15 weeks ago I started this blog.

I can’t say I knew what I was doing, because I can barely say that now, but I think I caught on.

Honestly, psychology is new to me. I never even took a psychology course in undergrad. It was a challenge not being taught any of the principles. You had to kind of just catch on, figure it out for yourself. I mean there were readings, a passing comment, 2 hour seminars, or stalking someone’s blog. But there wasn’t a lecture on classic psych studies, or principles you should know. I liked it though because I had to be in charge of my own understanding.

Anyway, I can’t believe my first semester at SC is over. I have to say, I love it here. California is amazing, as is the Trojan family. Next semester will be even better and I can’t wait to see what it brings!

Hope you guys have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! You probably won’t be hearing from me until January, so don’t miss me too much..

I love my D.S.T.

Posted: December 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

“Malls plan to track shopper locations through cell phones on Black Friday”

We know cell phones now come with tracking devices, but who knew they would be used for understanding shopping patterns in malls. Trying not to get to much into conspiracy theory, but do you think that’s really all they are doing?

“[... I]t’s unlikely that customers will turn off their main device for communication and busy shoppers may miss the notifications posted within the mall.” Well, at least we know they’re really trying to get the word out there. We can probably guess why they aren’t making to big of a deal about it. In order to gather the information they need people to keep their phones on, and researchers can get away with saying they had “notifications posted within the mall.”

Anyway the point of this entry wasn’t to get into the privacy issue behind it all. It was instead to start thinking about the future. Could you imagine, what it would be like if you walk by your favorite store and you get a text that qualifies you for 20% off? Yeah, I’d be broke!

The article says it can’t really pinpoint exact locations, just the general vicinity of the mall. And while we wouldn’t want our cellphones to be going off with thousands of texts from the stores you pass, it would still be cool if they figured out a system. I’m thinking, you sign up for your stores online, then when you walk by, it tracks and delivers. Crazy right, but all so possible now with tracking systems.

For customers it could trigger all kinds of responses. Depending on the type of coupon it can have the scarcity effect. So, if they don’t use the offer right then and there it won’t be valid next time. Also, if offers are sent out randomly, it feels more like gambling. Customers never know when they will receive deals, so they feel more pressure to use them when they do get them. I can imagine the amount of dissonance that is going to occur when you go to the mall not planning on buying anything. Your phone vibrates and its a 30% off offer to your favorite store. What do you do? You might as well go look since you’re already in the store, right?

But that really is the best part. You’re not simply receiving coupons when you don’t need them and you don’t have to worry about going to the store before they expire. It all happens right as you walk into the mall. Could be a nice set-up for whoever gets it going…

Posted: November 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

How effective are celebrity endorsements?

You ever wonder why brands choose to have spokespeople. Such a common tactic to promote a brand, most the time it is simply because the spokespeople are attractive, for example Ms. Jenifer Lopez and the Fiat. The psychology that marketers rely on when it comes to spokespeople stems from the values the spokespeople give off. Why do you think brands are so quick to drop a celebrity when they have negative light? Brands do not want the negative association. What they want is the positive association that will hopefully rub off on the brand the celebrity is endorsing (Kellogg).

Just because a brand uses an attractive spokesperson doesn’t mean it is effective. Usually it brings more light to the celebrity and not the actual product. However, when the celebrity actually seems authentic in either their engagement with the brand or similar values with the brand, it can enhance the perception of the brand. This is because people assign values to things, and they look more favorably to something if values are consistent. So, if a brand wants positive association they need to make sure they find a celebrity who actually (or appears to) fits the values or ideas the brand is trying to give off. It is not enough to rely on the balance theory, in which liking A means you must like B as well, because A likes B. While this initial attraction makes a brand more relevant in consumers eyes, whether it sticks or not will be reliant on how much a celebrity personifies that brand. In other words, it pays when a celebrity isn’t endorsing a product just for money.

I’m not sure where J. Lo really stands with the Fiat, but I can see why they would want her as their spokesperson. Shes free (recently divorced), being reintroduced to the world, still young and fabulous much like the Fiat being introduced to the US, a fun car with lots of spunk. The two really do line up, not to mention how much J.Lo features the Fiat in videos and performances. J. Lo is trying to have a genuine interaction with the fiat and does personify the values they are trying to portray.

