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An Inquiry Into How People Are Affected by Profuse Amounts of Publicity: A Multidisciplinary Approach

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An Inquiry Into How People Are Affected by Profuse Amounts of Publicity: A Multidisciplinary Approach

Chevrier, Erik (2011) An Inquiry Into How People Are Affected by Profuse Amounts of Publicity: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Abstract

An Inquiry into How People Are Affected by Profuse Amounts of Publicity: A Multidisciplinary Approach

The purpose of this thesis was to examine whether advertising affects people’s ability to make rational consumer decisions. Considering that advertising is so pervasive, we may be continuously programming ourselves to desire goods and services. In this thesis, I used a multi-disciplinary approach stemming from priming and suggestion
theory. I tested whether participants could be primed to develop more extreme consumer behaviour attitudes and values. I also assessed whether participants who were more
suggestible, were also more influenced by advertising. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses were conducted. The sample consisted of sixty Concordia University students,
thirty males and thirty females. The results of the priming study were inconclusive because of mixed findings. In general, exposure to commercial media was correlated with
extreme buying behaviour. However, the advertising exposed group did not significantly increase their materialistic values scores after they were exposed to advertising. This may be because the group diversity between the advertising and control group was skewed. At time one, the control group had a significantly greater mean materialistic value score than the advertising pre-exposed group. Using suggestion theory, I found that participants who
had a greater ability to fantasize displayed more extreme consumer behaviour. This may be because interacting with advertisements that display fantastic signs and symbols may
help people form commodity meaning, especially for those who have a greater ability to fantasize. Therefore, those who can fantasize more vividly may respond more to advertising than people who do not have this ability. Through qualitative analysis, I described how participants think that advertising influences them as well as people in
general. I found a significant third person effect; participants reported that they are less affected by advertisements than people in general. To improve on this study, both advertising and control groups should be equally materialistic from the beginning of the study. Furthermore, better measures of advertising effects should be used. This study serves as a stepping-stone for further research on the topic.

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Chevrier, Erik
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Special Individualized Program
Date:14 April 2011
Thesis Supervisor(s):Laurence, Jean Roche and Jiwani, Yasmin and Shade, Leslie Regan
ID Code:7292
Deposited By:ERIK CHEVRIER
Deposited On:09 Jun 2011 11:40
Last Modified:20 Jun 2011 09:21
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