Advertising Principles - Evidence-based principles

Videos on research studies

This section presents videos that illustrate evidence for the persuasion principles.

Conditions: High vs. low involvement

Marshmallow study for impatience. The marshmallow study has been described as relating to self-control, delayed gratification, or patience. Originally done by Walter Mischel in 1972, it shows that some people are willing to pause and think about an action before plunging ahead. Note that the concept of involvement is related to the type of customer as well as to the product. This and related tests, which have been given to people as young as 4 years, is predictive of how people fare in later life. For example, related tests been shown to be better than IQ as a predictor of how someone will do in school (see Duckworth & Seligman, 2005, "Self-discipline outdoes IQ in predicting academic performance of adolescents," Psychological Science, 16, 939-944. There are many demonstrations on YouTube besides the one shown here. For a description, see Deferred Gratification.

2.0 Influence

Here is an overview of the influence principles by the man who identified them, Robert Cialdini.

2.2.1 Show that the product is widely used (social proof)

Asch experiment: In 1955, Solomon Asch asked subjects to participate in a "vision test." In reality, all but one of the participants in this experiment were confederates of the experimenter. The study was really about how the lone subject would react to the confederates' behavior. It demonstrated that a group's opinions are very powerful in inducing conformity, even though the subjects had no prior acquaintance with the other subjects. There were many extensions of this study, which is regarded as one of the classic studies on social psychology. For an interesting description of this stream of research see Asch's Conformity Study.

Elevator behavior: This demonstration, from Candid Camera, shows how people conform to the behavior of others.

2.4 Attribution

JohnStossel demostrates experiments on the effects of attribution on behavior. He also describes the famous blue-eye brown-eye demonstration. The effects are strong as you will see.

2.6. Authority

Milgram's obedience study: It has always been known that authority affects behavior. However, the strength of this effect was not fully appreciated until the influential studies by Stanley Milgram starting in the 1960s. For an excellent summary of this and related follow-ups, see the Psychwiki entry.

4.0 Mere Glossary Link Glossary Link exposure

This demonstration shows that exposure to messages affects us even when we pay little attention (low involvement). In contrast to the viewpoint of the makers of the video, this is not based on subliminal images.

5.1. Distraction

Watch this video and answer the questions. Here is another one.

7.2.1 Use simple prose for high-involvement products with arguments

The famous Dr. Fox study showed that complex but nonsensical lectures to faculty and staff received high ratings. Attendees commented that while they did not understand everything Dr. Fox said, he certainly "knew his stuff." More

7.2.1 Use simple prose for high-involvement products with arguments

Over 100 published science journal articles just gibberish. More


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