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.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Just ONE Glass A Day Keeps The Doctor Away!

The above advertisement makes use of a number of persuasive techniques in order to convince people that drinking a moderate amount of wine has a number of health benefits, as well as making them appear more attractive to others.

First of all, the advertisement utilises the “That’s-Not-All” technique which works by presenting people with an initial request followed by making the deal appear better either by reducing the cost of the product or by increasing the benefits of compliance (Cialdini & Goldstein, 2004). In this case the latter technique is used, whereby people who view the advertisement will see the health benefits of drinking wine in moderation and before they have time to react to this information, they will see the added benefit of compliance such that moderate consumers of wine appear more attractive to others. Research by Burger (1986) has found this technique to be effective for inducing compliance in people in a sales environment. When participants were simply offered a cupcake and two cookies for 75 cents, just 40% of them purchased the deal. However when participants were initially offered a cupcake for 75 cents and were then told “That’s-Not-All” with two cookies being thrown in as add ons, compliance amongst participants increased to 73%.

The use of the word "moderate" being used repeatedly throughout the advertisement creates another means of persuasion. Such use of repetition can be referred to as the mere exposure effect whereby when an individual is repeatedly exposed to a particular stimulus, they develop an emerging preference for such stimulus (Zajonc, 2001). In this case, being repeatedly exposed to the benefits of moderate consumption of wine should induce a preference for this behaviour in people viewing the advertisement. Miller (1976) found that college students reported a positive evaluation to the political message 'reduce foreign aid' delivered under moderate exposure (30 posters conveying the message) but a negative evaluation to the same message when delivered under excessive exposure (200 posters conveying the message). Following this line of thought, the current advertisement conveyed the message about the importance of moderate wine consumption only twice in order to ensure that viewers do not come to perceive the advice in a negative light as may have be the case if it was repeated too often.

Another persuasive technique used in the advertisement is the ‘But You Are Free’ (BYAF) techniqueGuéguen and Pascual (2005) defined this as a procedure in which a person is approached with a request, which is followed by telling them that they are free to accept or refuse such request. In this case, people who view the advertisement are advised of the benefits of drinking wine moderately before being reminded they are free to make their own choice about whether the decide to accept or refuse to follow the advice they have been given. A meta analysis of 42 studies conducted by Carpenter (2013) revealed that the BYAF technique is an effective means of increasing compliance in most contexts, regardless of the type of request made.

*Arranz, S., Chiva-Blanch, G., Valderas-Martínez, P., Medina-Remón, A., Lamuela-Raventós, R. M., & Estruch, R. (2012). Wine, beer, alcohol and polyphenols on cardiovascular disease and cancer. Nutrients4, 759-781.* (On Advertisement)

Burger, J. M. (1986). Increasing compliance by improving the deal: The that's-not-all technique. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology51, 277

Carpenter, C. J. (2013). A meta-analysis of the effectiveness of the “But you are free” compliance-gaining technique. Communication Studies64, 6-17.

Cialdini, R. B., & Goldstein, N. J. (2004). Social influence: Compliance and conformity. Annual Review of Psychology55, 591-621.

Guéguen, N., & Pascual, A. (2005). Improving the response rate to a street survey: an evaluation of the" but you are free to accept or to refuse" technique. The Psychological Record55, 297.

Miller, R. L. (1976). Mere exposure, psychological reactance and attitude change. Public Opinion Quarterly40, 229-233

**Van Den Abbeele, J., Penton-Voak, I. S., Attwood, A. S., Stephen, I. D., & Munafò, M. R. (2015). Increased facial attractiveness following moderate, but not high, alcohol consumption. Alcohol and Alcoholism50, 296.** (On Advertisement)

Zajonc, R. B. (2001). Mere exposure: A gateway to the subliminal. Current Directions In Psychological Science10, 224-228.

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