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.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Ellie Goulding’s standing up against bullying, are you?



Ellie Goulding's standing up against bullying, are you?






Ellie Goulding! The female artist, who’s sold 4 million albums, 15 million singles worldwide, performed at William and Kate’s royal wedding and won countless awards including a BRIT and a BBC’s Critics Choice. Needless to say Ellie is a big name! Not to mention she is also a major fashion icon and dating Dougie from McBusted! She’s graced herself on every major fashion magazine and influenced millions of people around the world. Therefore I’m not surprised ISPCC got Ellie on board!

ISPCC launched the shield campaign to protect children from bullying, In order to raise awareness and combat this widespread issue; ISPCC developed ‘The shield’ a symbol of protection from bullying that children can easily identify with.  The campaign shows very well known celebrities holding the shield stating “I’m standing up to bullying, are you?’, in this case Ellie Goulding. ISPCC uses the persuasion and influence technique called High Status-Admirer Altercast. The celebrity – Ellie – occupies a prestigious and prominent position in social and status hierarchy; as the public admire and seek to be like her, they will listen to Ellie Goulding to win her approval. If Ellie Gouding is standing up to bullying, you should too!

Bushman (1984) provides evidence for High Status-Admirer Altercast technique.  The researchers stopped 150 pedestrians who were walking by and pointed at the confederate standing beside a car, parked at an expired parking meter. There were 3 conditions the confederate could possible be dressed as. Firstly in the no authority condition the confederate dressed as a blue-collar worker with greasy overalls and baseball hat. Second condition, labelled authority, the confederate dressed as a businessman with suit and tie. Thirdly, role authority condition, the confederate was dressed as a fireman. The researcher told the participant “This fellow is over-parked at the meter but doesn’t have any change. Give him a dime!” If the participant did not conform the experimenter left.  The researches expected to find increased conformity as perceived authority increased.


As shown above, table 1 shows this is exactly what they found, conformity significantly increased as perceived authority increased. 45% of participants voluntarily gave dimes to blue collar workers, 50% to the businessman and 82% to the fireman. Therefore the effects of high status are extremely persuasive and influential.  Therefore, by involving Ellie Goulding, a high status individual to influence and persuade the public to stand up against bullying, according to Bushman will highly influence the public. 

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