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  • 1. Laura Gratton PSYA4 Media Persuasion ‘Persuasion’ past exam questions (with mark schemes, example answers and advice on how to approach the question) Exam question topics in previous years: Jan 2010: x June 2010: Application HYM (science degree) Jan 2011: One or more explanation of the effectiveness of TV advertising June 2011: Outline HYM Jan 2012: Application ELM (mobile phone) June 2012: Application (perfume) Jan 2013: Application HYM (government –speed) June 2013: One explanation of the effectiveness of TV advertising
  • 2. Laura Gratton PSYA4 Media Persuasion Explanations for the persuasiveness of television advertising Jun 13 > Describe one explanation for the persuasiveness of television advertising. (4 marks) Mark scheme There is a wide choice of potentially relevant material including: • theHovland Yale model of persuasion • theElaboration Likelihood model. Example: One explanation for the persuasiveness of television advertising is the elaboration likelihood model. This model provides two routes of persuasiveness in media. One being the central route, and one the peripheral route. In application to television advertising the central route is related to hard sell. This is the idea of a more persuasive way of selling or trying to change an attitude. It is obvious what the advert is trying to say. They use statistics and facts in order to be more persuasive and have a long lasting attitude change. Soft sell is associated with the peripheral route. This is where people are much less interested in the message itself and more focused on its context. In television advertising it is much less obvious that they are trying to sell, they are less informative and sometimes it is not obvious of a company and advertisement’s feelings. They won’t directly tell you to buy but just offer a more relaxed way of persuasive media. Jan 11 > Discuss one or more explanations for the effectiveness of television in persuasion. (5 marks + 8 marks) Mark scheme A01- It is likely that candidates will outline the Hovland-Yale model of persuasion or the elaboration likelihood model A02- Evaluation can take the form of studies which relate to particular explanation; methodological/ ethical criticisms of studies; contrast/comparison of one explanation with another. *must be applied to TV* Example
  • 3. Laura Gratton PSYA4 Media Persuasion Persuasion refers to the process of changing attitudes to something. One explanation for how TV does this is the HYM. This says that the persuasiveness of TV depends on a number of factors. One of these is the source, or who communicates the message. Attractiveness can be an important factor, as can level of expertise. Attractive celebrities (e.g. George Clooney/coffee, and Cheryl Cole/shampoo) are often used to sell products in TV adverts. They provide a familiar face, and appear to be a reliable source of information that we feel we can trust because of the parasocial relationship that we have built up with them from seeing them on TV. They are seen as a neutral source of information and so perform the function of ‘rubber stamping’ the advertiser’s claim. However, research has found that, generally celebrity endorsements are not regarded as overly convincing or believable, with perceived credibility and expertise of the endorser being the two source characteristics with the greatest influence on any consumer purchase intentions. Secondly, there is the message, which relates to what is being communicated. Messages are effective when we think they are not intending to persuade us; also, moderate fear within a message can also be effective. Research has shown that fear appeals can be persuasive if they do not petrify the audience, and if they are informed how to avoid the danger. This has been supported by a real life TV anti-drug campaign in Australia. They showed explicit images, scenes and consequences; and emphasised choice, as well as opportunities for change. They found that 78% of 13-24 year olds felt that the campaign had changed how they felt about drugs. Thirdly there is the recipient, which refers to the person receiving the message. If the audience is of high or low intellect is an important factor which requires consideration.Younger people are more susceptible to persuasive messages than adults or the elderly, as they are less likely to see the persuasive intent of advertisements. This has been supported by research such as Martins (1997) who, in a meta-analysis, found a strong positive correlation between age and understanding of persuasive content. Older children could discriminate better between commercials and regular programming, and better understood the persuasive intent of the commercials and trusted them less. Advertising on TV aimed at young children increases the degree to which they ‘pester’ their parents. Pine & Nash (2001) studied children’s Christmas lists to Santa (the number of items) in the US and in Sweden. In Sweden, advertising to under-12s is banned by law. They found fewer gift requests among Swedish children than among children from the US.
