A Method for Investigating the Cognitive Processes and Knowledge Structures of Expert Salespeople

Shepherd, David; Rentz, Joseph O.
September 1990
Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management;Fall90, Vol. 10 Issue 4, p55
Academic Journal
The article provides a method for studying the cognitive processes and knowledge structures of highly skilled, or expert salespeople. The intent is to clarify the method rather than to provide any in-depth analysis of these cognitive processes or knowledge structures. The strength of the method lies in its holistic approach and the realism of the problem situation generated by the critical incident technique. The subject's verbal protocol data provides a data base of information that can be analyzed in various manners. Just as a quantitative researcher may use several statistical tools to analyze data, the qualitative researcher may use multiple coding schemes in the content analysis process. This allows the researcher to focus the various coding schemes on differing aspects of the research questions. The method provides a study of knowledge differences among salespeople, and supports the burgeoning stream of research into cognitive sales scripts. Further, although not designed as a sales training tool the insights offered by this method should enhance current sales training programs and the development of expert systems in personal selling.


Related Articles

  • How students circumvent problem-solving strategies that... Niaz, Mansoor // Journal of College Science Teaching;Mar/Apr96, Vol. 25 Issue 5, p361 

    Reports on the findings of a research studies on cognitive variables in student learning. Comparison of past and contemporary interpretations in cognitive psychology; New rationale for research in science education; Diversity of problem-solving strategies in new rationale.

  • ASSESSING EXPERTISE IN ECONOMIC PROBLEM SOLVING: A MODEL. Miller, Steven L.; vanFossen, Phillip J. // Theory & Research in Social Education;Summer94, Vol. 22 Issue 3, p380 

    In this preliminary study, the authors examine the research literature and schematic models associated with the so-called expert-novice paradigm in cognitive psychology. Using this broad base, they develop a model for rendering expertise in problem solving within the domain of economics. Three...

  • PREDICTION OF THREE SOCIAL COGNITIVE-MOTIVATIONAL STRUCTURE TYPES. Malerstein, Abraham J.; Ahern, Mary M.; Pulos, Steven // Psychological Reports;Oct2001, Vol. 89 Issue 2, p371 

    Focuses on the prediction of social cognitive-motivational structure types. Correlation between social cognition and physical cognition; Overlap in the use of symbolic and intuitive cognition; Cognitive processing styles of children.

  • Sharing Your Expertise. Hartzell, Gary // School Library Journal;Jul2003, Vol. 49 Issue 7, p39 

    Offers pieces of advice on sharing educators' knowledge with each other. Way to enhance one's reputation as a person with expertise; Conditions that determine the growth of an educator's influence; Key to maximizing one's value in finding answers to operational and professional problems.

  • Segmentation in translation: Differences across levels of expertise and difficulty. Dragsted, Barbara // Target: International Journal on Translation Studies;2005, Vol. 17 Issue 1, p49 

    The subject of this article is cognitive segmentation in translation. Based on experiments carried out in Translog, a keyboard logging program, significant differences, and also certain similarities, were observed of cognitive segmentation when data from two different subject groups and text...

  • Conceptual priming in a generative problem-solving task. Marsh, Richard L.; Bink, Martin L. // Memory & Cognition;Mar99, Vol. 27 Issue 2, p355 

    Discusses findings of experiments on how individuals solved a very open-ended generative problem-solving task. Definition of generative cognitive tasks; Determining target conformity; Activation of the concept of hostility through viewing of hostile space creatures; Ways to eliminate the...

  • Pattern recognition makes search possible: Comments on Holding (1992). Gobet, Fernand; Simon, Herbert A. // Psychological Research;1998, Vol. 61 Issue 3, p204 

    Abstract Chase and Simon's chunking theory of expert memory, which emphasizes the role of pattern recognition in problem solving, has attracted much attention in cognitive psychology. Holding advanced a series of criticisms that, taken together, purported to refute the theory. Two valid...

  • Inference or Enaction? The Impact of Genre on the Narrative Processing of Other Minds. Carney, James; Wlodarski, Rafael; Dunbar, Robin // PLoS ONE;Dec2014, Vol. 9 Issue 12, p1 

    Do narratives shape how humans process other minds or do they presuppose an existing theory of mind? This study experimentally investigated this problem by assessing subject responses to systematic alterations in the genre, levels of intentionality, and linguistic complexity of narratives. It...

  • Adaptive Selling--Insights from Social Cognition. Morgan, Fred W.; Stoltman, Jeffrey J. // Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management;Fall90, Vol. 10 Issue 4, p43 

    The article discusses the social cognition capabilities and tendencies that are prepotent ingredients of personal selling. Various sources and associated problems of adaptive selling are reviewed. These problems are examined from an information acquisition perspective. Areas for empirical...


Read the Article


Sign out of this library

Other Topics