entities. Nevertheless, the problem solving perspective has tended to dominate the field of consumer research. And as discussed next, decision making models that ave governed consumer theory, are in fact based on the fundamentals of the cognitive principle. Role of Research in understanding consumer behaviour Consumer research paradigms Here in this topic of consumer research they are trying to identify reasons for purchasing a product, usually customers hesitates to reveal their reasons or motivational factor which made them to purchase a product or service at that time the consumer researchers use the two different types of research methodology to study consumer behavior: quantitative research and qualitative research.
Quantitative research: It is descriptive in nature and this method is used to predict the consumer behavior. This method always consists of experiments, surveys techniques, and observations. The findings are empirical and if collected randomly this can be generalized to large populations and the data are quantitative, they lend to sophisticated statistical analysis Qualitative research:. This includes depth interviews, focus groups, metaphor analysis, and projective techniques.
Here sample sizes are necessarily small so we cannot generalized to larger population they are used to obtain new ideas for promotional campaigns. Combining qualitative and quantitative research findings: By combining both research finding marketers can design more effective marketing strategies and always they use qualitative research findings to discover new ideas and quantitative to predict consumer reactions to various promotional inputs. The consumer research process: The important steps in the consumer research process are 1. defining the objectives of the research . collecting and evaluating secondary data 3. designing a primary research study 4. collecting primary data 5. analyzing the data 6. preparing the report on findings Developing the research objectives: It is first and the most difficult step in research process hare the questions like is it to segment the market for plasma television sets? To find out consumer attitude about the experience with online shopping?. And it is always important for the marketing manager to agree at the out set on the purposes and the objectives of the study to ensure that
Collecting secondary data Secondary data includes both internal and external data it is collected or generated for some purpuss other than the present research objectives Internal secondary data such information as data generated in house for earlier studies for earlier studies as well as analisis of customer files, such as past customer transactions etc. Designing primary research: IT IS basically designed on the basis of the purposes of the study. If the descriptive study is needed then the quantitative study is likely to be nder taken. If the purpose is of the new ideas then we can go for the qualitative research. Quantitative research design A quantitative research study consists of research design, the data collection methods and instruments to be used, and the sample design. Three basic designs are used in quantitative research are : observation, experimentation, or survey. Observational research Here in this method the people or customers are observed when they are purchasing the product or using the product Mechanical observation ses a mechanical or electronic device to record customer behavior or responses to a particular marketing stimulus. Experimentation it is possible to test the relative sales appeal of many types of variables, such as package designs, prices promotional offers, or copy themes through experiments designed to identify cause and effect. Surveys There are various survey methods are there they are, · personal interview survey · telephone survey · mail surveys · online surveys Quantitative research data collection instruments
The data collection instruments are developed to as part of a study’s total research design systematizing the collection of data and to ensure that all respondents are asked the same questions in the same order. Questionnaire For quantitative research the primary data collection instrument is questionnaire Attitude scales the instruments most frequently used to capture this evaluative data is called attitude scales the most frequently attitude scales are likert scales, semantic differential scale, behavior intension scale, and rank order scale. Qualitative research design and data collection methods he important methods of data collection in this research design are depth interview, focus group, discussion guides, projective techniques and metaphor analysis. These techniques are regularly used the early stages of attitude research to pinpoint relevant product related beliefs and to develop an initial picture of consumer attitude. Depth interview: This is a lengthy non structured interview between a respondent and highly trained interviewer, who minimizes his own participation in the discussion after establishing the general subject to be discussed
Focus group: this consist of 8 to 8 to10 respondents who meet with a moderator analyst for a group discussion “focused” on a particular product or product category. Projective techniques: This is designed to tap the underlying motives of individuals despite their unconscious rationalizations or efforts at conscious concealment. Metaphor analysis: in the 1990, a stream of consumer research emerged suggesting the most communication is non verbal and that people do not think in words but in images. Data analysis and reporting research findings
In qualitative research, the moderator usually analyses the responses received. In quantitative research, the research supervises the analysis open ended questions are first coded and classified then all of the responses are tabulated and analyzed. using sophisticated analytical programs that correlate the data by selecting variables and cluster the data by selected demographic characteristics. BCCL PUBLICATION The Times Group is India’s largest media conglomerate with its flagship Bennett, Coleman and Company Limited (BCCL) being the largest publishing company in India and South-Asia.