  • 4. Laura Gratton PSYA4 Media Persuasion To determine how persuasive a TV advert has been, researchers typically measure how much the viewers like a product after viewing, or measure their intention to buy. However, for an advert to have been persuasive, it should lead to an actual purchase of the product. This is the major problem of this type of research. What is being measured is not the actual behaviour but a related attitude that may or may not lead to a purchase. TV audiences have options open to them when it comes to viewing adverts, such as leaving the room or fast-forwarding. This may minimise their impact. Hovland-Yale Model Jun 11 > Outline the Hovland-Yale model of persuasion (5) Mark scheme They believed that the key to predicting whether a piece of communication would succeed in persuading its audience was to study the characteristics of: • the person(s) presenting the message ie the source (experts generally more persuasive than non-experts, celebrities/ attractive people more persuasive than unattractive) • the contents of the message (whether the argument is one-or two-sided, repeated exposure, fear) • the receiver of the message ie the audience (self esteem, age, intelligence) Example Persuasion refers to the process of changing attitudes to something. One explanation for how TV does this is the HYM. This says that the persuasiveness of TV depends on a number of factors. One of these is the source, or who communicates the message. Attractiveness can be an important factor, as can level of expertise. Then there is the message, which relates to what is being communicated. Messages are effective when we think they are not intending to persuade us; also, moderate fear within a message can also be effective. Then there is the recipient, which refers to the person receiving the message. If the audience is of high or low intellect is an important factor which requires consideration. Jun 10
  • 5. Laura Gratton PSYA4 Media Persuasion >A group of students has been asked to produce a short film to encourage more school leavers to apply for science degree courses at university instead of arts-based courses. a) Using your knowledge of psychological research into persuasion and attitude change, identify some of the factors which the film-makers might take into account. (4 marks) Mark scheme Candidates are required to identify some of the factors that might be important in trying to persuade young people to apply for particular courses. They might consider the Hovland-Yale model of persuasion and outline factors such as: • the source of the message • the content of the message • the target audience b) Explain how factors such as those you identified in your answer to the previous question might help to persuade young people to apply for particular courses.(10 marks) Mark scheme Candidates are required to explain how factors such as those listed above might help to persuade young people to apply for particular courses. To attract full marks, they need to use their knowledge of psychological research into persuasion/attitude change in an applied context and relate their answers to the scenario in the question. If candidates do not apply their knowledge to the stem they can only achieve a maximum of 5 marks. Advice • the source of the message –people with science degrees with good jobs? Celebs with science degrees?needs to be expert (eg Professor Brian Cox) Petty &Cacioppo , and recognisable– celeb could overshadow (eg Hume, 1992) • the content of the message – fear appeals – moderate?! Contrast arts based/science based careers - emphasise mastery –Not intended to persuade – Putwain& Symons (p.226) • the target audience – intelligent present both sides of argument Jan 13 > The Government wants to reduce the number of accidents caused by drivers exceeding the 30 mph speed limit in built-up areas. An advertising company is asked to create a television advertisement to persuade drivers to reduce their speed. Suggest some possible features of the television advertisement. Justify your suggestions with reference to the Hovland-Yale model. (10 marks)
  • 6. Laura Gratton PSYA4 Media Persuasion Mark scheme This question requires students to suggest features of a TV advert to reduce speed and apply their knowledge of the Hovland Yale model of persuasion to justify their suggestions. The Hovland Yale model focusses on the importance of the source, message, channel and audience in persuasive communications. In this scenario, the audience (car drivers) and channel (TV advert) are specified in the question along with the main function of the campaign (speed reduction). Students could refer to the source, the message and the audience factors. Advice · The source of the communication: there is considerable evidence that experts/celebrities are generally thought to be most persuasive in TV adverts - personal stories which arouse empathy(emotional appeal) could be used in relation to speeding (eg Richard Hammond/Top Gear), or use children! · The message: students could discuss the role of fear in persuasion (Meyerowitz and Chaiken suggest moderate fear is most persuasive) they could also discuss the issue of constructing one versus two sided messages. Most TV campaigns of this nature focus on clear one sided messages given their target of a wide ranging audience · Students could discuss the interaction between audience characteristics (eg intelligence, self esteem) and messages (one versus two sided arguments). Example (could do with some research, but good coverage of points) According to the Hovland-Yale model there are three main factors that can influence how likely an individual is to be persuaded: source (who is used to try and persuade the individual), message (is the individual aware or not that they are being persuaded, if not then they are more likely to be) and audience (low or high intelligence, how much are they going to process the advert, one side or both-sided argument). So these three factors need to be taken into consideration when creating the advert. The model says that the audience needs to be taken into consideration, i.e. low or high intelligence and how much processing of the advert will be done. The audience will be a minimum of 17 years old as this is the legal age to drive, and most people aged 25 and over have a car and use it on a regular basis. So there will be a wide variety of audience. The easiest way to make an effective advert is to use both elements of high and low intelligence, so make an advert with both sides of the argument but project the arguments in a simple format; this way
