Using the event cycles to explain the
climate dis-engaging processes
of the Astrology Framework
Chang, Su-Chao (Advisor/Professor)
National Cheng Kung University
School of Management
Tel. 06-275-7575 EXT 53322
Yu-Lin Wang (Assistant Professor)
National Cheng Kung University
School of Management
Tel. 06-275-7575 EXT 53325
Lin, Ching-Chao (James C. Lin)
National Cheng Kung University
School of Management
The climate theory researchers usually discuss the issues of climate theory in two
directions: (1) the system approach, and (2) the strategic approach. However, two
areas have been rarely discussed: (1) The rationale of why, what condition or how the
process of a strong climate can be broken down from the Macro-level to the
Micro-level, and (2) how to maintain a strong HRM system over a long period of time.
More specifically, in this paper, we are discussing the rational of why, what condition,
and how the process of a strong climate can be broken down within the astrological
framework of the market segmentation and communication mixes. As a result, by
understanding this “downward” process, the issues of how to maintain a strong
astrology characteristic system (AC system) longitudinally, can hopefully be resolved.
In the previous paper (“The Climate Theory and the Astrological Framework of
Market Segmentation and the Communication Mixes”, Lin et. al., 2010), we were
concerning about the simultaneous study of environmental/social,
group/firm/organizational, and individual levels based on the framework of
mesoparadigm (House, Rousseau, and Tomas-Hunt, 1995). The main issue was about
the formation of strong climates among the three levels within the astrological
framework on market segmentation and communication mixes. Now, we are turning
our attention to discuss the rationale of why, what condition, and how the process of
an individual would want to be dis-engaged or dis-associated from the group or the
First, we introduce the concept of “event cycle” to develop the First Mechanism
of the climate dis-engagement at the Ground Level. The “stakeholders” of an event
cycle being discussed at this paper’s Proposition Section are: (1) the attributors
(customers), (2) role-leaders, and (3) product/service marketers. Attributors are the
most critical stakeholder because the cognitive gap concept (Sanchez & Heene, 1997)
emphasizes that (1) the communication process functions as an open system and (2)
consequently, the attributors’ perceptions of the gap will lead them to change (to
either increase or decrease) the informational stocks and flows that are needed for
each round of an event cycle in order to remain intake.
Second, we use both of the concepts of “the Shifting Mechanism of Multi-Event
Cycles” and “Motivations over a period of time” to develop the Second Mechanism
for the Environmental level’s climate dis-engagement. This time, Produce/Service
Marketers are the most critical stakeholder because they are important sources who
provide motivations, incentives, and rewards over time in order to trigger and
motivate attributors (customers) to change the stocks and flows of event cycles (the
composition and/or total number of event cycles) they are withholding.
Since the astrology application of market segmentation and communication
mixes is cheap and easy to perform, many product or service marketers may use it as
frequently and readily as possible in attempt to influence the customers (by providing
incentives or rewards) to purchase their products or services. The conflicts or
inconsistent message conveyed by different and competing marketers and the total
amount of information customers are being exposed and required to process can
become too overwhelm; thus, the climate at the Environmental/Social level will
eventually collapse for an individual.
After us fully discussing these dis-engagement processes, then we can propose
the Governing Body of the Astrology Framework in regard to the issues of how to
maintain a strong AC system (Astrological Characteristic System) longitudinally.
The functions of the Governing Body are properly to direct the appropriate
information processing level for both of the role-leaders and attributors with respect to
the three types of the attribution at the Group level, to protect and cease any conflicts
between the believers and non-believers about astrology, to define uniformly the
standards for reward, punish, and interpretations of astrology and laws, to judge, to
execute these rules and laws, to leverage and build the astrology competence into the
future needs at the Environmental level.
Backgrounds: the development stages of Astrology Psychology to Astrology
Stage 1: The Psychology of Astrology: The concepts of self-fulfilling prophecy,
self-Attribute, selective self-observation and the Barnum Effect
The Barnum Effect is the concept of self-fulfilling prophecy in which
people believe personality assessments to be true based on vague generalizations
(Furnham, 1991). People tend to fall victim to the fallacy of their own validation
when reading about his/her specific sign and develop the tendency in
remembering to select those specific occasions while he/she is supposedly to
demonstrate this particular trait. The Pre-condition for the Barnum Effect is that
the survey targets must have some degree of believing in astrology. More
specifically, the people surveyed are previously being “exposed” to the
psychological suggestion about astrology predication and willing to behave
either consciously and unconsciously according to their own astrological sign.
