ENGL 147N Deceptive Arguments

ENGL 147N Deceptive Arguments

ENGL 147N Deceptive Arguments

In the first article, Fear advertisements: influencing consumers to make better health decisions, Krishen and Bui (2015) analyze whether people are more prone to make healthier choices through fear or hope. They analyze previously recorded research and build upon it. They conclude that people respond more to fear than hope. People will choose healthier foods if they feel fear from an advertisement rather than hope.  I think if the participants were made aware of the manipulation tactic being used, they would distrust the advertisement entirely and would continue with their current choices. Using fear-inducing tactics has limitations because there also has to be a positive goal associated. Furthermore, the participant must have a goal they want to obtain in order to take the fear tactic into consideration and therefore change their behaviors or choices.

In the second article, Fear appeals in social marketing: The case of anti-speeding video advertisement “Mistakes”, Giachino et al. (2017) analyzed 20 young Italian students. The research is to see if they drove within the speed limit after watching the anti-speeding video. It appears that the students were aware of the purpose of the study and the results may be biased due to that (GIachino et al., Spring 2017). I believe knowing they were being manipulated made them immune to the effects of this research. In the 10 females analyzed, some females actually increased their speeding after the video. Giachino et al. (2017) believe this may be due to them feeling like their freedom was infringed upon. The limitations of this research are that the results are short term and do not show the long term effects of the fear tactics used. According to Giachino et al. (2017), the more one is exposed to the fear tactic the less effective it is. (Giachino et al., 2017) Another limitation is that they used a small group of young Italian students. In order to have a better understanding of the results of the fear appeal, they would have to increase the number of people analyzed as well as a more diverse audience.

I think if I were a subject in one of these studies I would probably be induced to give the results they were looking for. For instance, I would drive within the speed limits while I was being watched but once the research was over, I probably would go back to my bad habits. I feel like normally I stay within the speed limit but in roads such as the parkway, where the normal is 10 miles above the speed limit, I tend to follow the crowd. I also noticed that personally, fear tactics have a short term effect on me. I tend to make changes but with time go back to what I used to do. I believe it’s because, like Krishen and Bui state, you must have a personal goal for making the choice in order for the fear strategy to work (Krishen and Bui, 2015). I have seen many documentaries on Netflix that use fear tactics to manipulate the audience. There are documentaries on how bad sugar is for you, how bad meat is for, and other types of documentaries. I think a lot of the documentaries use fear appeal when manipulating their audience. Even the music used and the images are all to bring about fear to the viewer. I don’t think any of them worked long term on me or my family. Nonetheless, I have seen others make life changes after seeing the same documentaries.

Reference

Giachino, C., Stupino, M., Petrarulo, G., & Bertoldi, B. (2017, Spring). Fear appeals in social marketing: The case of anti-speeding video advertisement “Mistakes”. https://eds-b-ebscohost-com.chamberlainuniversity.idm.oclc.org/eds/detail/detail?vid=0&sid=3e711d84-309d-441c-b43c-119c2ebc4d96%40pdc-v-sessmgr02&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3D%3D#AN=124409330&db=bth

Krishen, A. S., & Bui, M. (2015). Fear advertisements: Influencing consumers to make better health decisions. https://eds-b-ebscohost-com.chamberlainuniversity.idm.oclc.org/eds/detail/detail?vid=0&sid=c26a72fd-b85b-479c-9f98-1bc31f3e6fdf%40pdc-v-sessmgr05&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3D%3D#db=edswss&AN=000369954900008

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I could really relate to what you said about the effectiveness of those documentaries. I remember watching Supersize Me years ago. I was disgusted. I swore off the fast food industry, but that was short-lived.

When I think of fear tactics, I automatically think of those anti-smoking commercials. They definitely use fear

ENGL 147N Deceptive Arguments
ENGL 147N Deceptive Arguments

tactics. Seeing someone who has had part of their face removed due to cancer caused by smoking is pretty terrifying! I also believe that social media is a big place for the use of fear advertisements. Social media has really changed how we react to things. We see multiple people post. We see multiple people have certain reactions. It really does influence how we view issues.

I do believe fear-based tactics work – to a degree. The issue is with getting people to not turn away when they realize it’s something that might frighten them into making better choices. 🙁 I know that when it comes to health, fear can make an impact. I know this from personal experience. For instance, I have an aunt who has been overweight and had bad knees for years. She had put off getting knee replacements and had avoided eating right and exercise. In recent years her doctors began telling her that she may end up in a wheelchair if she didn’t have the surgeries and that it would be a much better recovery if she were strong and weighed less. For the past year, she did water aerobics and walked the pool. She ate better and lost weight. She has had one knee replacement and has the other scheduled. Sometimes, it takes fear to sort of force a person into making some hard decisions. In this example, it took years before she changed her habits.

I think health-related fear tactics have always made an impact on me. I know that the advertisements that scared me are the ones I’ve always remembered: the ones about smoking, the ones about STDs and condoms, the ones about texting and driving.

I think it’s about knowing one’s audience. Even if I know the goal is to scare me into action, if it’s something that could really hurt me, I might just be scared into action!

I agree that the fear tactic works if you know your audience and know how to manipulate said audience. I also think fear tactics work depending on each person’s real fears. If I already have a vulnerability or an underlying fear and they build on that fear maybe it sits longer with me or really makes me change. For instance, as I get older my biggest fear is to have to depend on anyone. So if I was told I would end up in a wheelchair like your aunt was told, I would definitely be scared into making changes. When it comes to food though, I always struggle because I self indulge and that ends up overpowering any fear. LOL I think there may be some psychological issues there that I really gotta work on. Maybe if I work on those, the fear tactics may actually work.