General Introduction: The Influence of Stereotyping on Consumer Behavior - Michael B. Hinner 17
17 General Introduction: The Influence of Stereotyping on Consumer Behavior Michael B. Hinner Human beings as a species need to interact and cooperate as a group in order to survive because unlike some other species, humans are not endowed with supe- rior senses or strength. And in order to interact and cooperate, humans need to communicate (Ehrlich, 2000). Thus, human interaction and cooperation go in- evitably hand in hand with human communication. Likewise, human interaction and cooperation needs to be regulated, conforming to accepted standards and norms of behavior so as to make such interaction, cooperation, and communica- tion possible (Chen & Starosta, 1998; Ehrlich 2000; Gamble & Gamble, 2005; Gudykunst and Kim, 1997; Klopf, 1998; Lustig & Koester, 2006; Martin & Na- kayama, 1997; Oetzel, 2009; Samovar et al, 1998). For without regulated and standardized behavior and norms, interaction, cooperation, and communication are difficult at best because for interaction, cooperation, and communication to be successful, they need a degree of predictability. Predictability is essential be- cause it permits the formulation of messages that are designed to achieve the de- sired effect.1 This system and pattern of standardized behavior and norms is one element of culture; the other aspect refers to the outcome of that interaction and cooperation. Consequently, one can define culture as “the nongenetic informa- tion (socially transmitted behaviors, beliefs, institutions, arts, and so on) shared and exchanged among [fellow human beings]” (Ehrlich, 2000, p. 5). Ehrlich (2000) elaborates this definition by pointing out that human thinking cannot be explained solely through...
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