the effects of advertising

gender roles?
socially transmitted ideas about the kind of tasks and jobs a person of a certain gender will do, based on stereotypes (ideas about characteristics every member of a group shares) of males and females.
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browne 1998
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browne method and sample?
Content analysis of adverts aimed at children in the US and Australia.
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browne findings?
Boys were never shown using ‘boy’ toys and vice versa, i.e. girls didn’t play with cars and boys didn’t play with dolls. This reinforces that driving is a male skill, and driving-related activities are male roles, whereas nurturing/ raising children
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finding one extra?
or roles relating to fashion and makeovers are female roles.
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browne findings 2?
Boys were shown as more knowledgeable, active, aggressive, and instrumental than girls. This reinforces the stereotypes that males are intelligent, have leadership skills, are powerful, and can be more violent, and that females are the opposite.
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browne finding 3?
Non-verbal behaviours of dominance and aggression were also shown by boys in boys ads. This again reinforces that males are more powerful, that their role is to be in control/ lead, and that they should be ‘macho’ and physically powerful.
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browne finding 4?
In adverts with both genders, boys typically explained or demonstrated something, portraying them as more knowledgeable. This reinforces a male gender role as an advisor or instructor.
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browne finding 5?
Body language also reinforced stereotypes, i.e. females were giggly and shy. This reinforces stereotypically feminine behaviours of being reserved and silly.
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Griffiths et al. (1998) merthod and sample?
Analysed the production techniques of 117 toy adverts aired on UK TV stations.
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griffiths findings?
Boys ads tended to use more blurred shots. This gives a sense of fast movement and activity, which reinforces the stereotype that males prefer action.
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griffiths findings 2?
Tilt-up shots were used only for girl’s ads and tilt-down shots were used only for boy’s ads. Thai has the effect of making everything seem larger in the girl’s ads, which makes the viewer (girl) feel smaller and more fragile
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griffiths finding 2 extra?
whereas the camera angle in the boys’ ads makes everything look smaller which gives the viewer (boys) the sense of being dominant and powerful.
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griffiths finding 3?
Average duration of each shot was shorter for boys’ ads than girls’ (more rapid pacing), whereas there were more fades and dissolves when transitioning between shots in girls’ ads. This reinforces that boys are more active than girls.
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griffiths finding 4?
Boys’ ads used more sound effects and rock music. This raises physical arousal levels, again reinforcing that males are active and aggressive.
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social learning theory
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social learning theory?
: Role models, similar to the child watching, are imitated (i.e. child actors of the same gender). The behaviour is repeated/ learned if it is directly reinforced (rewarded) positively (i.e. this could be through approval/ acceptance from others
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social learning theory 2?
feeling better about yourself/ experiencing positive emotions as a result of the behaviour (intrinsic).
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social learning theory 3?
Alternatively, it can be learned if it is vicariously reinforced (the child viewing the ad sees the role models being rewarded for their behaviour through acceptance or approval from others or positive consequences from their behaviour
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bandura (1963) sample?
48 boys and 48 girls from Stanford Uni nursery, with an average age of 52 months.
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bandura method?
Lab experiment. Boys and girls (IV: Gender of participant) were exposed to either a female or male aggressive role model (IV: gender of role model).
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how was the way they were exposed to the behaviour manipulated?
In room with role model * Same role model scenario shown on TV * Cartoon character showing aggression in TV cartoon programme * Control (not exposed to any aggression)
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findings and conclusions, bandura?
Children who observed video-recorded role models displayed similar levels of total aggression than those who observed role models in real-life, which was significantly more than the control group.
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what does the first finding support?
This supports the validity of social learning theory to explain why gender roles shown on children’s ads may affect the behaviour of child viewers.
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what does the second finding support?
Less imitative aggression was shown in response to the cartoon, and the most imitative aggression was shown in response to the film of the role model, but both still had significantly greater levels of imitative aggression than the control group.
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what does finding 2 support?
This suggests children’s ads with live actors will have more of an effect on child viewers that animated ads.
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finding and conclusion 3?
Boys exhibited more total aggression, more imitative aggression, more gun aggression, and more non-imitative aggression.
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what does finding 3 support?
This suggests that there may be individual factors affecting gender-typed behaviours which suggests children’s ads may not be solely responsible for aggression as a male, gender-typed behaviour.
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Nielsen et al. (2008) what makes adverrs effective in infleuncing behaviour?
Interactive TV is more likely to result in learned behaviour than passively watching non-interactive TV. I.e. when questions are asked in an advert, or children are encouraged to dance/ sing along with the characters.
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Hanley (2000)?