First, Snyder (1974) divided his sample into three groups. Each was given
the identical personality astrological reading and told the three groups each
prospectively (1) that the astrological reading was only generally true to them, (2)
that it was true for their own specific sun-sign, and (3) that it was true for their
exact date of birth. The result was shown that the third group were the most
likely to identify themselves with the astrological description.
Second, Eysenck (1982) conducted a research using both of children and
adults where children’s knowledge of their sun signs was little and limited, and
were more innocent of being exposed to the Barnum Effect than the prospective
adults group. Eysenck found out the results that adults’ response was much more
influenced by the suggestive traits by which they would be expected to
demonstrate according to the sun sign of their prospective date of birth. Further
research by Eysenck & Nias (1983) also confirmed that people were indeed
being influenced by the knowledge of their astrological characteristics.
Finally, during 1960’s in France and 1990’s in London, massive studies
were performed where people were sent the identical copies of the same single,
unrelated horoscope and some 200 people replied positively and appraisingly
about the right accuracy of the astrological assessments (Furnham, 1991;
Gauquelin, 1991). The most importantly is that the consumers (or the target
subjects) must be astrology believers who are willing to accept the psychological
suggestions from the prospective marketers.
Stage 2: The Astrological Framework in Market Segmentation & Communication
(1) The problems of demographic & psychographic variables
Mitchell (1995, 1997) argued that demographic variables include variables
such as age or sex which can be used to discriminate well in certain markets, but
they often result with too many groups within which each group can be varied
greatly in terms of consumers’ needs and outlooks. As s result, demographic data
have generally failed to explain consumer behavior (Mitchman, 1991),
particularly brand choice (Seth, 1977).
More and improved information about target segmentation is needed in
order to allow tailoring their marketing mixes more closely to any segment’s
needs. Psychographic variables, which include aspects of personality, motivation,
and lifestyle, can provide this additional insight, and numerous comparisons
show that the predictive validity of psychographic variables is likely to be
substantially higher than that of demographic variables (Burger & Schott, 1972;
King & Sproles, 1973).
However, several problems exist with using psychographics (Mitchell, 1997,
First, there is still no single widely-accepted definition. Well’s (1975) critical review
of the subject found no fewer than 32 definitions in 24 articles.
Second, the time and money involved in developing questionnaires and obtaining,
analyzing and interoperating psychographic and lifestyle data can be a large sum. In
addition, researchers attempting to graph the psychology of consumers have measured a
wide range of aspects including activities, opinions, attitudes, interests, values, hobbies,
preferences, needs, and personality traits. However, the major method of developing
psychographic measures has been to use long scales and a familiar set of statistical
procedures, usually involving factor cluster and multiple discriminant analysis. All of these
stages require highly skilled researchers and can take considerable time.
Third, lifestyle and value-based segmentation have been criticized for being too
general to be of great use, and their international application is limited as lifestyles vary
from country to country (Sampson, 1992). He claims psychological segmentation is
superior to lifestyle or value-based segmentation because people are people the world over
and there is greater similarity of psychological make up in terms of people’s loves, hates,
fears, hopes, aspirations, and hang-ups than there is of their lifestyles or values-based.
Fourth, they are the issues of reliability, validity, and generalizability. There are
several articles which question the reliability and validity of psychographic concepts and
measures (see e.g. Lastovicha, 1982; Wells, 1975). In addition, whether or not
psychographic scales are valid is a question which cannot be answered simply. Although
Wells (1975) suggested using the convergent and discriminant validation originally
proposed by Campbell & Fiske (1959) in order to establish a research’s construct validity,
this has seldom been done over the intervening 20 years.
As a result, these problems proclaimed to prompt a search for an easier, less
costly method of obtaining psychological insights. In an ideal world, Mitchell
wished to identify a variable which was simple to measure, valid and reliable and
above all, cheap to collect, but which also provided significant insight into the
psychology and lifestyles of consumers. He proposed the date-of-birth variable
to be interpreted under the psychographic framework of astrology in market
segmentation and communication mixes.
