Changing behaviour through mental connections: the power of associative learning – 14th November 2017

Ingenuity KnowledgeXchange Breakfast Event

 

The human brain is constantly making connections – associations between one thing and another. In psychology, this is called associative learning and it can have major implications for our businesses.

Associative learning is the process by which we form an association between two or more things. Perhaps the most famous example of associative learning is Pavlov’s dogs, who learned to associate the sound of a ringing bell with the imminent arrival of food. The association the dogs developed between the sound of the bell and the reward of a tasty treat was powerful. So powerful, in fact, that they continued to salivate when they heard the bell ringing, even when no food was presented. Although we might like to think we are much more sophisticated than Pavlov’s dogs, the same mechanisms are at work in our own brains!

The business world is full of ‘associations’ and opportunities for associative learning. Every day, our brains are making mental connections between people, between projects and between products. Some of the associations we develop in a business setting might seem obvious, such as the association an employee makes between their good performance and a bonus. Other associations are more complex and require more detailed analysis, such as the role of associations in advertising – yet when harnessed, these associations can play a significant role in influencing a customer’s perception of your product or service.

Psychologists have studied how people form associations for many years. They now have a good understanding of the optimal circumstances for the development of associations, and the sorts of factors that prevent them. This knowledge is often applied in education and therapeutic settings, but there is much we can learn to benefit our own businesses too.

In this session, Dr Mark Haselgrove will describe the psychology of association – how people learn to connect events together. Using evidence drawn from a variety of sources we will explore how people learn to associate events in their environment, and how we can use this to change the behaviour of ourselves and others.

Our speaker

Mark_Haselgrove_New
Dr Mark Haselgrove
Associate Professor, Faculty of Science

Mark Haselgrove is an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Nottingham. He conducts research and teaches on the principles, mechanisms and applications of learning.

The programme

07:45 – 08:10       Registration, breakfast and networking
08:10 – 08:15       Welcome and introductions
08:10 – 09:00       Keynote
09:00 – 09:10       Q&A
09:10 – 09:30       The Shop Window
09:30…                  Networking – for those that want to stay on

State Aid

This event is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020 and is part of the Enabling Innovation Programme. This event is classed as State Aid to participating businesses, the value of which is £100, but is delivered completely free of charge to participants.

The ‘Shop Window’

The Shop Window is your chance to take the floor to make a brief presentation to the room about something you are looking for help with.

From the University? If you have a business-facing project or want to work with local small and medium-sized businesses as part of your research, this is your opportunity to make contact with business owners. Our network members are already interested in what happens at the University and may be interested in participating with your initiative.

From a business? Sorry, but the Shop Window isn’t the time for a “60 second pitch”. Feedback from our network members tells us that our businesses want something different from Ingenuity. But it is your opportunity to do some research of your own: request volunteers for new product or service trials, ask if anyone has any recommendations for difficult-to-find suppliers, or simply share some news that the audience might not find out about otherwise.

If you would like to participate in the Shop Window just drop us a line.

The venue

Sir Colin Campbell Building, Triumph Road, Nottingham, NG7 2TU

To register

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