Memory without Recall, Exposure without Perception

Herbert E. Krugman


In each of two recent talks, to the AMA Attitude Research Conference in Las Vegas and to the ANA Media Workshop in New York, I pointed out the limitations of recall as an indicator of memory and tried to reposition the concept of perception. In Las Vegas I reviewed the implications of the new brain research on the theory of low involvement: in New York I reinterpreted some earlier data which suggested that three advertising exposures represented an optimal frequency. That two so different talks converged on a common focus suggests that there may be some value in looking at them together.

High and Low Involvement: The Two Brains

In 1965 1 had rejected what I thought was an overemphasis on the importance of attitude when I suggested that television advertising typically produced changes in behavior prior to changes in attitude, and that in-store purchasing triggered an accumulated potential for a shift in the salience of perceived attributes of an advertised object (Krugman, 1965). By contrast, it was typically in response to the print medium that one could expect to find in operation the more familiar model of AIETA (Awareness-Interest-Evaluation-Trial-Adoption) or other hierarchy models - that is, the classic 'think before you act' rational approach to decision making revered in the schoolroom.