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.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Three Little Pigs


Three Little Pigs is an allegorical advertisement, promoting The Guardian’s commitment to Open Journalism. This simplistic and familiar fairy tale provides a narrative for their campaign. In particular, the use of an allegory helps promote complex ideas about digital journalism and social media responses in a symbolic, structured way.
By controlling and guiding the viewers thought, the argument is seen as credible. In a similar way, Slusher and Anderson (1996) observed that story telling was more effective than providing raw arguments about the contraction of the AIDs virus. Within the context of The Three Pigs, raw arguments are easy to discredit: organisations, not social media, influence journalism; newspapers promote a socio-political agenda, rather than the Truth; all opinions are not equal. Yet when incorporated within a familiar narrative, it is more difficult to discredit. Anderson, Lepper and Ross (1980) provided participants with pro- or anti-death penalty story, followed by homicidal rates in states where the death penalty was active or outlawed. Opinions formed from the narrative persisted despite discrediting data.

Anderson, C. A., Lepper, M. R., & Ross, L. (1980). Perseverance of social theories: The role of explanation in the persistence of discredited information.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology39, 1037.
Slusher, M. P., & Anderson, C. A. (1996). Using causal persuasive arguments to change beliefs and teach new information: The mediating role of explanation availability and evaluation bias in the acceptance of knowledge. Journal of Educational Psychology88, 110.

1 comment:

  1. OK. Looks like I have another favorite advertisement. And not only that, but the evidence for the effectiveness of narratives is fascinating. I wonder if you could, either with this post or in future posts, explain how the researchers define and develop the narrative--i.e., what narratives are they providing? Is it two sentences, or a short story? You could post the story here.

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