(2) The Astrological Framework of Market Segmentation and Communication
Mitchell (1995) pointed out that Kotler (1988) and Mitchman (1991)
claiming that market segments should be “meaningful”, “measurable”,
accessible”, “distinguishable”, and “substantial”. To summarize, several
variables have been identified for astrology’s effectiveness as a segmentation
variable. (Mitchell, 1995, p. 57):
a. Mutual Exclusivity/Distinguishable: Each segment should be conceptually
different from all other segments. Astrological segments have clearly defined
boundaries, set by the day on which the individual was born.
b. Measurability: The size, purchasing power, and the relevant characteristics of
segments should be measured easily. This criterion can be easily met since the 12
astrological groups are simple to measure.
c. Substantiality: The segments should be large enough to be worth pursuing.
Astrological segmentation divides the population into 12 relatively evenly sized
groups. This number of segments is manageable and helps ensure each group will
be substantially enough to warrant targeting.
d. Exhaustiveness: Every potential target member should be included in some
respect. Astrological segmentation divides the related into 12 groups leave out no
one. Apparently, this criterion is clearly met.
e. Accessibility & Implementation ability: Managerially it should be easy to reach
and service the segments. Since many firms already possess in-house customer
databases or can obtain customer lists from brokers and since many government
surveys have been collecting data linking to date-of-birth variable.
f. Stability: Segments should remain stable over time. Some psychographic variables
such as hobby or lifestyle, provide little guarantee of their consistency over time.
With astrology, since an individual’s date-of-birth is fixed, his/her psychological
profile can be determined consistently from the position of the planets at that time.
In s can be also changed as well.
g. Responsiveness: Segments should respond differently to different marketing
programs. For instance, Virgo showed less potential as a target market for tape
recorders and record players; however, given their active, busy nature, they may
be appealing to the Walkman cassette players products.
Stage 3: The empirical analysis of the Astrological Framework in Market
Segmentation and Communicational Mixes
According to Mitchell (97, 98), some population segments may be more
prone to astrological influence than others. More clearly, some sub-groups are
more likely to demonstrate their true personality, while others may feel more
inhibited and suppress their true feelings and hide their actions. For example,
males are more self-assured and confident than females; the younger groups
(16-24 years old) are more eager demonstrating their individuality and
self-identity; higher income consumers also have more means to translate their
needs and wants into purchases.
In addition, Mitchell also pointed out that the full acceptance of the
astrological framework depended on astrology’s claim to be a legitimate science.
He indicated that there were three levels on which astrology could be treated:
(I) The highest level is to believe that astrology can accurately predict
consumers’ purchasing behaviors, which in turn has great impact on
consumption of certain products. There is little evidence as yet to
unequivocally accept this first level.
(II) At the second level, the astrology has been used as an additional variable
when examining a market segment’s psychological profile. This is
particularly important when profiles need to be done quickly, or the
access to collect the necessary data is difficult or impossible.
(III) At this third level, astrology may be used as a sales promotional tool, as
has recently been done by a major automobile company in promoting a
new model of car. It does not require a great burden of proof and could be
used by marketers without much further investigation or research.
Finally, Mitchell concluded that astrological segmentation was not likely to
replace demographics, but it was likely to add additional discrimination to
already-identified demographic sub-groups. Future research might combine it
with demographic variables such as age, sex, education, income, and so on.
Mitchell also argued that “Whether or not astrology’s influence on
consumers’ personality and Behavior is due to a ‘genuine’, if unexplained, astral
influence or is simply due to psychological processes such as self-attribution and
selective self-observation, it can still be of use to the marketer”; he conducted
two empirical studies, the results showed significant, thus, “that the idea that
astrology has no effect on behavior and that many of the significant results are
simple random statistical errors can be discounted”(Mitchell, 1997, P. 120).
Stage 4: The Climate Theory validation and the engagement of individuals “Upward”
to the Group and Environment Climate from the Individual Climate.
Although Mitchell (1995, 1997) was not concern about the theories related
to the astrology framework, in the paper (Lin et. al., 2010), the authors
emphasized the simultaneous study of environmental, group/firm/organizational,
and individual processes, the mesoparadigm approach, (House, Rousseau, &
Thomas-Hunt, 1995; Bowen, & Ostroff, 2004; Ostroff, & Bowen, 2000).
First, for the individual level message processing, they adopted the
attribution theory (Kelley, 1967) to explain the formation of individual
psychological climate and help identifying some key features allowing for
messages to be received and interpreted.
Then, for the Group level, they had adopted the relationship of the AC
system and the consumer behavior predictions to be intermediated by the strong
situation (Mischel, 1977) in which they used Mischel’s (1973) concept the power
of a situation and the strength of the process as a tool to initially integrate or
consolidate differences among individuals within a group.