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Largest English newspaper in India by circulation (and the world) Largest Business newspaper in India by circulation (2nd largest English Business daily in the world, behind WSJ) Largest Non? English newspapers in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore by circulation (India’s three largest cities) Television Largest English News TV Channel, No. 2 English Business News TV Channel Largest Bollywood News and Lifestyle TV Channel, No. 2 English Movies TV Channel Digital Largest Indian network based on traffic and revenue (behind Google, Facebook, Yahoo) Operates 30+ digital businesses, most of which are Top 3 in their ompetitive segment Most popular B2C mobile shortcode in India, across SMS, voice, WAP, and USSD Radio Largest radio network in India by revenue and listenership, with 32 stations Operates the largest rock radio station in the UK Out-of-home Largest Out? of? home advertising business in India with presence in all major metros Owns advertising contracts in most major airports in India. Other Activities Music Movies Syndication Education Financial Services Event Management Specialised publications – including books and multimedia inShare 22 Hypothesis Testing and Consumer Behavior
We are all familiar with instances of consumer learning: learning about microwave ovens by reading Consumer Reports; learning to make a hazelnut torte from Paul Bocuse; learning never to go shopping on the days immediately following Thanksgiving and Christmas for fear of suffocation; learning that Miracle Whip is not the same as real mayonnaise. We know learning when we see it, but a precise definition is more problematic (Hilgard & Bower 1966). With the emergence of the information processing metaphor in cognitive psychology, discussion of learning has almost reached extinction (e. . , Lachman, Lachman and Butterfield 1979) in favor of memory processes and structure. However, everyone still implicitly agrees that we do learn. The Consumer is Given a Rule How do people learn rules about consuming? The most common and efficient way we learn is by listening to and remembering what other people tell us. Mothers, fathers, teachers, books, friends, and TV provide us with most of our hypotheses. From this perspective much of learning can best be represented as the remembering of previously derived (and tested) rules.
One of the most important rules we learn is that in most instances a tried and true rule already exists even if we can’t remember it; and it is much easier to ask someone else than to derive or rediscover the rule ourselves. Young children very quickly learn this rule about learning. While the young infant has a learning repertoire limited to exploratory trial and error and possibly some limited imitation skills, consider the two most common utterances of the ever curious two year old: “me, me, me,” and slightly later, “why, Mommy, why? – On the surface this type of learning seems inherently less interesting than cases requiring the consumer to be a more active participant in the rule discovery process. However, it is interesting to consider why some rules are remembered and others forgotten, some believed and others discarded. The Consumer Induces a Rule A second way we learn is by inducing a rule based upon what we observe happening around us. Scholars in virtually every field have speculated on how people generate hypotheses, but there is little actual research on the underlying psychological processes (Gettys ;amp; Fisher 1979).
Clearly trial and error is one frequent behavior. Though we typically frown upon random responding in favor of techniques based upon more systematic variation, Campbell (1966) has argued that blind variation coupled with selective retention is the basis for creative thought. In a developmental sense, this seems quite plausible–an infant will try a multitude of small actions but retain only those actions that work (aka the law of effect). Why do people experience such difficulty in generating hypotheses? At least part of the problem seems to occur as a product of searching memory for elevant information. Consider the following task. You observe a particular pattern of data and then are asked to generate multiple hypotheses (or rules) the might account for the data. In many cases, there will be many, sometimes an infinite number of plausible hypotheses, but most people will be hard pressed to generate even a handful of alternatives. In previous research on predictive judgement (Hoch 1983), I found that the problems in hypothesis generation are of ten due to retrieval interference during the search of associative memory.
I found that the more hypotheses subjects had previously generated, the harder it was to come up with new hypotheses. The assumption is that subjects use the “to be explained” data as a retrieval or generation cue. As they think harder and harder about how to ex? lain the data, what do they naturally think about first? The hypotheses that they have al ready generated. These problems in hypothesis generation can be accounted for by a model of retrieval in associative memory proposed by Shiffrin (1970) and Rundus (1973).