  • 7. Laura Gratton PSYA4 Media Persuasion the individuals with high intelligence are presented with both sides of the argument so that they can process both sides and the individuals with lower intelligence can still process the information as well. It seems then that a good suggestion for the advert would be to use a child – younger drivers are closer to that age and may have siblings of a similar age so they can identify and relate to them more, and the older individuals may have children/grandchildren near that age so again they can identify with the advert more. By using a child it also covers the source section of the model; the model suggests that who is used can also affect the level of persuasion, so by making the audiences relate to the person in the advert more they are more likely to be persuaded. In this advert it would seem logical to portray both sides of the argument, but at a simple level, in order to target the range of individuals within the audience. As the aim of the advert is to reduce the amount of people exceeding 30mph, the advert should show the child being hit at 30mph and at 40mph with the consequences of each one being shown, with facts and statistics in as well. This shows both sides of the argument however the argument is so simple that everyone within the target audience can understand the message being portrayed. This idea does also cover the fear element; people are more likely to be persuaded if there is some level of fear created and if solutions are provided. The fear is created from the risk of hitting the child and the solution can then be offered at the end of the advert with text or a voice over saying to think about their speed. The message itself is also considered in Hovland-Yale’s model, and it suggests that if the audience is unaware that they are being persuaded then they are more likely to be persuaded. With the idea of the child being hit at two different speeds, the audience visually sees the message of slowing down being portrayed, so they make the connection between speed and their risk of injuring pedestrians. By allowing them to make that connection themselves it reduces the awareness of being persuaded because they made the connection, they were not simply told the message. Also as the fear factor is used as well, by having a message at the end saying only to think about their speed the audience can again strengthen the link they originally made (speed and risk of injuring people) to the same link as the message trying to be portrayed (reduce speed and less risk of injuring people). Elaboration Likelihood Model
  • 8. Laura Gratton PSYA4 Media Persuasion Jan 12 >Outline the Elaboration Likelihood model of persuasion. Explain how a mobile phone company might use knowledge of this model in a campaign to market a new phone. (4 marks + 6 marks) Mark scheme A01- This model describes two alternative processing routes of persuasive messages: · thecentral route to persuasion involves cognitive effort and active engagement. It is likely to result in permanent change in attitude/behaviour · the peripheral route to persuasion involves minimal cognitive effort. It is likely to result in temporary change of attitude/behaviour For 3 or 4 marks, the outline should cover both routes. A02- Adverts which encourage the central route should provide detailed information / arguments about the specific features of the phone. These may be designed to appeal to business users · Adverts designed to stimulate peripheral processing will use messages with a preference for images, imaginative contexts and emotional rather than fact-based arguments eg showing people using the accessory with friends In view of the context, candidates could refer to either or both of the routes to persuasion. Both of these approaches are creditworthy and the marks awarded will depend on the accuracy, level of detail and engagement with the scenario. There is a depth/ breadth trade off here for candidates covering both routes. Your poster examples – simply need putting into words 
  • 9. Laura Gratton PSYA4 Media Persuasion
  • 10. Laura Gratton PSYA4 Media Persuasion Jun 12 > A company is about to launch a new perfume aimed at young career women and wants to devise a television advertising campaign to promote the perfume. Using your knowledge of the persuasive effects of television, what advice would you give to the company so that it could make the television advertising campaign as effective as possible? Refer to psychological research to justify your advice. (10 marks) Mark scheme Potential material drawn directly from the specification includes: • Hovland Yale model • The Elaboration Likelihood model Advice ELM would be easiest to use: advise that there are two routes available (central & peripheral) perfume is not something which needs a lot of focus – peripheral – contextual cues important eg celebrity (Petty &cacioppo attractive are more persuasive) Fowles (1996)p.228 Cognitive misers- Fiske & Taylor Some people enjoy analysing arguments (career women) so are more likely to focus on the quality of the argument – central route (hard sell- present factual information) Lin et al – showed that when buying a phone, students wanted a lot of high- quality reviews, with high need for cognition students placing more emphasis on the quality reviews

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