At the Environment level, the main point of Lewin’s situationism (1939)
was that a social context could be served as a constraining force in producing a
social influence on the desired behaviors (Lewin, 1939); and the authors (Lin et.
Al., 2010) proposed the concepts of the “configural approach”, “enhancer” and,
“inhibitor” to exam the interactive relationships between contents and process of
the AC system over time. Finally, the concept of the “belief/faith” strength was
introduced to provide a 5-step mechanism for an individual to be engaged or
influenced “upward” from the individual climate to the environmental climate.
Stage 5: The process of the dis-Engagement or dis-association of the individuals
“Downward” to the individual climate from the prospective Group or
As mentioned before, the previous paper (Lin et. al., 2010) is based on the
framework of “mesoparadigm”; when the time factor is being added into the
consideration, the previous authors proposed the concepts of the “configural
approach”, “enhancer” and, “inhibitor” in order to thoroughly examine the
interactive relationships between contents and process of the AC system. Also,
the concept of the “belief/faith” strength was proposed to provide a mechanism
for an individual to be engaged “upward” from the individual climate to the
However, the process of dis-engagement, the dis-association process of an
individual from the environment “downward” to the individual psychological
climate, was not discussed. Neither, the authors fully discussed about the
rationale of why, what condition, or how the process of an individual wanted to
be dis-associated from the group or the society. In this paper, we will address
these issues. Finally, after fully discussing this dis-engagement process, we will
be able to suggest how to maintain a strong AC system over a long period of
Methodology: Two mechanisms of using event cycles to explain the climate
I. The development of the first mechanism (within a single event cycle)
The fundamental to Kelly’s Attribution theory (1967) is to understand the
process of communication among individuals as a message-conveying open system of
the interrelated messages exposuring and feedbacks receiving at a pre-arranged time,
place, and a role-leader with series of event or activities called the communication
event cycles. Individuals often require numerous cycles of (1) exposuring to the
message, (2) attending to information, (3) interpreting information, (4) acting on it, (5)
receiving feedback to clarify one’s sense of the situation, and (6) storing in the
memory in order to make sense of the message collectively.
At the Group level, the process of communication functions as an open system
because to sustain their sense making of the message, individuals (attributors) must
constantly replenish their meanings, understandings, or interpretations of a message
through the interactions with other attributors in each event cycle. Over time, the
interactions and inter-dependency of these event cycles become the foundation of
forming a rational, collective, sensemaking construct. It is this construct that serves as
the basis for each individual emergence of the 12 astrological characteristics
specifically and the emergence of the 12 astrological characteristics as a whole.
For the first mechanism, the cognitive gap of an event cycle adopted from the
strategic gap originally proposed by Sanchez & Heene (1997), emphasizes, at least,
two features at the Group level: (1) the communication process functions like an open
system which constantly requires replenishing attributors’ meanings, understandings,
or interpretations of a message/information through the interactions with other
attributors/role-leaders in each event cycle; (2) consequently, the attributors’
perceptions of the cognitive gap within an event cycle will lead them to change (either
increase or decrease) the informational stocks and flows that are needed in order to fill
up the gap for each round of the event cycle.
Therefore, in order to keep the event cycle intact, the cognitive gaps perceived
by the attributors (and the role-leaders) must be mended and repaired constantly.
However, when the gap grows to exceed over a certain size, the repairing and
mending simple can not keep up and the collapse of the climate will begin to take
Of the following Section, Proposition 1 through 5 is dealing with the issues of
the cognitive gap of an event cycle in relating to the climates dis-engagements at the
group level. Specifically, for the first mechanism, the rationale is that the bigger
cognitive gap being perceived within an event cycle, the more likely the climate
dissociation is going to occur for an individual.
II. The development of the second mechanism (within multiple event cycles over
a period of time)
The analysis of the second mechanism can be best accomplished at a minimum
level of information processing an individual can possess and then articulating the
factors that should increase the amount of processing capacity allocated to the
attributional efforts in questions (Lord and Smith 1983).
In the followings are some conditions and factors that are critical for the second
mechanism to develop into the trade-off relationship between the limited controlled
information processing capacity (Hasher and Zacks, 1979) and the change of stocks
and flows of event cycles with respect to the targeted, attributors’ motivations
changing (Lord and Smith, 1983) over time.
