Manual Images of Competitive Space: A Study of Strategic Cognition

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First, we live in an over-communicated society, bombarded with information on a daily basis. Second, the mind has developed a defense system against the clutter. Third, the only way to cut through the clutter to reach the mind is through simplified and focused messages: Marketing battles are not fought in the customer's office or in the supermarkets or the drugstores of America.

Those are only distribution points for the merchandise whose brand selection is decided elsewhere. A place that's dark and damp with much unexplored territory and deep pitfalls to trap the unwary. Marketing battles are fought inside the mind. Ries and Trout , p. Image is the key construct in destination positioning. Kotler, Haider and Rein , p. In the three decades since the first destination image studies appeared see Mayo , Anderssen and Colberg , Matejka , the topic has become one of the most prevalent in the tourism literature.

It has been suggested that images held by potential travelers are so important in the destination selection process that they can affect the very viability of the destination Hunt Most tourism products are intangible and can often only compete via images. A major objective of any destination positioning strategy will be to reinforce positive images already held by the target audience, correct negative images or create a new image.

Jenkins found the term destination image had been used in a number of different contexts, including for example perceptions held by individuals, stereotypes held by groups, and images projected by destination marketing organizations DMOs. The range of different definitions of image used in the tourism literature has been so great that image is becoming another piece of marketing jargon Cossens While beliefs represent information held about an object, attitude is a favorable or unfavorable evaluation of the object.

Fishbein proposed attitude comprised cognitive, affective and conative components. Cognition is the sum of what is known about a destination, which may be organic or induced. In other words this is awareness, knowledge or beliefs, which may or may not have been derived from a previous visit. After all, destination images can only exist if there is at least a small amount of knowledge World Tourism Organization , in Milman and Pizam Most studies of destination image have analyzed cognitive perceptions, focusing on tangible physical attributes Pearce , Pike Gartner proposed that affect usually becomes operational during the evaluation stage of the destination selection process.

Only recently have destination studies studied both cognition and affect towards destinations together.

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Russel, Ward and Pratt pointed out that the number of terms used in the English language to describe affect toward a place would be in the hundreds. Following Russel , Russel, Ward and Pratt factor analyzed common adjectives used to describe environments. This resulted in the development of an affective response grid, shown in Figure I. Eight adjective dimensions of affect were included in the model, 45 degrees apart. The assumption is that these dimensions are not independent of each other, but represent a circumplex model of affect.

In the model the horizontal axis is arbitrarily set to represent pleasantness, while the vertical axis represents level of arousal. The use of these scales in destination studies has also been reported by Baloglu and McCleary and Baloglu and Mangaloglu The conative image is analogous to behavior since it is the intent or action component. Conation may be considered as the likelihood of visiting a destination within a certain time period.

The process is similar to the AIDA model followed by advertisers, where the aim is to guide a consumer through the stages of awareness, interest, desire and action. The first three destinations are coastal, while Rotorua and Taupo are inland lake districts. Since attribute importance may vary in importance depending on the travel context Hu and Ritchie the focus is narrowed to that of short break holidays by car. Short breaks have been acknowledged as significant holiday trend in many parts of the world. However, only two of the destination image papers reviewed by Pike had indicated an explicit interest in short break holidays.

This study represents the first investigation of short break holidays in New Zealand. Private cars are the most common form of travel to a domestic short break destination Fache , and Auckland averages 1. Significantly, Auckland is the largest source of visitors for each of the five destinations of interest. Therefore three techniques were used to develop a set of cognitive scale items. Finally, a content analysis of 84 destination image studies was undertaken to identify attributes used in the literature.

A set of 20 cognitive attributes was selected for use in a structured survey.

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For more details on this research stage the reader is referred to Pike A item questionnaire was then developed to incorporate the cognitive, affective and conative scale items. It should be noted that other items were included to address top of mind awareness ToMA , decision set composition, motivation for taking a short break, and intent to visit each destination. However, these are the subjects of further papers. In a separate section respondents were asked to indicate the perceived performance of each of the five competing destinations across the same attributes.

