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.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Magic of Disney

This video is an advertisement, promoting the Disney park franchise, targeting parents.  Humans are salient; behaviour is often influenced by what draws our attention, for example, things which seem relevant to us (Dolan, Hallsworth, Halpern, King, Metcalfe & Vlaev, 2012).  The advert includes different clips from home-movies of children, which is highly relevant to the target audience, and more likely to capture attention due to its familiarity (Gigerenzer & Hoffrage, 1995). 

Priming is also used to influence behaviour in this advert through sight and sound of the children being happy.  The advert shows various children running around and jumping with happiness, along with excited screams.  Adults are rarely shown in this advert, and when they are, the focus is still in the children.    Humans behave differently if they are ‘primed’ by particular cues before (Dolan et al.)  Studies have shown subliminally primed happy faces influenced drinking to increase, than when a frowning face was presented (Winkleman, Berridge & Willbarger, 2005).  The constant positive affect shown in the advert is used in this way to try and influence behaviour. 

The most influencing effect in this advert is targeting affect (Dolan et al.).  After the various clips, the tag line appears, “Magic begins the moment you tell them. (Pause) So when are you going to tell them?”  The use of a rhetorical question influences the target audience.  The tagline along with the clips of joyful children, aims to bring up the emotions parents feel when they make their child happy.  During the pause, the advert shows some slow-motion clips which appear to be from a child’s perspective, as the camera angle faces up, of what it would be like to be at the park.  The advert tries to recreate the same affect experienced by young children, in the target audience.  This technique is called ‘autobiographical referencing’, where individuals direct all focus onto the feelings induced by the recollected memories (Braun, Ellis and Loftus, 2002).  Drawing up these emotions may have influencing effects on subsequent behaviour.

Braun, K. A., Ellis, R., & Loftus, E. F. (2002). Make my memory: How advertising can change our memories of the past. Psychology and Marketing,19(1), 1-23.

Dolan, Hallswoth, Halpern, King, Metcalfe, Vlaev (2012). Influencing behavior: the mindspace way. Jounral of Economic Psychology, 264-277.

Gigerenzer, G., & Hoffrage, U. (1995). How to improve Bayesian reasoning without instruction: Frequency formats. Psychological review102(4), 684.

Winkielman, P., Berridge, K. C., & Wilbarger, J. L. (2005). Unconscious affective reactions to masked happy versus angry faces influence consumption behavior and judgments of value. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,31(1), 121-135.

1 comment:

  1. Nice. I'd like to hear more about the Winkleman et al. study...were people at a bar or in the lab? How was this done.


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