(1) Attributors have bounded rationality and are constrained by their limitations
tangibly and intangibly.
As mentioned, the concept of Cognitive Gap also emphasizes that
attributors (individuals) have bounded rationality and are constrained in
their efforts to understand their environments by time limitations and by a
finite ability to gather and interpret data (Sanchez & Heene, 1997).
(2) Attributors are different among themselves in term of information
Lord and Smith (1983) argue that attributors (individuals) who are
highly active, energetic, and involved information processor will have a
higher amount of information processing capability to make decisions or
perform assessments more effectively from those who are passive, tired, and
poor information processors.
(3) Every attributor has a limited capacity for controlled information processing
Hasher & Zacks (1979) argue that the controlled or effortful
information processing occurs within the limited conscious capacity only,
whereas passive processing is relatively independent of such constrains.
Similarly, other tasks that also require use of this “limited” attention
capacity would interfere with the controlled processing but not with
automatic (passive) processing.
(4) The Competitions among Marketers
Since the astrology application of market segmentation and
communication mixes is cheap and easy to perform, many product or
service marketers may use it as frequently and readily as possible in attempt
to influence the customers to purchase their products or services. The
conflicts or inconsistent message conveys by different marketers and the
total amount of information attributors are being exposed and required to
process can be overwhelm in order to effectively perform attributional
activities. Thus, the climate dis-engagement at the Environmental/Social
level will take place.
(5) The Mechanism of the Multi. Event Cycles Shifting and the effect of
Motivation provided by the marketers over a period of time
The second mechanism of environmental/social climate
dis-engagement involves with the total number of event cycles that are
being utilized simultaneously and manipulated differently over a period of
time by the attributors according to the information processing needs from a
minimum level to effortful and elaborate level with respect to their
The complex nature of the attribution shifting from some sets of
particular event cycles to other event cycles suggests that these shifting
processes are evolved slowly over a long period of time rather than as a
momentary phenomena occurring in or at a single experimental setting.
Effectively and competitively, motivations and incentives provided by
Marketers in order to cause the attributors to perform the shifting must also
be “lasting” over a long period of time as well.
The total amount of motivation or incentive required to complete the
shifting processes may depend on how or when Marketers interrupt the
“on-going” attributional processes during shifting. Such processes also may
be easily changed or caused to alter through intervention by different
marketing incentives or rewards of another Marketer with even more
incentives\rewards to offer.
Another potential problem is whether attributions formed immediately
after receiving incentives would be qualitatively different from delayed
attributions over time. More clearly, will the incentive effect be qualitatively
different between the attributions being formed immediately and delay after
Furthermore, it is whether attributions that emerge as a response to
novel stimuli may differ from attributions in response to familiar stimuli
previously being exposed to before. For instance, perhaps novel attributions
require a more active mode of information processing than do attributions
that only confirm or modify previous assessments.
(I). The process of communication (the Attribution Theory) & the Information
As mentioned, the fundamental to Kelly’s Attribution theory (1967) is to
understand the process of communication among individuals as a message-conveying
open system of the interrelated messages exposuring and feedbacks receiving at a
pre-arranged time, place, and a role-leader with series of event or activities called the
communication event cycles. Individuals often require numerous cycles of (1)
exposuring to the message, (2) attending to information, (3) interpreting information,
(4) acting on it, (5) receiving feedback to clarify one’s sense of the situation, and (6)
storing in the memory in order to make sense of the message collectively.
Additionally, the first mechanism of group-level climate dis-engagement is the
cognitive gap (Sanchez & Heene, 1997) being perceived in which the climate has
already been pre-formed but the communication process (Kelly’s Attribution Theory,
1963, 67) as an open system requires attributors (individuals) and the role-leaders
within an event cycle (Bowen and Ostroff, 2004) continuously to replenish their
meanings, understandings, or interpretations of message/information being conveyed
through the interactions with other attributors in each event cycle. In order to keep the
event cycle intact, the cognitive gaps perceived within the cycle by the attributors and
role-leaders must be mended and repaired constantly. However, when the gap grows
over a certain level, the repairing and mending simple can not keep up and the
collapse of the climate will begin to take place.