Again, a seven point scale was used. The purpose of these two sections was to facilitate an importance-performance analysis IPA of the cognitive perceptions. Destination attractiveness consists therefore, not only of the beliefs about a place, but also the importance of this belief Ryan IPA, introduced by Martilla and James , was selected as a valid technique suitable for operationalizing this aspect of destination attractiveness.

Results are plotted on a matrix with four quadrants, as shown in Figure III.

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Quadrant 1 features attributes that have been rated important, but where the product is not perceived to perform strongly. Quadrant 2 features those attributes rated important and where the product performs strongly. These attributes represent potential strengths. It would be expected that the marketer would focus promotional communications on attributes in Quadrants 1 and 2, since those plotted in Quadrants 3 and 4 are rated lower in importance by the target audience.

To enable an affective response grid, two semantic differential scales were used. Other studies have demonstrated how this can apply to travel destinations. Walmsley and Young also supported the concept of such a common evaluative schema. Conation was measured by requesting respondents to indicate the likelihood of visiting each destination within the next 12 months. While it is acknowledged this represents stated intent rather than actual travel, Belk found intent was associated with behavior when context and time were included.

Following a series of pretests, the questionnaire was mailed to a systematic random sample of Auckland households during May The sample size is considered adequate for the data analysis requirements in that it has been recommended there should be a minimum of 10 respondents per item used in an attitudinal questionnaire Nunnally , Ryan Admittedly the potential for non-response bias is a disadvantage of mail surveys. This is because non-response is not a random process Oppenheim, However, differences between respondents and non-respondents are not always able to be determined Dillman, Hunt therefore suggested a non-response bias test would have been of questionable value.

Ideally, the sample characteristics would have been compared to those of Auckland residents who have demonstrated a propensity for short break holidays. It might be expected the characteristics of such a group would differ from the general population in terms of income or available time. However, the characteristics of New Zealand short break participants have not previously been investigated or identified. Thus, geo- demographic characteristics of the sample, which are presented in Table 1, were compared with those of the Auckland Census population Statistics New Zealand, The differences are similar to those experienced in previous New Zealand destination image studies.

For example, Driscoll, Lawson and Niven found the sample profile to be older married professionals, with higher than average education and incomes than the general New Zealand population. Therefore, it is felt that the sample characteristics would not damage the validity of the findings, in that they help to highlight the characteristics of those with a greater propensity for short breaks.

Therefore a non-response bias test was not undertaken. The cognitive attribute importance results are presented in Table II. A series of exploratory factor analyses was then undertaken. In searching for a simple structure see Kline , where factors have a few high loadings, the cleanest rotated component matrix was generated from an orthogonal analysis using 16 attributes. Principal Components Analysis, with a varimax rotation, identified four factors that explained The KMO for this analysis is.

The factor loadings are shown in Table III. The mean factor scores for attribute performance and perceived performance for each destination are presented in Table IV. The first letter of each destination, along with the factor number, has been used to code each data point. Distinctive positions were identified for two destinations. Rotorua achieved top rank on the first four of these attributes, and is ranked second for the fifth. Coromandel ranked first for each of these. All five destinations are perceived to perform strongly on this factor, with no dominant destination position.

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Each destination is perceived to perform strongly on this factor, which rated below the scale mid-point and is not considered determinant. The Cronbach alphas for the two affect items, for each of the destinations, range from. Table V shows the mean scores for each destination on the first affect item. These results appear consistent with the factor-analytic IPA performances.

Table VI presents the mean scores for each destination on the second affect item. Interestingly, given the strong performance in previous sections, Rotorua 5. Nevertheless the grand mean of 5. The affect results are plotted onto an affective response grid, which is presented in Figure V. Instead, the grand means are used to provide a guide to how each is positioned relative to the others for each dimension.

