CHAPTER 8 GENERALIZATIONS AND FADS
In order to know how images are established, we need to re- member certain principles of behavior . (1) Behavior always occurs in units, the length of which de- pends on what the organism has learned or experienced . Today, going to Chicago is a single response ; someday, go- ing to the moon may become a single response . (2) Behavior patterns once established remain strong until re- placed by competing patterns . Forgetting is always through competition . (3) Behavior incidents take three forms : chains, discriminations, and generalizations . Of these, generalizations are of most interest to advertisers . The simplest way to create a new generalization is to put together two old ones which have never been associated . The problem of creating generalizations may be illustrated by the process of giving names to things . When we name a thing or create a new image, we are really trying to establish a new generalization . Since a name is both a stimulus and a response, it controls a number of other stimuli and responses, and is therefore an important means of affecting behavior . Animal psychology teaches us that any new pattern of behavior is usually overgeneralized . If one teaches an animal to respond in a particular way to a 1000-cycle tone, the animal will make the same response to almost any tone . Only by further training can discrimination between different tones be established . The same is true of the human child . The child overuses a new word, and extends its meaning beyond the true definition . With everyone, the latest well-established behavior in the repertoire will carry the greatest generalization . The newest names for things are the "in" names . Old names that have lost their generalizing influence are "out . " The question becomes : How do we select a name for something in order to create the widest and most lasting generalization?