As applied to the hypothesis generation task, the model makes three assumptions: ( 1) generation is probabilistic, based upon the strength of the associations between the retrieval cue and potential alternative hypotheses; ()) the generation process is analogous to sampling with replacement, where previously generated hypotheses can be retrieved again; and (3) the very act of generation serves to strengthen the association between the gene rated hypothesis and the retrieval cue. Therefore the probability of retrieving a previously generated hypothesis is increased which in turn reduces the probability of generating new hypotheses.
It is easy to see how such retrieval processes in associative memory could lead to what we commonly refer to as “thinking blocks. ” People spontaneously rehearse the things they already know over and over again, precluding the generation of new ideas. From this perspective, the “Eureka” phenomenon and the practice of putting aside the problem until another day are more understandable–the strength of the associations between previously generated hypotheses and the retrieval stimulus decay in the interim. The Consumer Changes Previously Learned Rules
The third way we learn is by adapting or changing previously learned rules to be in accord with existing information. While the initial generation of hypotheses is a fascinating area, it probably accounts For only a small fraction of adult learning. Learning is a dynamic process. And because adults typically have developed a large repertoire of rules that would be applicable to most frequently encountered situations, most of the research has been concerned with the processes underlying the maintenance and revision of these rules over time.
Piaget (1954) addressed this issue in his work on the development of perceptual and intellectual skills. In the early stages of cognitive development, infants accommodate stimulus objects and adjust their mental representations to be consistent with the incoming data. An appropriate metaphor is that of the child as a sponge, absorbing all the information that the environment offers. As the child continues to mature, however, incoming information is increasingly assimilated to existing cognitive schemes-(Bartlett’s schemata). With assimilation the child deals -with environmental events in terms of current structures.
Piaget viewed adaption as the interplay between accommodation and assimilation. Bobrow and Norman (1975) discussed memory schemata in a similar way by distinguishing between data-driven (accommodation) and concept-driven (assimilation) processing. .Adult learning is dominated by the assimilation process because we are rarely at a loss for a ready-made rule for most situations. The advantages and liabilities associated with various forms of schematic processing have been well documented in recent years, especially in the social cognition literature (see reviews by Hastie 1981; Taylor and Crocker 1981).
Therefore I will only discuss a few studies more directly relevant to learning and hypothesis testing behavior before moving to the question of the persistence of erroneous rules. Research on multiple cue probability learning has demonstrated that people have a very difficult time learning probabilistic relationships between two or more variables (see Castellan 1977 for a review). Under certain conditions, however, people are able to learn complex rules and relationships when the variables are given realistic labels, such as price and quality (Adelman 1981; Miller 1971; Muchinksy and Dudycha 1975).
The necessary condition is that the observed data is congruent with a priori theories that subjects have about how the world works. For example, in detecting a negative correlation between x1 and x2, Learning would be greatly facilitated if the variables were labeled price and demand. Here the cue-criterion relationship matches the pre-existing world Knowledge of the subjects. Here we see the adaptive advantages of assimilation –a priori theories guiding the perception and understanding of a complex stimulus by providing a ready-mate mental structure.
Alternatively, if the relationship between the labeled variables violates world knowledge (e. g. , price and quality in the case of a negative correlation), learning becomes virtually impossible (Camerer 1981). It appears that existing hypotheses can be a mixed blessing; they can both promote and hinder perception and cognitive learning. When the observable data are congruent with world knowledge, then existing rules speed the perception process by allowing people to assimilate a large amount of data and interpret it within the framework of -well-developed knowledge structures. A priori theories are similar to the illuminating, often magical character of the analogies and metaphors found in discussions of memory in cognitive psychology (Roediger 1980). We know that memory is not really a wax tablet, cow’s stomach, or digital computer, but somehow these concrete prototypes make the abstract theories much more understandable to experts and laymen alike. ] However, when the data are incongruent with a person’s conception of how the world works, the predominant finding is that people have quite a difficult time accommodating the environment by adjusting their rules accordingly.
