October 2012 Archives

The Journal of Consumer Research analyzes the effects beauty product advertisements have upon women- and the conclusions are rather grim. Studies conclude that advertisements portraying products such as mascara or high heels leave women feeling worse about themselves. It seems rather obvious that women would feel inferior after seeing beautiful models prance around on television screens. However, there's a catch-- humans were not included in the ads, only objects. Therefore, women have a negative self-response after viewing only beauty enhancing products, themselves. The end of the article notes that this finding may correlate to the foundation of "retail therapy," or how women cope with certain situations by shopping, which I think is an interesting insight.
This article does not articulate research methods used very well, however I think if a random sample of women was questioned in a one-on-one interview, the findings could be very reliable and valid. Of course, the research questions would have to be well-formatted, unbiased, and not leading.

"Screens are Better Together"

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At one time, companies panicked over the potential for technology to interfere with advertising messages. The invention of tablets, smart phones, and iPads drastically increased the number of channels organizations could utilize to target consumers. Therefore, consumers could be confused by the bombardment of messages from different companies and media platforms. However, studies suggest that advertisements are reinforced, not lost in translation, because of the multitude of media outlets.
According to a study performed by MGM Las Vegas, consumers who saw a sports sedan video ad on various screens were able to recall more than individuals who saw only 15 seconds of the ad. More interestingly, consumers who saw the ad on multiple outlets were more likely to report a positive feeling towards the organization.
Although this article seems to be reliable, it does not discuss research methods in much detail, so it is hard to comment on the accuracy of the study. However, I have learned about the importance of marketing strategies in a few of my other classes, which I believe is relevant to this article. It is important that if an organization shares information on multiple media outlets at once, such as television and social media sites, the material must be convergent. In other words, the material must share the same message. If each screen shares a different idea, it is very possible that consumers will become confused.

Aspirin Reduces Risk of Cancer

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New studies suggest taking a daily dose of aspirin significantly reduces the risk of many cancers and prevents tumors from spreading. However, aspirin can cause gastrointestinal bleeding and other side effects, therefore doctors and public health officials struggle with recommending daily doses of the drug. Researchers at Oxford studied the benefits of aspirin on thousands of men and women over the course of five years in a controlled experimental study. The study found after three years, the risk of developing cancer is reduced by 25 percent when compared to a control group not taking aspirin. After five years the risk of dying of cancer was reduced by 37 percent while taking aspirin on a daily basis.
This information may seem very enticing to many individuals, however some researchers believe the findings are too promising, especially when the side-effects are not considered.it is unlikely that further research will be performed due to the expense of the research process.

Research Re-vamps Study Habits

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The article "Forget what you know about good study habits," written by Benedict Cary criticizes research behind study methods. Cary states there is little support for the idea that people are "visual learners" and others are "auditory learners," or some people are "right-brained" while others are "left-brained." A group of psychologist found almost zero support for these ideas.
The article also explains traditional study tips that are preached by professors and mothers around the globe are completely false. A study shows that students who study material in two separate locations score better on exams than students who only study in one location. Therefore, the concept of finding one specific study spot to utilize on a regular basis is a myth. Students should mix up the location of their study destinations. Researchers believe this finding results from the brain having to associate material with two separate locations, so the study material if further enforced. If a student only studies in one location, the brain only has to relate the material to one setting, therefore the information has less of a foundation.
Researchers have also found that studying a variety of materials in one setting rather than focusing on one topic increases retention of information. Alternating, for example, among foreign language, vocabulary, and reading, leaves a deeper impression on the brain. Researchers Doug Rohrer and Kelli Taylor of the University of South Florida tested this idea by giving one group of fourth-graders a set of math problems that required the same equation. another group was given problems that required a variation of equations. The students who had to complete multiple types of problems using different equations scored better on a quiz of one variation of problems than the other group of students

Playing Violent Video Games Increases Pain

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According to a study performed by researchers in the United Kingdom, playing violent video games can increase pain tolerance for short periods of time. 40 participants were asked to play a gold video game and a violent video games for ten minutes, then proceed to put their hands in a bucket of ice water on two separate occasions. After playing the violent video game, participants were able to keep their hands in the bucket 65% longer. Dr. Richard Stevens explains the violent video game ignites participants "fight or flight responses," which triggers an increase in heart rate and reduces sensitivity to painful stimulus. The study seems fairly reliable as a rather large number of participants were testes. However, it is uncertain if the sample was randomly selected or if the environment of the test was controlled. It's interesting to see there may be benefits from playing violent video games as they are usually criticized by researchers.

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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