These positions are consistent with the cognitive IPA positions. These are presented in Table VII. Also highlighted are the number of respondents who indicated a score above the scale mid-point. It can be seen that Coromandel and Rotorua perform strongest for this item, again consistent with the IPA and affect performances. Positioning analysis requires an understanding of how a destination is perceived to perform on attributes deemed important to the target, relative to the competition.

Therefore, positioning a multi-attributed destination in dynamic and heterogeneous markets presents a significant challenge for DMOs. Two important implications of positioning theory confront the destination marketer. Firstly, which destination attributes should feature in positioning campaigns and which should be omitted? Secondly, the research requirements to analyze the position held in the range of different markets and travel contexts of interest to stakeholders are likely to be prohibitive.

Therefore would one succinct and focused positioning theme consistently meet the needs of all target markets? This investigation of the positions held by a competitive set of domestic short break destinations in New Zealand features a comparison of cognitive and affective positioning techniques.

Few studies of destination image have included the analysis of affective perceptions. Two particularly important structural aspects of our self-concept are complexity and clarity. Some selves are more complex than others, and these individual differences can be important in determining psychological outcomes.

Having a complex self means that we have a lot of different ways of thinking about ourselves. For example, imagine a woman whose self-concept contains the social identities of student, girlfriend, daughter, psychology student , and tennis player and who has encountered a wide variety of life experiences.

Social psychologists would say that she has high self-complexity. On the other hand, a man who perceives himself primarily as either a student or as a member of the soccer team and who has had a relatively narrow range of life experiences would be said to have low self-complexity. For those with high self-complexity, the various aspects of the self are separate, as the positive and negative thoughts about a particular self-aspect do not spill over into thoughts about other aspects.

The benefits of self-complexity occur because the various domains of the self help to buffer us against negative events and enjoy the positive events that we experience. For people low in self-complexity, negative outcomes in relation to one aspect of the self tend to have a big impact on their self-esteem.


For example, if the only thing that Maria cares about is getting into medical school, she may be devastated if she fails to make it. On the other hand, Marty, who is also passionate about medical school but who has a more complex self-concept, may be better able to adjust to such a blow by turning to other interests. People with high self-complexity seem to react more positively to the good things that happen to them but not necessarily less negatively to the bad things.

And the positive effects of self-complexity are stronger for people who have other positive aspects of the self as well. Theoretically, the concepts of complexity and clarity are independent of each other—a person could have either a more or less complex self-concept that is either well defined and consistent, or ill defined and inconsistent.

However, in reality, they each have similar relationships to many indices of well-being. For example, as has been found with self-complexity, higher self-concept clarity is positively related to self-esteem Campbell et al.

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Why might this be? Perhaps people with higher self-esteem tend to have a more well-defined and stable view of their positive qualities, whereas those with lower self-esteem show more inconsistency and instability in their self-concept, which is then more vulnerable to being negatively affected by challenging situations. Consistent with this assertion, self-concept clarity appears to mediate the relationship between stress and well-being Ritchie et al.

Greater clarity may promote relationship satisfaction in a number of ways. Also, perhaps when we feel clearer about who we are, then we feel less of a threat to our self-concept and autonomy when we find ourselves having to make compromises in our close relationships. This is indeed what the research suggests.

Like any other schema, the self-concept can vary in its current cognitive accessibility. Self-awareness refers to the extent to which we are currently fixing our attention on our own self-concept. Perhaps you can remember times when your self-awareness was increased and you became self-conscious—for instance, when you were giving a presentation and you were perhaps painfully aware that everyone was looking at you, or when you did something in public that embarrassed you.

Emotions such as anxiety and embarrassment occur in large part because the self-concept becomes highly accessible, and they serve as a signal to monitor and perhaps change our behavior. You may know some people for whom the physical appearance component of the self-concept is highly accessible. They check their hair every time they see a mirror, worry whether their clothes are making them look good, and do a lot of shopping—for themselves, of course. Other people are more focused on their social group memberships—they tend to think about things in terms of their role as Muslims or Christians, for example, or as members of the local tennis or soccer team.