In terms of hypothesis testing, there are several lines of research indicating that people search for information that is congruent with their a priori theories. Bruner, Goodnow, and Austin (1956) found that subjects had a “thirst for confirming redundancy” in concept identification tasks. One of the most cited examples of the socalled “verification or confirmation bias” is Wason’s (1960) 2-4-6 rule discovery task. Subjects were shown the sequence of numbers 2-4-6 and told that it obeyed a rule that the experimenter had in mind.
Subjects generated additional sequences and received feedback as to whether their sequences obeyed the rule. Using this feedback, their task was to specify the correct rule. Wason found that subjects continued to offer sequences that obeyed the rule and confirmed their hypotheses, rather than pursuing a logically superior falsification strategy. Mynatt, Doherty, and Tweeney (1977) also found a confirmation bias in a simulated research environment. Snyder and Swann (1978) and Darley and Gross (1983) extended these findings to hypothesis testing in social interaction and labeling.
The concern is that if people have a predisposition to always search for information that only confirms their hypotheses and rules, how can consumers possibly learn when their rules are actually not right (Brehmer 1980)? WHY DO RULES PERSIST? There seem to be three general reasons why people would maintain their rules about consuming. First, the rules could be right. Now this is not a particularly interesting possibility from a researcher’s point of view, but a majority of our rules are probably at least “mostly” right. As Toda (1962) said, “Man and rat are both incredibly stupid in an experimental room.
On the other hand . . . man drives a car, plays complicated games and organizes society, and rat is troublesomely cunning in the kitchen. ” (p. 165) The other two possibilities concern rules that are wrong, either normatively or pragmatically. In one case, the rule is wrong but the consumer doesn’t realize it because of never having been exposed to any evidence to the contrary. In the other case, the rule is wrong, the consumer knows it or at least has been exposed to some disconfirming evidence, but the evidence is ignored, disregarded or forgotten.
In the latter case, I think there would be little disagreement that such a consumer is biased or in error. However, the former case is more problematic. One reason that the consumer might not know that the rule is wrong is because of a bias to search for confirming information. If the person never encounters disconfirming evidence, how can we expect him to change his rule? Does this constitute an error? From the perspective of most of those working in judgment, reasoning, or social cognition, the answer would be affirmative because the behavior clearly deviates from the logical model.
However, with the resurrection of J. J. Gibson’s (1966) ecological approach to perception, others (McArthur and Bacon 1983) would disagree. A simplified version of their argument is that perception serves an adaptive function; therefore if all the biases were really error, how could man survive? They stress the essential accuracy of perception based knowledge/learning (which seems reasonable), but they rely too heavily upon the irrefutability of the natural selection argument (i. e. , not every maladaptive trait will immediately be selected out, though in the long run they might).
However, they do make the important point that many “errors” could be over-generalizations of highly adaptive perceptual attunements. Taking the cue of the ecological perspective, it is important to view the limitations of consumer learning within commonly encountered decision environments. People do make mistakes, but we also need to understand the conditions where such errors will actually affect performance (see Hoch and Tschirgi 1983 and Hogarth 1981 for discussions of how people can take advantage of redundancy in the environment to improve performance). Wrong Rules in Spite of the Evidence
Here we include consumers who simply refuse to learn. How common is this type of behavior? We’ll start off with the more flagrant cases. Lord, Ross and Lepper (1979) gave people purportedly “objective” evidence, some which supported and some which contradicted the prior theories of their subjects. Not only did subjects ignore the disconfirming evidence, but their attitudes actually became more polarized in favor of their prior theories. I don’t really understand why people would behave in such a manner, but it is hard to come up with a non-motivational explanation. Superstitions provide other examples of refusing to learn. Why does the basketball coach continue to wear the same loud sport coat despite the fact that he admits that doing so has nothing to do with whether his team WinS or not? First, there is no readily observable cost to doing so (in fact in this case there is an obvious cost savings by keeping the wardrobe to a minimum) and second, people fall back upon the psycho logic of “not taking chances. ” Research on the assessment of contingency and covariation (Crocker 1981) and illusory correlation (Hamilton and Rose 1980) provide other examples of problems in learning in the presence of disconfirming evidence.
