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, December 10, 2016

Chicken in reverse


I remember watching this video and it being one of the first adverts that triggered me wanting to become vegetarian. How? It reminds us that each animal we eat has gone through a dreadful process to satisfy our hunger. This advert uses sadness and anger to uncover the scary truths of chicken-rearing in the U.K with around 49% of meat eaten in the U.K being poultry. The video reminds us that 875 million chickens are bred, reared and killed each year to fulfil demand, and to remind us that these are living creatures before they become our meals.

The Protection Motivation Theory (Rogers, 1983) explains that we can influence consumers through fear advertising. This can be made possible with severity (in that the undesirable consequences must be severely undesirable) and death of animals can be a great example of this provided that you believe that animals have rights. The cognitive dissonance felt if you do believe animals have rights, and still eat meat should be motivation enough to trigger fear within. The dissonance within should make us experience vulnerability in that we don't trust that the animals we eat are killed the way we felt, and the harsh conditions can evoke fear of the unknown further.

The advert however doesn't provide a solution to ensure self-efficacy, which is essential for one to want to comply with persuasive messages. It is very important for fear messages to be following with a solution that audiences can comply with for the behaviour change to occur, otherwise the results will be weaker and actually people resort to denial if they are unable to adequately reduce the anxieties fear cause them to feel.


Rogers, R.W. (1983). Cognitive and psychological processes in fear appeals and attitude change: A revised theory of protection motivation. In J. Cacioppo & D.Shapiro (Eds.), Social psychophysiology: A source book (pp.153–176).NewYork: Guilford Press.

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