Psychology in Ads Even in the 1920s!

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This is an example of an advertisement from the 1920s where Classical Pavlovian Conditioning is found. In this anti-alcohol ad, the unconditioned stimulus is the warning about the "sweet innocent girls" being enticed by men who will "prey on the flower of American womanhood" because of alcohol consumption. The unconditioned response, then, is the fear of alcohol consumption. The conditioned stimulus is simply the mention and thought of alcohol and the conditioned response is that people will not want to drink alcohol or want the younger generation to drink either.

In general, the advertisement is supposed to convince the audience that drinking alcohol is bad, and could be detrimental to the next generation of American women. By instilling fear, it seems like the approach of this advertisement was probably very effective.

It is really interesting that an example of Classical Pavlovian Conditioning can be found from this long ago at a time only a few decades after Pavlov had even begun his research. I am sure that there were probably advertisements well before the time of Pavlov's research where the unconditioned response, conditioned response, unconditioned stimulus, and conditioned stimulus could still be identified.


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Nice blog! It is interesting to see in the video the techniques used to create fear to get their point across. I agree, that the commercial was probably very effective seeing that even a little girl was holding up a sign that said "Lips that touch liquor shall never touch mine!"

I thought you did a great job! It was interesting that you were able to find a advertisement from the 1920's and apply the Classical Pavlovian Conditioning that we are learnign about to it.

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This page contains a single entry by and02471 published on February 26, 2012 2:36 PM.

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