The overwhelming finding is that people pay too much attention to positive hits and neglect other sources of information, both confirming and disconfirming (Arkes and Harkness 1983). However, in a cross-study reanalysis of several contingency estimation studies where task characteristics varied widely Lipe (1982) found that all four cells in the 2 x 2 table influenced judgment, though not exactly as specified by the equation for Pearson’s rho. Shaklee and Mims (1982) and Arkes and Harkness (1983) found that many people did not rely solely upon positive confirmations but in fact adopted quite sophisticated rules (e. 4. comparison of conditional probabilities) when memory load was reduced by presenting the complete 2 x 2 table. Schustack and Sternberg (1982) found that subjects paid attention to both confirming and disconfirming evidence when the task involved causal diagnosis rather than contingency assessment. One reason for this difference may be that the subject is more attuned to consider the counterfactual (i. e. , would the effect have occurred if the hypothesized cause had not) in the causal reasoning task. The fact that consumers do not learn from disconfirming evidence could also be due to differential encoding of Outcomes.
Estes (1976) found selective encoding of outcomes in a sequential task, where confirming instances were better remembered than their disconfirming counterparts. I4 many instances, disconfirming data could actually be considered irrelevant to the validity of the rule. Consider the wife who has the rule “I never serve fish because my husband hates it. If she sees her husband eat fish a) a friend’s house, should she change her rule or treat the behavior as a minor exception to the rule attributable to politeness or lack of other alternatives?
If she has observed several confirming instances of the husband-hates-fish rule in the past, why should she change the rule in response to seemingly irrelevant evidence? This type of ex-post redefinition of evidence is probably more prevalent than we might first imagine (e. g. , hindsight bias, Fischhoff 1975), especially as outcomes are further separated in tine from the original actions of the consumer. Consumer rules are likely to be fuzzy (Zadeh 1905) and this elasticity in specification makes the categorization of instances as confirming, disconfirming, or irrelevant, quite problematic.
Moreover, the encoding of evidence will be at least partially controlled by a priori theories, with a tendency for consumers to give their theories the benefit of the doubt. To the native that believes in the power of his shaman, a rain dance at 10 A. M. during monsoon season that is followed by rain that evening probably would be encoded as confirmation of mystical powers To the Western missionary, it serves as another example of primitive hokum. A final reason why rules may not be abandoned in the face of conflicting evidence is that no better alternatives are available.
This is actually Kuhn’s (1983) notion of the progression of a science. Disconfirmation of a theory does not imply its automatic replacement (Einhorn and Hogarth 1983). The practice is common in many disciplines (e g. , utility theory as a basis for individual behavior in economics). It also occurs in the consumer realm, where people maintain “consumer myths” (Levy 1981) that provide a “logical” model capable of overcoming contradictions or paradoxes in natural and social experience. Although disconfirming evidence does not have to lead to rule/theory discovery and replacement, finding that your rule is wrong can be extremely therapeutic.
In fact generating alternative hypotheses is virtually impossible without some disconfirming instances upon witch to base your inductive efforts. Let’s go back to Wason’s (1960) 2-4-6 task. The rule in this case is very general: any three ascending numbers. The problem is tricky because the very sequence 2-4-6 suggests so many plausible rules (e. g. , even numbers, A + B = C, etc. ), all of which foment sequences which coincidently obey the true rule. Getting negative evidence in this task is very difficult without random generation.
In a study I conducted on the task a couple of years ago, I found that people had a lot of trouble coming up with new hypotheses to test when each sequence they generated continued to obey the rule. However, as soon as they were fortuitous enough to generate a disconfirming instance, a flood of new hypotheses came to mind and subjects were able to solve the problem fairly quickly. It could be that the disconfirming instance acts as a new retrieval cue that helps to overcome the interference of the previously generated confirming instances; subjects can now discard all old hypotheses and begin anew.
Subjects find themselves “between a rock and a hard spot” in this task. It is hard to generate disconfirming evidence without an alternative hypothesis, but difficult to generate an alternative hypothesis without some disconfirming instances from which to induce a new rule. Wrong Rule and Ignorance of Evidence to the Contrary ‘When does a consumer not have access to evidence that a rule is not correct? One possibility is when the learned rule guides a behavior pattern that precludes the observation of disconfirming events (Einhorn and Hogarth 1978).
