Absolute Thresholds and Differential Thresholds

Absolute thresholds are the minimum level of stimulus intensity needed for a stimulus to be perceived. In other words, the absolute threshold is the amount of intensity needed for a person to detect a difference between something and nothing. Differential thresholds refer to the intensity difference needed between two stimuli before people can perceive that stimuli are different. Thus, the differential threshold is a relative concept. Weber’s law (1834) states the positive relation between the first stimulus and the second stimulus.
The greater the initial stimulus, the stronger the additional intensity need for the second stimulus to be perceived as different. Absolute thresholdDifferential threshold Amount of stimulusOne stimulusTwo stimuli MeasurementDistance between stimulus and nothingDistance between two stimuli Compare between absolute threshold and differential threshold, absolute threshold just include one stimulus while differential threshold include two. In measurement, absolute threshold measures the distance between stimulus and nothing while differential threshold measures the distance between two stimuli.
As I am a marketing student, therefore, the first thing which comes to my mind when I am trying to start off with this piece of journal is that, do these differences between the two thresholds matter with marketers’ marketing strategies? And after I do some research on the internet and with my personal experience, I am quite sure that it does matter. The importance of two thresholds can be different to marketers under different situations. Absolute thresholdDifferential threshold Advertising

ElementsExposure, Size, ColorAdvertising quality PeopleInvolvement, motivation, attention, attitude Concerning advertising elements, absolute threshold focuses on exposure, size, color, etc to attract target customers’ attention while differential threshold focuses on the advertising quality appear to customer in order for them to percept the different between those. These two thresholds are based on different people and are closely related to their involvement, motivation, attention, attitude on the particular good or service.
So different people will have different threshold when percept the same object. When a firm launches a new product or a new brand emerges in the market, this is when the absolute threshold is more important to marketers. Because absolute threshold measures the minimum intensity that the customers can percept, as the new brand or product probably needs recognitions from them, otherwise poor sales arise. Therefore, the higher the exposures of advertising advance to gain consumers’ attention.
On the other hand, the well use of five sensory techniques in the advertising can easier imprint in their mind. When a firm is modifying a product or service (positive improvement or negative change) that either willing or unwilling to let a customer in perceiving the difference, the differential threshold will be considered to be more important. Because differential threshold measure the intensity difference needed between two stimuli before people can perceive, the intensity modify of a product that cause the customer percept or not is what marketers’ concern.
For instance, marketers want to know to what degree of a price cut or a bigger meal can be percept by customers, and thus affect their motivation to consume more. On the other hand, marketers want to know to what degree of raise in price or a smaller meal that can’t be precept by customers, or else it will increase the customer’s cost risk and decrease his or her motivation in purchasing. When taking in the consideration in such a negative change, it reminds me with one of my personal experience.
As I am a fan of Coca-Cola, I used to drink at least three cans a week and I would save those cans up on my own desk in order to bring those cans for recycling once a week. One day when I was doing the same practice after washing the can and try to put it to the group of cans on my desk, I found out that the can was smaller than those cans that I bought before, and when I took a look on the volume of the Cola, the drink can was cut to 330 ml from 355 ml which indicates a 7 percent reduction in the size of the can.
I was kind of shocking that how come a Coca-Cola fan could not recognize such a change in size. After attending the lecture, I know that there is another dimension of sensory discrimination what is known as the “just noticeable difference” (JND). Weber’s work was applied to marketing by Miller (1962) which states that a 7 percent change in other sizes of similar products is needed before a change is noticed. This implies and explains what I experienced and how the marketers try to apply this theory in their strategic moves.

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