Proposition 1: Under the communication process as an open system at the
Group level, the larger the cognitive gap being perceived the more difficult is to
keep the event cycles intact thus; the climate dis-engagement will be more likely
Lord and Smith (1983) discuss the information processes theory in two aspects,
the three types of attribution and the level of information processing. The scholars
point out that three types of attributions, when the attribution theory is applied to
understand “causality” for a specific event (Kelley, 1973), to assess “responsibility”
for a particular outcome (Hamilton, 1980), and to assess the “personal qualities” of
persons involved in the event being considered (Jones & Davis, 1965), are important
conditional factors because they can cause the “cognitive gaps” to occur.
When the first conditional factor, causality, has been assessed, the cognitive gap
can be generated possibly in several ways: (1) people generally may be satisfied with
the first satisfactory causal explanation that comes to mind (a passive approach)
(Taylor & Fiske, 1978), (2) when an visual search for causes predominate, people may
have a tendency to look for causes that are physical proximal to an effect; for instance,
equipment breakdowns often are attributed to the operator rather than defective
materials or poor maintenance, (3) when searching memory for possible causes,
people’s common sense suggests that causes must precede results, and thus, one may
only search backward from the event in question to the first plausible cause; for
example, a change in organizational performance often attributed to immediately prior
management decisions rather than to events in the more distant past. .
Proposition 2: Once a preliminary, satisfactory cause has been identified by
either a passively or heuristically (proximity) directed search, the searching for
more thorough and meaningful causes will be terminated pre-maturely. The
cognitive gap thus, is more likely to be generated when the searching for the
more meaningful causes has been prematurely terminated.
Secondly, although it is comforting to believe that responsibility assessments
perceptionally are performed by logical principles such as “intent”, “control”, or
“justification”. In reality, many people exercise much less logical principles during
the assessments and use cognitively simple rules for determining responsibility. For
example, leaders may be replaced when their subordinates fail to perform successfully,
or employees may be sanctioned for failure to attend the intended goals without going
through the extensive analysis on the part of the sanctioners (perceivers) who give the
order to carry out the sanction in the first place. Such sanction may be administrated
even when the recipients lack control over outcomes for which they are held
Proposition 3: When perceivers (the role-leaders) assign responsibility for
role related outcomes to role occupants, assuming that these individuals could
have produced different through different actions, it will be more likely to create
Thirdly, Jones and Davis (1965) suggest that personal characteristic assessments
may reflect quasi-logical inferences from behavior. However, in reality, attributors’
attention and information processing capacity have been directed only at task,
situations, or self-related (private) factors while these interactions are going on around
them, thus precluding elaborate or consciously controlled assessments of personal
On the simplest level, people might be assessed by the fit of their behavior,
appearance, dress, and so on with category prototypes. On the second level, people
may use simple context as a means of assessing traits such as people in libraries are
perceived as more intellectual. On the third level, people may generalize from
ascribed traits to other traits. Thus, they may generate inferences on implicit theories
or stereotypes that are thought to be generally applicable. Since such inferences may
not be conscious and use any information processing capacity; they are usually not
correct. At the forth level, an effective inference is required to incorporate information
and attention on “intent”, “reliability”, “consistency”, and the true personal traits
distinguishing from the related situational factors.
Proposition 4: The personal characteristic assessment and inference occurs
at the first, second, and third level will be more likely to generate cognitive gaps
than at the forth level.
In addition, Lord and Smith (1983) argue that the level of information processing
also is very important to the Kelly’s Attribution theory because the attributors
(individuals) who are highly active, energetic, and involved information processor
will possess a higher amount of information processing ability to make decisions or
perform assessments differently from those who are passive, tired, and poor
Similarly, the encoding step of the attribution theory suggests that this step can
be different in regard to energy or attention requirements (Hasher & Zacks, 1979).
More clearly, the encoding process may be relatively automatic (passive) and use little
energy, or it may be highly effortful and elaborate (Controlled).
However, on one hand, some scholars (Kelly, 1973; Jones & Davis, 1965; Weiner,
1972) point out that individuals will respond in a conscious, elaborate effort when
they are seeking explanations or reasons for a behavior for them to follow, or when
they are trying to understand some people who are important to them.
On the other hand, other scholars (Nisbett & Wilson, 1977) argue that one can
respond in a “mindless” manner; still others (Abelson, 1976) also argue that one can
respond in an established, pre-arranged pattern or scrip. In these two instances, the
attributional energy being delivered to the encoding process would be little and
Proposition 5a: The attributors who possess a higher level of information
processing ability are less likely to generate cognitive gaps (because they are
more capable to work harder to keep the cycle intact) than those who are passive,
tired, and poor in the information processing.
