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, March 16, 2017

Fight Stress Smartly

By Iza Kostro, Jonathan Kan, Yoon Bae Lim, Moriah Sharpe

The aim of our campaign - "Fight Stress Smartly" is to help University students deal with stress.
We constructed a video and a poster to aid the promotion of our campaign.
Ruth Caleb, chair of Universities UK's mental well-being working group, says counselling services are facing an annual rise in demand of about 10%. This is definitely an alarming figure, thus, we as Psychology students decided to do a campaign on helping students cope with stress.

Propaganda Materials

The video: It started off by introducing some common activities of typical university students. Proceed by reminding viewers that they could have been a victim of stress. Finally, some tips for the viewers on fighting stress.

The poster: It consists of 4 parts. An eye-catching title - "STRESSED?". An eye-catching cross-sectional image comparing the activity of the temporal lobes when we are healthy versus under chronic-stress. The latter half of the poster listed some typical symptoms of chronic stress, as well as some simple tips on stress-relief.

The posters were posted all over the University of Warwick, including places such as the Student Union, the Humanities Building, the Library etc. It also happened that one of our group mate lives by a bus-stop to the University in Earlsdon, Coventry. We thought it would be a perfect idea to demonstrate our poster next to the bus stop, so that not only passers-by, but students, teaching staff, could look at our poster while waiting for the bus.
At the bottom of the posters is a QR code that links to the video above.
The video could be watched on Youtube, i.e. all mobile devices, as well as on the Warwick Piazza.

Theory of Planned behaviour

By putting up posters and link to the video, we tried to raise students' awareness of the issues of stress,
as well as helping them to find out what is likely to happen to them, e.g. anxiety, fatigue etc.
When the audiences notice the materials (poster & video), it reminds themselves whether the problem of stress could have an effect on, or concerns them.

In terms of persuading techniques, the video emphasised on the prevalence of stress among university students, i.e. not just the audiences looking at the propaganda materials, but also people around them(subjective norms); and on both the video and the poster, we suggested some easy ways to begin with on fighting stress (perceived behavioural control).

We realise that the problem of stress is actually so prevalent that many university students believe being stressed is totally normal. It is indeed impossible to be stress-free, especially for young adults. We hope that by providing some common knowledge on "stress" to students, as well as giving them simple tips, from time-management skills to diet, on fighting stress, stress could one day become a healthy source of motivation to students instead of their burden. 

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