Behaviour Change

PROPAGANDA FOR CHANGE is a project created by the students of Behaviour Change (ps359) and Professor Thomas Hills at the Psychology Department of the University of Warwick. This work was supported by funding from Warwick's Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

National Rifle Association Campaign

NRA begins pushback with Web ad criticizing Obama


This image is part of the National Rifle Assocation (NRA) campaign to persuade the public to support their recommendation that schools in the US should have armed guards in order to protect their students. The ad equates protection for Obama's daughters with a proposal by NRA executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre to put armed guards in schools after the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting that killed 26 students.

The campaign evokes an emotional response of fear. Once this is elicited (through highlighting the potential danger the nation’s children are in) the NRA very cleverly suggest a solution, to support their plans. Das, de Wit & Stroebe (2003) demonstrate that fear motivates acceptance of subsequent action recommendations. They manipulated participants fears about the negative health effects of stress (high severity and low severity condition). Participants were then presented with an article advertising stress management training as a way to reduce the risk of stress related illness- the message contained either three weak or strong arguments. Participants in the high severity condition who believed that they were very vulnerable to stress had a more positive attitude to the recommendation suggestion even when arguments for the treatment were weak.

H. H. J., de Wit, John B. F., & Stroebe, W. (2003). Fear appeals motivate acceptance of action recommendations: Evidence for a positive bias in the processing of persuasive messages. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29(5), 650-664.  

1 comment:

  1. Nice. I wonder what the strong and weak arguments were?

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