A prime example is the real estate agent with the rule: people in double-knit leisure suits are not good prospects. The rule could easily lead to a self-fulfilling prophesy where the prospect will likely not receive the class of service afforded the Burberry suited gentleman. The consumer also will not encounter contradictory evidence when the rule works. The rule may be pragmatically but not logically correct. Schwartz (1982) conducted a series of experiments examining the effects of contingent reinforcement on both simple and complex response sequences in college students.
To obtain reinforcement, subjects had to respond by using one of seventy possible successful sequences. The students, just like pigeons, developed stereotyped behavior patterns even though reinforcement did not require stereotypy. This stereotypy also interfered with their ability to discover the underlying rule because of little disconfirming evidence once a rule that worked had been discovered. when subjects were explicitly instructed to find the rule, stereotypy did not develop. However, if subjects had previously been rewarded for successful outcomes, rule discovery was nigh impossible.
This suggests that if negative feedback is not received early on after the adoption of an erroneous rule, then it may be very difficult to change the rule because stereotyped behavior may preclude the observation of disconfirming instances. Reinforcement seems to teach organisms to repeat precisely what has worked in the past (superstition) and this stereotyped behavior interferes with the ability to uncover generalizations. Brand loyalty and buyer inertia provide examples of stereotypy; however, variety-seeking (McAlister and Pessimier 1982) seems just the opposite, where consumers should have access to plenty of disconfirming information.
It is worth pointing out that behavior stereotypy will provide the biggest obstacle to learning the true rule when the rule is sufficient but not necessary. in all practicality, however, people could do a lot worse than maintaining erroneous but sufficient rules. The old political adage, “If it works, don’t mess with it” probably is good advice. The experimental evidence (Schwartz 1982; Tschirgi 1980) seems to indicate that man is not naturally predisposed to engage in hypothesis testing. The reason is that such testing must occur within the context of ongoing behavior.
People must live with the results, and if their goal is continued success, they will not be so interested in proving an abstract point. While we might consider such behavior shortsighted, it is not clear that we want to call it stupid or all that erroneous. For the working house wife/husband, it may be more rational to serve the six year old exactly what he wants to eat (hot dogs) when food preparation time is at a premium. There is a practical trade-off between making sure the child has something to eat rather than finding out all the foods he might eat through a potentially painful experimentation process.
Horton (1967) calls these “mixed motive” situations, where there is a desire to uncover true generalizations at the same time as satisfying practical constraints. tie presents the example of an African farmer who is willing to do an experiment to improve crop yield. If the new method (X) works, however, the farmer is not particularly interested in doing not (X) to see if it leads to lower crop yield. Counterfactual reasoning is not practical here and in fact is not a part of traditional African thought patterns.
One should not go away with the impression that people have absolutely no desire to engage in hypothesis testing behavior. Instead, it is the case that when the rule works, people will probably pursue a confirmatory strategy if they do bother to test, the most sophisticated of which is holding the hypothesized variable constant and varying contexts. Although Wason and Johnson-Laird (1972) and many others imply that this is an undesirable bias, it seems far superior to the pattern of passive reinforcement-induced behavioral stereotypy that could develop?
While this strategy can increase external validity (generalizability), it tells us nothing about internal validity which can only be addressed with a disconfirmation strategy of varying one thing at a time. Do we accept the Bruner, et al. (1956) conclusion that people have an inherent thirst for confirming evidence? I think this question deserves a qualified yes,” qualified by the fact that people may often be operating in friendly environments where it is quite hard to find disconfirming evidence.
Einhorn and Hogarth (1978), in their elegant treatment of overconfidence in judgment, make a similar observation when discussing base rates and selection ratios. How hard can it be to admit good students if you’re the admissions officer at Stanford? d more literal example of the effect of a friendly environment upon rule persistence is provided by Davis and Ragsdale (1983) in their study of consumers’ accuracy and confidence in predicting the preferences of their spouses for new product concepts. Let’s say that you’re a husband who has the theory that I know the kinds of clothes my wife likes. – The reason you hold that belief is that every time you buy her a present, she tells you how much she likes it. Now, if you were really interested in testing the validity of your rule, you could buy her something that you think she would hate and observe her reaction . But life is too short to prove such a silly point with such unpleasant consequences. Instead you will probably maintain your rule because your wife will continue to provide a friendly environment full of the confirmation provided by a series of gentle white lies motivated by her not wanting to hurt your feelings or get into a fight.
