Pavlov’s dog

Power of association at work, life and investing

What is pavlovian association ?

Some of us have read about Pavlov’s dog, how he trained the dog by ringing a bell and then give it food. Slowly the dog came to associate the sound off bell to food. Then when the bell rang the dog thought about food and its mouth started watering in anticipation of food. Could you think of similar examples with in human world ?

Humans also form connections mentally based on the way they see, hear & perceive what is being told to how they understand relationships. Examples in marketing- Aishwarya and other bollywood actresses using lux soap : people come to associate beauty with lux though it would be unreasonable to expect one to become beautiful using lux, Shah rukh khan suggesting fair and handsome, Katrina seductively drinking maaza: although it may not be possible to seduce someone with mango juice, Marketers understand that people would slowly associate the feeling to the brand.

Examples at work: We often come to see people as important when we see how much they are seen with the VP of a company or a celebrity. Leaders and people trying to influence others often quote steve jobs, Elon Musk, Gartner, etc etc. When we hear Steve or Elon said so and so suddenly what seemed like nonsense a minute back start to make sense.

The same power of association is used by bigger brands to sell people investment products for example ‘ICICI long-term tax saver triple advantage fund’ ( i am making this one up). ICICI a big brand with Amitabh Bachchan when compared to say quantum fund, tax saving an yearly goal, triple advantage sounds definitely better than say just advantage. People associate credibility to their perception and one should be careful not to fall for perception by not doing a proper due diligence !