In addition to variation in long-term accessibility, the self and its various components may also be made temporarily more accessible through priming. When the knowledge contained in the self-schema becomes more accessible, it also becomes more likely to be used in information processing and to influence our behavior. The researchers expected that most children viewed stealing as wrong but that they would be more likely to act on this belief when they were more self-aware.

They conducted this experiment on Halloween in homes within the city of Seattle, Washington. At particular houses, children who were trick-or-treating were greeted by one of the experimenters, shown a large bowl of candy, and were told to take only one piece each. The researchers unobtrusively watched each child to see how many pieces he or she actually took. However, the children who were in front of a mirror were significantly less likely to steal Other research has shown that being self-aware has a powerful influence on other behaviors as well.

What this means is that when you are trying to stick to a diet, study harder, or engage in other difficult behaviors, you should try to focus on yourself and the importance of the goals you have set. Social psychologists are interested in studying self-awareness because it has such an important influence on behavior. People become more likely to violate acceptable, mainstream social norms when, for example, they put on a Halloween mask or engage in other behaviors that hide their identities.

For example, the members of the militant White supremacist organization the Ku Klux Klan wear white robes and hats when they meet and when they engage in their racist behavior. Rioting occurs when civilians engage in violent public disturbances. The targets of these disturbances can be people in authority, other civilians, or property. The triggers for riots are varied, including everything from the aftermath of sporting events, to the killing of a civilian by law enforcement officers, to commodity shortages, to political oppression.

Both civilians and law enforcement personnel are frequently seriously injured or killed during riots, and the damage to public property can be considerable. Social psychologists, like many other academics, have long been interested in the forces that shape rioting behavior.

One of the earliest and most influential perspectives on rioting was offered by French sociologist, Gustav Le Bon — Festinger et al. Under this view, being unidentified and thereby unaccountable has the psychological consequence of reducing inner restraints and increasing behavior that is usually repressed, such as that often seen in riots. In support of this position, he found that participants engaged in more antisocial behavior when their identity was made anonymous by wearing Ku Klux Klan uniforms. For example, during some riots, antisocial behavior can be viewed as a normative response to injustice or oppression.

In other words, if the group situation is associated with more prosocial norms, deindividuation can actually increase these behaviors, and therefore does not inevitably lead to antisocial conduct. Building on these findings, researchers have developed more contemporary accounts of deindividuation and rioting. One particularly important approach has been the social identity model of deindividuation effects or SIDE model , developed by Reicher, Spears, and Postmes This perspective argues that being in a deindividuated state can actually reinforce group salience and conformity to specific group norms in the current situation.

According to this model, deindividuation does not, then, lead to a loss of identity per se. Indeed, as Fogelson concluded in his analysis of rioting in the United States in the s, restraint and selectivity, as opposed to mindless and indiscriminate violence, were among the most crucial features of the riots.

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Private self-consciousness refers to the tendency to introspect about our inner thoughts and feelings. Public self-consciousness , in contrast, refers to the tendency to focus on our outer public image and to be particularly aware of the extent to which we are meeting the standards set by others. However, the presence of the mirror had no effect on college students from Japan. In general, though, we all experience heightened moments of self-awareness from time to time.

Sometimes when we make these comparisons, we realize that we are not currently measuring up. Simply put, the more self-aware we are in a given situation, the more pain we feel when we are not living up to our ideals. In these cases, we may realign our current state to be closer to our ideals, or shift our ideals to be closer to our current state, both of which will help reduce our sense of dissonance. Another potential response to feelings of self-discrepancy is to try to reduce the state of self-awareness that gave rise to these feelings by focusing on other things.

For example, Moskalenko and Heine found that people who are given false negative feedback about their performance on an intelligence test, which presumably lead them to feel discrepant from their internal performance standards about such tasks, subsequently focused significantly more on a video playing in a room than those given positive feedback. There are certain situations, however, where these common dissonance-reduction strategies may not be realistic options to pursue.