Proposition 5b: The attributors who possess a higher level of information
processing ability are more capable to reduce cognitive gaps than those who are
passive, tired, and poor in the information processing if the gaps exist
comparatively or equally in the beginning.
(II) The shifting mechanism of multi-event cycles & the motivations provided by
Marketers over a period of time
According to Lord and Smith (1983), there are several situational or contextual
factors that should encourage attributors to increase the level of information
processing involved during the attribution formation. More specifically, when the
attributionally relevant information is “easily available”, and in a form consistent with
conscious, reflective processes (e.g., written or graphic information), the higher the
level of information processing should be induced from attributors.
Another situational factor is the available processing capacity that can be
allocated to the attributional tasks. Hasher & Zacks (1979) have argued that controlled
or effortful information processing involves a limited capacity conscious system. In
addition, other cognitive tasks that may require the use of attentional capacity would
interfere with the controlled processing. As a result, it is concluded that people will
use controlled processes only when there is available capacity—that is, capacity not
being used by task, self, or socially related cognitive activities.
Since the astrology application of market segmentation and communication
mixes is cheap and easy to perform, many product or service marketers may use it as
frequently and readily as possible in attempt to influence the customers to purchase
their products or services. The conflicts or inconsistent message conveys by different
marketers and the total amount of information attributors are being exposed and
required to process can be overwhelm in order to effectively perform attributional
activities. Thus, the climate dis-engagement at the Environmental/Social level will
Proposition 6: The more different and competitive marketers
simultaneously utilize the astrology framework and/or the total amount of
information attributors are being exposed and required to process become
overwhelm, the Environmental/Social Climate will be more likely to collapse.
In the second mechanism, each individual can be viewed as withholding a certain
composition of different event cycles at any single moment of time. However, this
composition can be changed or modified over time as each individual is being
motivated with incentives and rewards by Marketers.
The complexity of the attributional shift from a particular set of event cycles to
other event cycles suggests that the attributors’ shifting processes are evolved across
time rather than as a momentary phenomena occurring in or at a single experimental
setting. Thus, motivations should be provided over a period of time as well by
Marketers in order to induce or facilitate Attributors to perform this shifting
Proposition 7: Motivations should be provided over a period of time in order
to induce or facilitate Attributors to perform the shifting of a particular set of
event cycles at any single moment of time to a different set of event cycles at
other different moment of time. The more numbers of shifting requested of
Marketers to Attributors the more motivations should be provided from
Marketers to Attributors in order to melt down the Climate at the
Another potential problem is whether attributions formed immediately after
receiving incentives would be qualitatively different from the delayed attributions
over time. Similarly, it is whether attributions that emerge as a response to novel
stimuli may differ from attributions in response to familiar stimuli. Perhaps novel
attributions require a more active mode of information processing than do attributions
that only confirm or modify previous assessments.
Proposition 8: The conditions and structures of the attribution are critical
for forming a strong climate. Thus, the more complex conditions and structures
of attribution the more likely it is to collapse prior to the full completion of the
climate formation intended in the first place.
The communication process of attribution theory composes the steps of encoding,
storing, and retrieving in which attribution theory suggests that these steps can be
different in regard to energy or attention requirements (Hasher & Zacks, 1979).
Some scholars (Kelly, 1973; Jones & Davis, 1965; Weiner, 1972) point out that
individuals will respond in a conscious, elaborate effort when they are seeking
explanations or reasons for a behavior for them to follow, or when they are trying to
understand some people who are important to them but other scholars (Abelson, 1976)
argue that one can respond in an established, pre-arranged pattern or scrip in which
the attributional energy would be little and limited.
In addition, these different energy and attention requirements of the encoding,
storing, and retrieving steps should be motivated specifically and accordingly among
different attributors themselves, and/or between attributors and role-leaders as well.
Proposition 9: The more clearly the participants and the intensity of the
communication process being identified and rewarded specifically and
accordingly the more effectively the motivation campaign will become. Thus, the
climate will be more likely to collapse.
During the process of shifting, the total amount of motivation, incentive, or
reward required in order to complete the shifting process may depend on how or when
Marketers interrupt this “on-going” attributional process. Such processes may not be
changed or caused to alter easily through interventions by different marketing
incentives of other Marketers who are willing to offer the attributors with even more
or better incentives (Lord and Smith, 1983). Since the process of shifting is an
“on-going” attributional process over time that it may not be changed or altered easily
through interventions of interrupting the processing itself. The longer the time the
original set of event cycles operating in existence the more difficult is it likely to shift
regardless of the amount of incentives provided.