was commissioned by the ITC (Independent Television Commission) to see what aspects of TV ads would influence the attitudes/ behaviour of a mixed gender sample of children.
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findings and conclusions?
The main influence on children were the people they had direct contact with, e.g. peers, parents, teachers * Role models such as celebrities, sports stars, and actors also had a powerful influence on behaviour
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second finding and conclusion?
In particular, TV using role models of both gender and multiple ethnicities had greater influence as children were more likely to find a character to identify with that was similar to them (social learning theory)
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finding and conclusions 3?
Adverts with a simple scenario, humour, no negative consequences for behaviour, role models, aired at a time when many children watch TV, and with high production values like music, colour, and action, are influential on children’s attitudes
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key reserach?
Johnson & Young (2002) Gendered voices in children’s advertising
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johnson and young aim?
To find out whether advertisers scripted TV ads differently for males and females of school age, reinforcing gender stereotypes.
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Content analysis: identifying patterns in qualitative data (scripts) from recorded TV ads. * Discourse analysis: analysing non-descriptive elements of the TV ads, such as tone (is the gender of the narrator/ actor exaggerated?)
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TV ads, occurring during commercial breaks, were video recorded from commercial networks, regional independent New England stations, and Nickelodeon, in the Autumn of 1996 and 1997 and again in the Autumn of 1999.
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sample 2?
These channels were accessible to all TV owners and the programmes either side of the ads were cartoons to control for the extraneous variable of who was the target audience
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sample 3?
three different programme sources were used to ensure that the sample included advertisements from a broad range of cartoon programmes.
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sample 4?
The 1999 sample was added to the original two year sample so any differences that might have occurred over time, in the gender targeting of commercials, could be checked. The commercials for toys were selected as the focus for analysis.
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sample 5?
147 different adverts were analysed in total.
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The gender the ad was targeted at was determined by whether it portrayed mainly boys or mainly girls playing with the toy
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what features were analysed?
Frequency and nature of speaking lines given to girls and boys * use of the word power
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two aspecrs were concidered for voice overs?
The gender of the voice-over (ii) Whether the voice-over was gender-exaggerated. (i.e. masculine/aggressive male voices and feminine, high-pitched and/or sing-songy female voices.)
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verb elements, what were the 5 catagories?
Action verbs, i.e. crawl, fly, jump... Competition/ destruction verbs, i.e. crush, slam, knock out… Agency (control) verbs, i.e. control, defeat, rule... Limited activity verbs, i.e. look, talk, wait... Feeling/ nurturing verbs, i.e. cuddle, love
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results? names of toys
The names of toys reinforced gender attributes: i.e. Boys toys had names like ‘Big Time Action Heroes’ and girl’s toys had names like ‘Bedtime Bottle baby’.
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what did finding one signify?
This signifies that size is critical for males, and that nurturing and parenting is a female quality.
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results 2? use of toys
Use of toys was different in girl and boy oriented ads. Action figures for boys were shown in active scenes, whereas Barbie dolls were shown in scenes with little action.
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what does result 2 reinforce?
This reinforces differences in styles of play for boys and girls. Boys are expected to be more active than girls.
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results 3? voice overs
Voice-overs: Exaggerated gender stylisation was used in commercials for both boy-oriented and girl-oriented toys (80% and 87% respectively).
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what does result 3 reinforce?
The stylised voices reinforce that men are dominant and authoritative, whereas females are softly-spoken and should have less authoritative voices
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result 4? verb elements
There was a large difference in verbs used in boy-oriented and girl-oriented ads: * Competition/ destruction: occurred 113 times in male ads and 9 times in female ads * Agency/ control: occurred 103 times in male ads and 24 times in female ads
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result 4 extra?
Limited activity: occurred 151 times most often in female ads * Feelings/ nurturing: only occurred in female ads.
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what does result 4 reinforce?
This reinforces stereotypical gender traits, that boys are competitive, aggressive, and powerful, whereas females are passive, sedentary, and nurturing.
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results 5? frequency of speaking roles?
More than half of the girl-oriented ads contained speaking in turns whereas only 26% boy-oriented ads contained speaking line
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what does result 5 reinforce?
Reinforces that girls prefer talk whereas boys prefer action.
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result 6? nature of speaking roles
If both boys and girls appear in adverts, speaking in turns, girls tend to affirm what boys are saying. Boys also tend to have greater speaking roles: in the adverts where both genders were speaking, girls made 6 utterances, whereas boys made 21.
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what does result 6 suggest?
This suggests that boys have greater knowledge and can explain the toy, instigate action (take a leadership role), and are more important as they’re given more speaking lines. Girls affirm what boy’s say, suggesting that they are subservient to males
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results 7? use of the word power
21% of the adverts for boy-oriented toys contained the words ‘power’ or ‘powerful’ compared to only 1 instance in girl-oriented ads. This implies that males are more powerful than females.
