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Case Study Design and Analysis
For this assignment, you will identify the main concepts and terms learned in this week’s online lectures and textbook readings and create a fictional case study (may not be related to actual individuals).
You will use the following guidelines while writing your case study:
- Background: You need to describe the demographics of individuals involved in the case study such as their age, gender, occupation, education, relationships, and family history.
- The case story: You need to describe a scenario using third person in which individuals have joined a nonreligious cult or group prescribing self-destructive behaviors.
- Analysis of the case: You need to utilize the information learned from the online lectures and text readings to analyze the case study. Be specific in your analysis using supporting evidence from outside sources when needed.
- Recommendations: You need to end the case study with your recommendations or suggestions you would have implemented in such a situation to assist in changing the behavior of the individuals involved in the case study.
- Support your responses with examples.
- Cite any sources in APA format.
One of the subtlest issues in persuasion is related to product placement. Currently, most movies are involved in product endorsement. For instance, the movie Transformers (2007 release) endorsed General Motors (GM)—throughout the movie, the autobots transformed from GM vehicles. Similarly, the movie Back to the Future endorsed Pepsi, and Demolition Man endorsed Taco Bell as being the only fast-food restaurant to survive the restaurant war.
Product placement works primarily on the premise that a person’s memory of a product is reinforced by exhibiting the product in a scene in a movie, television program, or news program that is, hopefully, associated with a positive memory. However, several people consider product placement in a movie, television program, or news program a distraction from entertainment.
Cowley and Barron (2009) described the objective of product placement as “the process to generate positive associations toward the placed brand, resulting in a positive shift in brand attitude” (p. 89).
Does product placement always have a positive persuasive effect?
The study conducted by Cowley and Baron examined different levels of product placement and the attitudes of viewers with regard to those placements. The results revealed that too much product placement seemed to send a message of overt persuasion, causing the viewers to actually have a negative view of the product. Future studies of this phenomenon may also reveal an influence of the potential overuse of product placement and its perceived negative connotation on the quality of a movie.
Cowley, E., & Barron, C. (2008). When product placement goes wrong. Journal of Advertising, 37(1), 89–98.
To be effective, a persuasive message can take one of two routes, central or peripheral. The central route to persuasion is direct, where an individual is aware of the issues and actively seeks to change or not change behaviors, attitudes, or beliefs of other individuals or groups. The peripheral route to persuasion is indirect, where individuals or groups are influenced by incidental cues.
When discussing the routes to persuasion, the question that arises is, which of the two routes is more effective? In social psychology, what is more fascinating is how people are persuaded by the peripheral, or indirect, route. Let’s discuss a study conducted by Gardner (2005) that revealed that even seemingly minor and innocuous cues, such as a Post-it note on a questionnaire, can increase the desired results.
Gardner conducted a series of studies to analyze how persuasive a Post-it note can be if attached to a survey. For each of the studies, he used different questionnaires comprising research questions based on the manipulated variables.
In the first study, Gardner randomly distributed three different questionnaires to participants (150 full-time faculty members). The first questionnaire was a survey accompanied by a handwritten Post-it note that requested completion of the survey. The second questionnaire was a survey with a handwritten message on the cover letter, requesting completion, and the third questionnaire was a cover letter only (control condition).
The results revealed that of the participants who returned the completed surveys, the majority were those who had received the Post-it note.
Although the return rate of the questionnaires was much lower (with a common return rate of 30 percent as a typical acceptance rate for some surveys), what made this study interesting was its potential applicability of persuading individuals who received surveys (especially mail surveys) to complete them.
Garner, R. (2005). Post-it note persuasion: A sticky influence. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 15(3), 230–237.
Routes of a Persuasive Message
Myers (2008) mentions two routes a persuasive message can take to be effective, the central and the peripheral route.
Central Route: This route implies the audience or receiver of the message is attentive to the message and readily evaluates the pros and cons of the message.
For example, you need to replace your old car that is no longer drivable. Although you prefer purchasing a fuel-efficient machine, you also want the new car to fit your personality and be of your preferred color.
When you go to an automobile dealer, the salesperson informs you they have a wonderful, low mileage used vehicle giving 33 miles per gallon. However, the car is not of your preferred color. You look at the good price and weigh the deal versus getting the color you wanted. You eventually choose to go with the car that the salesperson offered.
Peripheral Route: This route implies the audience is influenced by superficial clues rather than paying attention to the message.
For example, you are invited to the fifteenth anniversary of your local car dealer. You attend the anniversary party but do not plan to buy a car. While eating your third bratwurst you realize that you won a 24-inch television in the lucky draw organized and would also get a 25 percent discount off the list price on any of the used vehicle you buy from the dealer.
While being congratulated by everyone you feel happy and lucky to have won. You think, “This was such a great day, and they were so nice with the food, and I also won the television. I guess I should think about replacing my old car. I think it would be good idea to buy a car from this dealer.”
Myers, D. (2008). Social psychology (9th ed). Boston: McGraw-Hill.
Path of Persuasion.html
Path of Persuasion
The Path of Persuasion
The path of persuasion parallels the basic communication model with emphasis on the importance of the method used and how attentive the receiver is to the message.
Sender—> Delivery Method—> Message—> Attention to Message—> Receiver
Sender: The question is, “How could the sender, as public speaker, friend, family member, or infomercial host, send a message to persuade you to do something?”
Delivery Method: If the sender does not transmit the message effectively, there is little chance of persuasion. The delivery method is important and depends on the message. Face-to-face communication may be the best way to deliver a message from an emotional, cognitive, or intellectual level. Delivering a message using print media is good if time is required to evaluate and understand the message. Mass media is also effective in delivering persuasive messages.
Attention to Message: The receiver must be receptive. If the receiver is uninterested, he/she is less likely to be persuaded even using the peripheral route (indirect cues like the speaker’s charisma and expertise). The receiver must be attentive to process the message and decide.
Receiver: Target marketing is concerned with both the focus of the message and who receives it. Marketing strategies are targeted toward a specific demographic, depending on the message, the time and the place where the message is sent. For example, consider a commercial for a fast-food restaurant. At 8 a.m., the commercial shows an egg, cheese, and bacon sandwich. At 1 p.m., we see customers served a nutritious lunch. In the evening, the commercial targets young people staying up late and needing that extra something.
Depending on the receiver’s demographics you may see a different message. The intent is to match message to receiver to create a better chance of persuasion.