| HBS Case Collection
(Revised March 2002)
Implicit Predictors of Consumer Behavior
An important distinction is drawn in psychology between explicit and implicit knowledge. Explicit knowledge refers to consciously held beliefs about an individual or object that often draws on the remembering of experiences in the past. In contrast, implicit knowledge refers to the cognitive associations a consumer holds between two constructs that exist outside his or her conscious awareness. Although it is possible that explicit and implicit knowledge correspond, the exciting opportunity for marketers is that often there is a discrepancy; that is, what a consumer believes explicitly may have no bearing on his or her actual behavior.
Keywords: Forecasting and Prediction;
Values and Beliefs;
Cognition and Thinking;