Contributions of Psychology to Advertising Essay

Pages: 3 (897 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Advertising

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¶ … Psychology to Advertising

The field of psychology has strongly influenced the techniques used in advertising. This can be most prominently seen in the area of persuasion, defined as "the changing of attitudes by presenting information about another attitude" (Gresko, Kennedy, & Lesniak, 1996, par. 2). By understanding the underlying concepts that affect human psychology, people in the advertising industry are able to tailor their campaigns so that they have the highest likelihood of persuading their audience. Thus, this essay will explore the various psychological techniques of persuasion used in advertising.

According to one theory in psychology, The Elaboration Likelihood Model, persuasion can be achieved through one of two routes: central or peripheral (Gresko, Kennedy, & Lesniak, 1996). An individual persuaded through the central route has consciously analyzed the information they received for favourable or unfavourable thoughts, ultimately leading to their decision on the argument's merit. An individual persuaded through the peripheral route has not gone through this same cognitive process. Instead, their persuasion is based on an unconscious process that results from being bombarded with so many messages that one does not have the time to carefully analyze each one. Information processed through this route is far less likely to lead to a permanent attitude change than information processed through the central route. Therefore, it is often the goal in advertising to persuade an audience through the central route. To do this, the advertisement must first catch the audience's attention.

Evoking certain emotions has been proven to catch an audience's attention, thereby helping to persuade them (Gresko, Kennedy, & Lesniak, 1996). Commonly targeted emotions include fear, pleasure, love, and vanity. Furthermore, many advertisements target more than one emotion to get the attention of a wider range of people, or to have a double impact on others. Advertisements for plastic surgery are one example. They aim to persuade the public by appealing both to their feelings of vanity and to their fears of aging.

Another contribution psychology has made to advertising is the understanding of attitudes (Kardes, 2005). There are four major attitude types: those that serve a knowledge function, a value-expressive function, an ego-defensive function, and an adjustment function. Attitudes that serve a knowledge function are concerned with simplifying large amounts of information so that decisions can be made quickly and easily. Attitudes that serve a value-expressive function are concerned with important social beliefs and personal values. Attitudes that serve an ego-defensive function are concerned with feeling good about themselves and avoiding threats. Finally, attitudes that serve an adjustment function are concerned with experiencing pleasure quickly and avoiding pain. According to the Attitude Function Theory, "different types of persuasion techniques are needed for different types of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Contributions of Psychology to Advertising.  (2009, December 3).  Retrieved December 15, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/contributions-psychology-advertising/28790

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"Contributions of Psychology to Advertising."  Essaytown.com.  December 3, 2009.  Accessed December 15, 2019.
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