With recent new of J.Lo’s body double, I wonder how it will affect the Fiat. This can make her and the brand seem less authentic.  This would lead J.Lo to simply being a pretty model for the Fiat. Like I said before endorsements like these are never as successful. Anyway, now that I think about it, if J.Lo’s commercials for the Fiat are about repping your roots, I don’t think a Fiat actually works so well, seeing as its an Italian made car.. #ijs

Oh, I just thought this video was hilarious..

It’s hard enough for HR having to determine if someone will fit into the organization. Whether they hired the right person, or passed on them, is something HR has to deal with in addition to many other problems. One way to remedy the problem of bringing in new employees, whether they are the right fit or not, is having mentors. As a mentee, you receive help and information that can improve performance and even organizational commitment. There are also studies that show being a mentor has it’s benefits as well.

Mentoring helps increase organizational commitment because employees feel that they have more to lose by switching jobs (Payne & Huffman, 2005). It also helps when mentors are supervisory rather than co-workers. The relationship takes on more of a teacher and student vibe than a friend vibe. However, despite the type of mentor, it is still beneficial over not having one (Payne & Huffman, 2005).

Having a mentor is more than just receiving helpful tips and information. It also serves as a deterrent for turn over. As humans, we suck at cutting our loses. The more time and energy you have invested, the harder it is to walk away. Mentors, if the relationship is good, can serve as an anchor for employees. Not only will employees feel bad about leaving co-workers, but they will also feel bad about leaving a mentor who has invested time and energy in them.

Mentors can also help to reduce stressors for new employees. It is a great socialization technique because new employees have a direct source for questions about handling job situations. Understanding your job duties are not the only things new employees have to learn. Work environments are micro cultures, and they can differ from place to place. This is why socialization can be so important, because it gets employees acquainted with the environment.

While it is time consuming, and can be expensive, it has it’s benefits for the mentor as well. It helps mentors better understand the business, helps better understand themselves, and is great networking. With a new mind, mentors have a different perspective on things. Mentors get asked questions that will make them see a problem and the company in a new light. Mentees can also help with understanding how mentors interact with the office and people. This can be used to improve not only the mentors work attitude but even their work methods as well. Finally, you never know who will be your boss, so it never hurts to add to your network.

Mentoring also helps to build a more open and collaborative work culture. It makes supervisors seem more approachable, and employees more friendly.

Although everything sounds great, mentoring does have negatives. People may feel like a particular employee is at more of an advantage because of who his mentor is. There can also be cases in which mentors are taken advantage of by their mentees: asking them to pick up laundry, or pay for lunch. This level of authority will make it hard for mentees to say no, especially if threats are involved.

I think that concerns like these can be remedied. Proper training, evaluation based on work and not personal traits, two way evaluations so that mentors know they are being watched, are just a few suggestions that may work.

If mentors are provided with the proper training, and they want to do it, it can be really beneficial to a company. It can help reduce turnover, which has high costs associated with it; can imporve team morralle; and can be really rewarding. Besides you never know, you may end up having a winning combination.

I’m not quite sure why Apple thought that calling Jon Briggs would really convince him not to spill the beans behind the voice of the British Siri.  Clearly, it didn’t work and I could have told them that.

Honestly, its a pretty good PR stunt to become even more visible. Not only does he get to be associated with Siri, who is all the rave with the new iPhone 4S but he also gets to break down Apple’s secret fortress…

Okay, so he’s barely made a dent in the secrecy that is Apple, but it’s interesting to know for once what’s going on.

There are of course several explanations as to why Jon Briggs would blurt out who Siri is. Whether it is a PR stunt or simple control issues, I think it’d be fun to go through a few.

One explanation in regards to Jon Briggs is the Control Theory. We have a natural and deep need for control. With Apple telling him that he couldn’t tell the world who Siri is, he could have been simply reacting. This reaction is more specifically known as the Reactance Theory. The Reactance Theory explains why people feeling their freedom threatened become more motivated to perform the behavior being threatened. This takes it back to the need for control.

It could have also been a self-serving bias. This is our tendency to take credit for success but deny any responsibility for failure. With the success of Siri, being associated with it could be a way of getting recognition for its popularity.

It’s also just news worthy. Finally, someone has information about Apple and isn’t required to be quite. It may not last long, but it would be enough to get a few people talking. It’s cool though, finally knowing something about Apple’s technology and it’s development.