Tschirgi (1980) argued that hypothesis testing behavior is most likely to be engaged when (l) something goes wrong or bad, or (2) something unexpectedly turns out right. In these cases, people may adopt what Van Duyne (1974) termed a detective set as they look for the culpable variable. Tschirgi found that hypothesis testing strategies chosen by both adults and children were dependent upon the outcomes associated with the to-be-tested rule. ‘;hen the outcomes were good (e. g. the cake was moist and the hypothesized cause was the ingredient honey), then subjects chose a confirmatory strategy of holding the suspected cause constant and varying the other variables. However, when the outcome was bad (e. g. , a runny cake due to the honey), subjects adopted the logical disconfirming test of varying the hypothesized cause and holding everything else constant. Clearly these results seem driven by the pragmatic concern of subjects to reproduce positive outcomes and eliminate negative outcomes, a strategy that Gibson (1966) would see as ecologically adaptive though not normative.
Tschirgi’s work indicates that consumers may be capable of learning through hypothesis testing when it really matters even if they don’t do so for exactly the “right” reasons. This view of the adaptiveness of hypothesis testing may be a bit optimistic, especially tn cases where something unexpectedly goes right and you want to figure out why so that you can reproduce the outcome. Because of the good outcome, the likely strategy would be confirmatory, holding the hypothesized constant and varying context. Unfortunately, this would not tell you how or why the outcome occurred.
Moreover, if the consumer cannot even generate a hypothesis, precise repetition may occur (superstitious stereotypy). MARKETING STRATEGY AND CONSUMER HYPOTHESIS TESTING Marketers can take advantage of how consumers learn through hypothesis testing in a couple of different ways. First, they may want to prevent learning so that consumers maintain hypotheses and rules that are currently favorable to their products. Clearly this is a defensive posture and according to those who continually point out the frailty and durability of human judgment (e. g.
Brehmer 1980; Nisbett and Ross 1980) should be easy to implement. I’m sure that PiG and IBM wished that this were more easily done than said. Second, marketers may try to help consumers learn new rules or change existing ones, a more offensive strategy. Preventing learning Firms can defend their market position by capitalizing upon the tendency to assimilate most information to a priori theories or schemes. In the retail trade it is rumored that S-Mart purposefully maintains their stores in a picked-over, sloppy condition to reinforce the belief that they offer no-frills low prices.
An upscale linen store recently opened a “warehouse outlet,” and to promote the “wholesale” prototype, they went to great pains to have the right look–drab gray industrial steel shelving stacked to the ceiling, instead of using some spare glass cabinets they used in their regular store. Marketers need to continually reinforce consumers’ buying rationales so that when disconfirming evidence is encountered it is interpreted within that favorable framework (see Deighton 1983). when Zenith started getting killed by the Japanese because of their high priced manufacturing facilities, they tried to instantiate the “hand-crafted quality” belief.
If it had worked, then consumers would have interpreted discrepant competitor claims of lower price due to efficiency as confirmations of Zenith quality. Clearly it didn’t work in the long run, but the “made in Japan implies lower quality” hypothesis was a consumer rule in very good standing during the 1950s-1960s. (I wonder whether the rule was as untrue then as it appears now. ) Other defensive strategies can be aimed at promoting behavioral stereotypy (buying inertia) and preventing the exposure to disconfirming evidence.
While it is impossible to keep consumers from hearing competitive claims, you can encourage confirmatory hypothesis testing. Marketers can stress the “why change if it works Logic and point to the unnecessary risks associated with experimenting. This is a common practice in industrial selling situations where purchasing agents must trade-off a lower price and a good service/dependability record (“sure their produce is cheaper, but does it work every time? ) Encouraged Learning When Lee Iacocca told consumers to buy a better car if they could find one,