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. 



References:
Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50, 179-211.
Al Sunni, A., & Latif, R. (2014). Effects of chocolate intake on Perceived Stress; a Controlled Clinical Study. Int J Health Sci (Qassim), 8(4), 393-401.


Bogdanski, P., Suliburska, J., Szulinska, M., Stepien, M., Pupek-Musialik, D., & Jablecka, A. (2012). Green tea extract reduces blood pressure, inflammatory biomarkers, and oxidative stress and improves parameters associated with insulin resistance in obese, hypertensive patients. Nutr Res, 32(6), 421-427.


Britton, B. K., & Tesser, A. (1991). Effects of time-management practices on college grades. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83, 405–410.


Grassi, D., Necozione, S., Lippi, C., Croce, G., Valeri, L., Pasqualetti, P., Desideri, G., Blumberg, J.B., & Ferri, C. (2005). Cocoa reduces blood pressure and insulin resistance and improves endothelium-dependent vasodilation in hypertensives. Hypertension, 46, 398–405.


Grissom, J., Loeb, S., & Mitani, H. (2015). Principal time management skills: explaining patterns in principals’ time use, job stress, and perceived effectiveness. J. Educ. Admin, 53(6), 773–793.


Grossman, P., Niemann, L., Schmidt, S., & Walach, H. (2004). Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health benefits: A meta-analysis. Journal of psychosomatic research, 57(1), 35-43.
James, C. (2016, November 15). NYU Study Examines Top High School Students’ Stress and Coping Mechanisms. Retrieved from http://www.nyu.edu/about/news-publications/news/2015/august/nyu-study-examines-top-high-school-students-stress-and-coping-mechanisms.html
Misra, R., & McKean, M. (2000). College students’ academic stress and its relation to their anxiety, time management, and leisure satisfaction. Am J Health Stud, 16, 41–51.


Novotney, A. (2016, November 27). Students under pressure. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/2014/09/cover-pressure.aspx
 
Renter, E. (2016, November 9). Foods to Reduce Stress – Green Tea, Blueberries, and More. Retrieved from http://naturalsociety.com/foods-to-reduce-stress-green-tea-more/


Schuder, K. (2016, November 27). Statistics on College Student Stress. Retrieved from http://stress.lovetoknow.com/Statistics_on_College_Student_Stress


Brain-Body Benefits of Meditation. (2016, November 20). Retrieved from https://experiencelife.com/article/brain-body-benefits-of-meditation/
Colleges and Universities Create Nap Rooms for Students. (2016, November 20). Retrieved from https://sleep.org/articles/colleges-and-universities-create-nap-rooms/


Mental Health and College Students. (2016, November 15).  Retrieved from https://www.adaa.org/finding-help/helping-others/college-students/facts
Napping. (2016, November 20). Retrieved from https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/napping
What’s The Best Time Of The Day To Nap?. (2016, November 20). Retrieved from https://sleep.org/articles/whats-the-best-time-of-the-day-to-nap/
What is a Power Nap? (2016, November 20). Retrieved from https://sleep.org/articles/what-is-a-power-nap/

7 Health Benefits of Meditation. (2016, November 20). Retrieved from http://www.foodmatters.com/article/7-health-benefits-of-meditation



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