Warning: This Television Advertisement May Be Hazardous to Your Self-Concept.Report as inadecuate

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A study which reviewed the research literature analyzed the relationship between television advertisements and the lowering of the self concept. Although television advertising has a relatively short history, today a person can hardly escape from it. Advertisements are specifically targeted to age-related and demographic groups. By focusing on self-perception and by targeting a low self-concept, advertisers create in consumers the desire to feel good about themselves. When this can not be accomplished through the consumption of the products themselves, a low self-concept continues to exist for the consumer. Persuasive techniques that are used in the advertising industry can be separated into hard (claim-oriented) and soft (image-oriented) sell approaches. In the soft sell approach the focus is on image, lifestyle, nonverbal and paralinguistic, social suggestion and prestige appeals. Television advertisements frequently portray only select segments of "reality," often through the use of stereotypes. Researchers have found that children as young as 6 can identify "boy" and "girl" commercials, which often tend to reinforce stereotypical behavior, attitudes, and mores of the dominant culture, thus influencing the self-concept formation of children. Some educators have called for teaching critical viewing skills to children as early as possible. The self concept regarding female beauty and that regarding the elderly is also targeted. Research should be undertaken in the area of minority absences from ads, and a warning about the dangers of self-concept-lowering ads should be sounded. (Contains 31 references.) (NKA)

Descriptors: Critical Viewing, Mass Media Role, Media Research, Minority Groups, Older Adults, Persuasive Discourse, Research Needs, Self Concept, Stereotypes, Television Commercials, Television Viewing, Young Children

Author: Bedore, Joan M.

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=9893&id=ED398614

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