For instance, the person who has become addicted to an illegal substance may choose to focus on healthy eating and exercise regimes instead as a way of reducing the dissonance created by the drug use. The key findings were that those who had engaged in the self-affirmation condition and were then exposed to a threatening hypothesis showed greater tendencies than those in the non-affirming group to seek out evidence confirming their own views, and to detect illusory correlations in support of these positions. Still another option to pursue when we feel that our current self is not matching up to our ideal self is to seek out opportunities to get closer to our ideal selves.

One method of doing this can be in online environments. They also rated their avatars as more similar to their ideal selves than they themselves were. The authors of this study concluded that these online environments allow players to explore their ideal selves, freed from the constraints of the physical world.

There are also emerging findings exploring the role of self-awareness and self-affirmation in relation to behaviors on social networking sites. Gonzales and Hancock conducted an experiment showing that individuals became more self-aware after viewing and updating their Facebook profiles, and in turn reported higher self-esteem than participants assigned to an offline, control condition. The increased self-awareness that can come from Facebook activity may not always have beneficial effects, however.

Perhaps sometimes we can have too much self-awareness and focus to the detriment of our abilities to understand others. Toma and Hancock investigated the role of self-affirmation in Facebook usage and found that users viewed their profiles in self-affirming ways, which enhanced their self-worth. They were also more likely to look at their Facebook profiles after receiving threats to their self-concept, doing so in an attempt to use self-affirmation to restore their self-esteem.

It seems, then, that the dynamics of self-awareness and affirmation are quite similar in our online and offline behaviors. Having reviewed some important theories and findings in relation to self-discrepancy and affirmation, we should now turn our attention to diversity. Once again, as with many other aspects of the self-concept, we find that there are important cultural differences. For instance, Heine and Lehman tested participants from a more individualistic nation Canada and a more collectivistic one Japan in a situation where they took a personality test and then received bogus positive or negative feedback.

They were then asked to rate the desirability of 10 music CDs. Subsequently, they were offered the choice of taking home either their fifth- or sixth-ranked CD, and then required to re-rate the 10 CDs. The critical finding was that the Canadians overall rated their chosen CD higher and their unchosen one lower the second time around, mirroring classic findings on dissonance reduction, whereas the Japanese participants did not.

Crucially, though, the Canadian participants who had been given positive feedback about their personalities in other words, had been given self-affirming evidence in an unrelated domain did not feel the need to pursue this dissonance reduction strategy. In contrast, the Japanese did not significantly adjust their ratings in response to either positive or negative feedback from the personality test. Once more, these findings make sense if we consider that the pressure to avoid self-discrepant feelings will tend to be higher in individualistic cultures, where people are expected to be more cross-situationally consistent in their behaviors.

Those from collectivistic cultures, however, are more accustomed to shifting their behaviors to fit the needs of the ingroup and the situation, and so are less troubled by such seeming inconsistencies. Although the self-concept is the most important of all our schemas, and although people particularly those high in self-consciousness are aware of their self and how they are seen by others, this does not mean that people are always thinking about themselves. This may be welcome news, for example, when we find ourselves wincing over an embarrassing comment we made during a group conversation.

It may well be that no one else paid nearly as much attention to it as we did! People also often mistakenly believe that their internal states show to others more than they really do. One at a time, each student stood up in front of the others and answered a question that the researcher had written on a card e. After each round, the students who had not been asked to lie indicated which of the students they thought had actually lied in that round, and the liar was asked to estimate the number of other students who would correctly guess who had been the liar.

Asendorpf, J. Self-awareness and other-awareness. II: Mirror self-recognition, social contingency awareness, and synchronic imitation. Developmental Psychology, 32 2 , — Barrios, V. Elucidating the neural correlates of egoistic and moralistic self-enhancement. Consciousness and Cognition: An International Journal, 17 2 , — Baumeister, R.

How emotions facilitate and impair self-regulation. Gross Eds. Beaman, A. Self-awareness and transgression in children: Two field studies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37 10 , — Bessiere, K. The ideal elf: Identity exploration in World of Warcraft. Boysen, S.

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