Krishen and Bui (2013), discusses an array of argument towards healthcare consumers. They argue that consumer makes their decision based on influence. As a result, Krishen and Bui presupposed that the media is a powerful tool that can manipulate behavior. According to the authors, using logical fallacies and rhetorical appeals can help patients suffering from obese and other behavioral related illnesses. Krishen and Bui (2013) say that positive behavior change can be enhanced by coding messages that certain foods are better while instilling fear to others that are detrimental to human health.
Giachino et al. (2017) study on the influences of social media suggests that people can benefit out of use of social media when it is used to caution or instill fear of the dangerous habit. The authors argue that the problem of careless driving can be addressed by threatening users of the consequences of such measures. The article also suggests various fear tactics to achieve the best outcome out of logical fallacies and rhetorical appeals.
Persuasion remains a vital component of human communication. Given consumer differences, including their varied perceptions about food, eating habits, and other habit-forming activities, marketers and health experts tend to use negative, as well as positive reinforcement with the sole purpose of changing given behaviors. In recent studies by Krishen and Bui (2015) and Giachino et al. (2017), the researchers employ a comprehensive approach to using big fear-inducing tactics to reinforce driving at reasonable or low speeds and addressing obesity problems among consumers, respectively. Through fear advertisements and logical fallacies, these scholars sought to instill and maintain the much-needed positive eating habits and safety on our roads.
Research has shown that fear-driven communication tools are partly useful, especially when individual participants understand that the primary purpose of these techniques is to mislead them. According to Fransen, Smit, and Verlegh (2015) informed consumers are more likely to remain immune to the intended effects of these methods, as they become resistant to fear. Sensibly speaking, one of the significant limitations of fear-related advertising tactics revolve the fact that potential and existing consumers might choose to avoid the product associated with the advert. For instance, some might think that they have been consuming unhealthy food. Another of their weaknesses is that when conducted for a long time they instill a great deal of fear in people, who might fail to drive even at the recommended or normal speeds.
In addition, if I had the opportunity to serve as one of the studies’ active participants, I would have responded positively to the fear-based approaches since I not only fear for my life but also the dangers posed to others through careless and high-speed driving. Most importantly, I would ask the researchers whether their studies were ethical, as they revolve around the manipulation of the masses. In essence, I firmly believe that my concern is in line with the already established standards and regulations governing research.
Besides my reaction and concerns during the studies, the articles are insightful. First, I have learned that people tend to make informed or better decisions under positive reinforcement or reactions of fear. For instance, Krishen and Bui (2015) challenge individuals to evaluate the potential health effects of what they consume. At the same time, Giachino et al. (2017) associate high-speed driving with injuries and death, which remind students and the public of the significance of low-speed driving. On the same note, I have witnessed these fear-based tactics applied through word of mouth. In a recent health seminar, the speaker asked people to wash both their hands and fruits before consuming them lest they suffer from cholera. I firmly believe these mediums are effective since individuals delivering such speech are professionals with firsthand experience in etiology of given diseases and conditions.
Fransen, M., Smit, E., Verlegh, P. (2015). Strategies and motives for resistance to persuasion: An integrative framework. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1201.
Giachino, C., et al. (2017). Fear appeals in social marketing: The case of anti-speeding video advertisement “Mistakes.” Journal of Customer Behavior, 16(1), 61-74.
Krishen, A. & Bui, M. (2013). Fear advertisements: Influencing consumers to make better health decisions. International Journal of Advertising, 34(3), 533-548.