Behaviour Change

PROPAGANDA FOR CHANGE is a project created by the students of Behaviour Change (ps359) and Professor Thomas Hills @thomhills at the Psychology Department of the University of Warwick. This work was supported by funding from Warwick's Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Make Mine Milk

The advert which is part of the ‘make mine milk’ government campaign focuses on the importance of consuming milk as part of a healthy diet. Olympic gold medallist athletes are displayed in white clothes and have been photographed posed in their own sport while ‘wearing’ a milk moustache. The advert uses a slogan of ‘m’ powered suggesting it’s the milk that has helped the girls to win; they have been ‘powered up’ by it. The advert focuses on the high status-admirer altercast where a highly prestigious individual is used to persuade the audience. Here, the medallists are perceived as being highly successful individuals whom society look up to and praise so therefore, by drinking milk it is suggests you will be on the right path to become as successful as they are.

The high status-admirer altercast was researched by Lefkowitz et al. (1955) who found that individuals were more likely to jaywalk from simply watching a person wearing a suit do so compared to someone wearing denim. This may also be considered as a type of social modelling whereby watching someone behave in a certain way leads to the target being more likely to copy that behaviour. Bandura and Menlove (1968) found that children who were afraid of dogs reduced their avoidance of dogs after watching models interacting with dogs in a calm manner. This concept can be applied to the advert as the audience may be more likely to drink milk as they imitate the athletes who are doing so.

The athletes in the advert may also be perceived as credible sources; are they experts in the field of a healthy diet? Clearly drinking milk has worked well for them thus the audience may rely on them as a trustworthy source for confirming milk is necessary to be healthy like them. Hovland and Weiss (1951) found that experts in a given field were more effective in securing persuasion to various issues compared to communicators lacking in expertise.

Bandura, A., & Menlove, F. L. (1987). Factors determining vicarious extinction of avoidance behaviour through symbolic modelling. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 8, 99-108.

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

Lefkowitz, M., Blake, R. R., & Mouton, J. S. (1955). Status factors in pedestrian violation of traffic signals. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 51, 704-706.

1 comment:

  1. Well done. Bandura and Menlove is a nice touch.


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