Proposition 10: Thus, even with an adequate amount of incentives provided,
a certain length of time is necessary and critical in order to melt down a strong
climate. The longer the operating time of an existing climate the longer the
required time is needed in order to make the melt down start to occur.
The Discussion & Conclusion Remarks
Ironically, since the astrology application of market segmentation and
communication mixes is cheap and easy to perform, Mitchell’s proposals (1985, 1987)
to advocate the using of the date-of-birth as a tool, when too many marketers are
considering it simultaneously, consumers will be confused about the inconsistent or
conflicting messages conveyed by many different, competing Marketers; they also
become overwhelm due to the amount of information needed to process is too much
for individuals to handle. As a result, the climate formed previously will begin to
Additionally, the information processing types and the level of information
process can also greatly affect the individuals in the process of the attributional
communication (Lord and Smith, 1983). In particular, three types of attribution:
causality, responsibility, and personality quality assessments can cause individuals to
dis-engage from the Group level to Individual level. Finally, the attributors who
possess a higher level of information processing ability are more capable to reduce
cognitive gaps, thus they are less likely to generate cognitive gaps than those who are
passive, tired, and poor in the information processing.
One question arises from the results: How to maintain a strong astrology
characteristic system (AC system) longitudinally; one possible solution is to establish
a Governing Body. The main functions of the Governing Body are properly directing
the appropriate information processing level for both of the role-leaders and
attributors with respect to the three types of the attribution at the Group.
For the issues of too many Marketers who compete with each other in order to
get their product and service informations to be exposed and processed by the
attributors, the Governing Body must have the legislature and judicial power to set up
standards for rewards, punishments, and to define, interpret rules and regulation in
regard to the marketing practices.
Furthermore, among different Marketers, the Governing Body should help them
to develop a mechanism of leveraging existing astrology competences and build new
astrology competences in which a more balanced consumers base sharing can be
achieved at the Environmental level or Industrial level (Sanchez and Heene, 1997).
Specifically, as an industry is driven forward by the competence building and
leveraging, some firms will be engaged in similar competence building and/or
leveraging activities at a given point in time. Equilibriumly, firms with similar
competence leveraging and similar competence building activities will form a
“dynamically stable competence group” (Gorman et al., 1996) competing in the same
product market. Firms currently engaged in similar competence leveraging activities
but pursuing different competence building goals will form a “diverging competence
group” that are unlikely to remain competitors of the same product for long.
Conversely, firms currently engaged in different competence leveraging activities
but sharing similar competence building objectives make up a “converging
competence group” of firms that will eventually become product market competitors.
Competence analysis thus will provide a critical conceptual link between the internal
dynamics of capabilities development and development within firms and the short-run
and long-run dynamics of competition in an industry (Sanchez and Heene, 1997).
Another potential problem has observed by Mitchell’s (1997): “the effect of
astrology may be context-dependent--dependent on such things as the person……
Some consumers are perhaps more prone than others to astrological influence. For
example, wealthier, younger, more fashionable consumers may be more self-confident,
more free and financially more able to express themselves in their purchases which
could make them more prone to act as their sign dictates (Mitchell, 1997, p. 119).”
The Governing Body, at least, should be able to ensure individuals to have the
freedom of believing in astrology, “feel free” to express it without fear, and protect
and cease any conflicts between the astrology believers and the non-believers. Indeed,
in 1975, 186 famous physical scientists signed a letter and publically condemn
astrology for being unscientific (Bok, 1975).
Finally, the scope of this paper being discussed about the dis-engaging process is
mainly for an individual to be first confused, dis-engaged from the Group and
Environment. Further discussions should be carried out from the
Group/Organizational and the Environmental prospectives themselves as well. For
instance, what factors would break down the Group’s and Environmental climates in
the angles of a society and cultural are not the main concerns of this paper.
Understandingly, the formation of astrology can be very complicated from the
angles of traditional or historical backgrounds and religion origins. Once again, this
paper emphasizes more of an individual to be dis-engaged from the Group and
Environment; the actual collapse or formation of the Astrology itself, through the
collective efforts of both government and private sectors over a long, long period of
time, has never been discussed.
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“self-attribution”, or “selective self-observation” psychological framework about
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