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.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Drink Me-Tea!

The above advertisement is to encourage people to drink more tea, especially to choose to drink tea over their usual morning cup of coffee. The myth has been dispelled that only green tea provides health benefits as all types of tea have now been found to have health benefits as they provide biologically active ingredients (Fukagawa, 2000). This advertisement uses a variety of persuasion techniques. One persuasion technique used is just asking. The advertisement includes the question ‘now who fancies a cup of tea?’. By just asking this should increase compliance with the request to drink more tea. For example, Hatfield and Clark (1989) found that simply just asking can lead to increased compliance with that request.

The advertisement also uses the that’s not all persuasion technique. The that’s not all technique involves first presenting some information but then making this information seem better by adding something else into the initially presented information. The advertisement does this by first showing a benefit of tea but then presenting many other benefits of tea to the audience. This technique will then increase the target behavior as shown by Burger (1986) who increased customers compliance of buying more cupcakes by 33% when using the that’s not all technique.

The advertisement additionally uses authority to persuade people to drink tea. The advertisement includes quotes from Professor Graham MacGregor and the information provided is from sources such as the Medical Daily and The Boston Health Study. By presenting information from authority figures this makes the message seem more credible, and hence people are more likely to carry out the behavior that the credible sources recommend. This has been proven to work by Hovland and Weiss (1951) who found that students who read an article on nuclear submarines being safe were more likely to believe the information if the author was a scientist rather than if the author was a non-credible source.

Burger, J. M. (1986). Increasing compliance by improving the deal: The that’s not all technique. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51.2, 277-283.

Fukagawa, N. K. (2000). Tea and Health. Nutrition Reviews, 58.1, 1-10.

Hatfield, E., & Clark, R. D. (1989). Gender differences in receptivity to sexual offers. Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality, 2.1, 39-55.

Hindmarch, I., Rigney, U., Stanley, N., Quinlan, P., Rycroft, J. & Lane, J. (2000). A naturalistic investigation of the effects of day-long consumption of tea, coffee and water on alertness, sleep onset and sleep quality. Psychopharmacology, 149.3, 203-216.

Hovland, C. I. & Weiss, W. (1951). The influence of source credibility on communication effectiveness. Public Opinion Quarterly, 15, 635-650.

Zheng W, Doyle TJ, Kushi LH, et al. Tea consumption and cancer incidence in a prospective cohort study of postmenopausal women. American Journal of Epidemology, 144.2, 175-182. 

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