Behaviour Change

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

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Fashion = / = Drug

This is an advert by the fashion brand Sisley advertising their products are as addictive as drugs. The advertisement has shown women indulged in the act of snorting cocaine and the dress has been arranged to appear as the drug. Even Sisley is already well known for making shocking advertisements to promote its brand image, yet this 'fashions equal drugs' advertisement seems to go too far over the line.

As illegal drugs are considered to be forbidden, criminality and life threatening, we will filter these "negative" information out if we see it on adverts.This is to protect ourselves from ideas or objects that are threatening to us. This cognitive process is known as perceptual defense.

In a study conducted by Blum (1964), subjects were given  a perceptual task with pictures( threatening stimulus) that disgust subjects' conscious mind. The result of the study showed avoidance response and repression elicited subliminally by subjects reacting to threatening stimulus.

Godfrey Leung

Blum, G.S. (1964). Perceptual defense revisited. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 51, 24-29.

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