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Application: How can we reduce the impact of advertising on children? legislation
the government could legislate against the reinforcement of gender-typed ads aimed at children. They could enforce that ads must show males AND females playing with all toys, and male AND female narrators doing the voice-over explaining/selling th
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what is legislation supported by?
Pike & Jennings (2005)
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Pike & Jennings (2005)?
who showed children of mixed genders either an advert showing boys playing with a traditionally male toy, or girls playing with the same toy.
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pike and jennings 2?
Children who saw the girls playing with the traditionally male toy were more likely to report that the toy was for both genders
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pike and jennings 3?
This suggests that showing toys like cars and action heroes being played with by girls would teach girls that active or leadership roles are not gender-specific
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pike and jenning 4?
and showing toys like dolls being played with by boys would teach that nurturing roles are not gender- specific.
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what did hanley 2000 say?
The law could be applied to ads shown around children’s programming and before children’s bedtimes, i.e. 9pm, as Hanley (2000) suggested it was ads shown at these peak times for child audiences that had the greatest affects on children’s attitudes
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hanley 2?
The punishment for breaking the law could be 50% of the profits made the year the ad was shown, from sales of the toy.
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what does operant conditioning suggest?
that advertisers would be unlikely to repeat their offense if punished, as associating a behaviour with something negative extinguishes that behaviour
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operant conditioning 2?
. It should also deter other advertisers through principles of vicarious punishment- they should avoid committing the same offence as they would also associate the action with the negative consequences
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operant conditioning 3?
if the violation of the law and its consequence was published in the media
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advertisement design?
The design of the adverts could be adapted so that the production values (I.e. frequency of tilt-up and tilt-down shots, rock music, sound effects, and blurred shots) are consistent for males and females
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what did griffths say?
shows that advertisers implicitly reinforce stereotypes with production techniques like using tilt down shots in boys ads making them as the viewer feel powerful and dominant over what they’re seeing
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griffths 2?
, and tilt up for girls making them feel smaller and fragile compared to what they’re seeing The researchers also found more rock music, sound effects, and blurred shots were used in boys ads suggesting they are more active that girls.
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griffths 3?
If production values were the same for ads targeted at either gender the stereotypes would not be implicitly reinforced and transmitted to children. Broadcasters could be encouraged to do this by the government,
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griffths 4?
who could offer financial awards and recognition to advertisers who are gender neutral, or could allow them to sponsor BBC programmes which do not usually have adverts
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what does operant conditioning suggest?
suggests that advertisers would be likely to comply, as associating a behaviour with something positive leads to behaviour being repeated.
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operant conditioning 2?
The awards should also encourage other advertisers through principles of vicarious reinforcement- they should attempt to make their ads gender neutral as they would also associate the action with the positive consequences, the award was in media
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Primary schools could provide a programme to reduce the impact of gender stereotypes, in TV advertising. The school could adopt the ‘Be AdWise’ programme, for a term, in PSHE
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education 2?
this would involve an hour a week of PSHE teachers delivering materials created by media experts collaborating with the non-profit organisation, Media Smart.
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education 3?
These resources are designed for 7-11 year olds, so would be appropriate for early years’ education for children. They use up-to-date examples of adverts to engage pupils, and are available for schools to download free-of-charge.
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education 4?
The resources aim to get children to critically analyse advertisements: to recognise how adverts are produced, why they are produced, and how they are funded; to analyse the way images, sound, and language,
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education 5?
, and brand representatives are used to persuade and draw attention; to identify realism from fantasy; how stereotypes are used in ads;
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education 6?
the use of images from different social groups to encourage watchers to identify with the characters using the product; and who the target audience is, and how the ad has been designed to appeal to them
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ow is the intervention supported by pine and nash (2002)?
who reviewed the effects of adverts on young children. They found that many children below 9 years of age lack understanding of the persuasive intent of the advert
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pine and nash 2?
meaning they do not know how they are being manipulated by advertisers for the purpose of selling them a product
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pine and nash3?
This may explain why children imitate the gender- typed play behaviours seen on TV as they do not realise that advertisers are reinforcing gender roles in an attempt to manipulate children into buying a particular toy
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browne 1998

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browne method and sample?


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Card 4


browne findings?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


finding one extra?


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