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Opening Arguments

Sound advice


Public service advertising campaigns that use guilt or shame to warn against alcohol abuse can actually have the reverse effect, spurring increased drinking among target audiences, according to new research from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.

[. . .]

Duhachek's research specifically explores anti-drinking ads that link to the many possible adverse results of alcohol abuse, such as blackouts and car accidents, while eliciting feelings of shame and guilt. Findings show such messages are too difficult to process among viewers already experiencing these emotions -- for example, those who already have alcohol-related transgressions.

To cope, they adopt a defensive mindset that allows them to underestimate their susceptibility to the consequences highlighted in the ads; that is, that the consequences happen only to "other people." The result is they engage in greater amounts of irresponsible drinking, according to respondents.

Reading this blog is bad for you. It will lead to intellectual blackouts and terrible debating accidents. For your own good, you should not read this blog. You should be ashamed of yourselves for indulSo stop it. Right now. I mean it.


Tim Zank
Wed, 02/24/2010 - 12:59pm

It's true, it's true! By admonishing me for reading this tripe Leo, I am encouraged, ney, emboldened to read more!!

Bring it on 'til I can't stand no mo'!!

Bob G.
Wed, 02/24/2010 - 1:58pm

No...I don't wanna stop reading, and you can't make me!
So THERE...(nyah)


Lewis Allen
Wed, 02/24/2010 - 11:07pm

The same thing is true for tobacco warnings. The anxiety they produce can only be calmed by a long, slow, drag of a lit cigarette.

Thu, 02/25/2010 - 9:18pm

Those old fried egg "this is you brain on drugs" ads always gave me the munchies.