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Emotional effects of advertising on young adults of lower socio-economic status
Unformatted Document Text:  Ads, family income, and young adults 2 (Belk, 1984, 1985), and by acquisition centrality, which means that material acquisition is crucial to one’s life and success (Richins & Dawson, 1992). Materialism is also associated with other negative consequences, such as self- hatred and greed. Robertson, et al. (1989) examined the effects of advertising exposure on the level of demand displayed by children of their parents. As television viewing (the operationalization of advertising exposure) increased, the number of product requests increased. Unfortunately, that study did not look at the possible interaction with demographic variables. Yoon (1995) investigated the relationship between attitudes toward advertising in general and materialism beliefs among Caucasians and African Americans. The sample consisted of college students and adults from the same community (found through mall-intercepts). The results showed African Americans held more materialistic values and were more positive about advertising than Caucasians. The study did not explore the differential effects of socio-economic status specifically. Consequently, it is not possible to tell whether the African American sample was of a different socio-economic status compared to the Caucasian sample. What happens when a person is not able to satisfy the needs instilled in a materialistic culture, partly by advertising? Do these needs ferment in a person, accumulating over time, forming higher levels of anxiety, tension and frustration? Or do consumers become desensitized, as the literature on other media messages, specifically television and movie violence, has suggested? Study general proposition and specific hypotheses Consumption is constrained by disposable income. As a general rule, consumers cannot purchase products if they have no money. Indeed, Quarles and Jeffries (1983) show that overall consumption levels are predicted best by disposable income, not by the amount of advertising to which one is exposed. The most critical question, as these authors suggest, is how people react "when material expectations exceed economic ability" (p. 13). There is no evidence so far that consumers’ desires, created by advertising, would simply disappear when they lack disposable income. In general, people feel comfortable in a state in which their attitudes and behaviors match. If attitudes and behaviors cannot reach a congruency, people experience a motivational state of arousal (first conceptualized and tested by Festinger, 1957). Specifically, as the phenomenon known as cognitive dissonance

Authors: Mendelson, Andrew. and Bolls, Paul.
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Ads, family income, and young adults
2
(Belk, 1984, 1985), and by acquisition centrality, which means that material acquisition is crucial to one’s life and
success (Richins & Dawson, 1992). Materialism is also associated with other negative consequences, such as self-
hatred and greed.
Robertson, et al. (1989) examined the effects of advertising exposure on the level of demand displayed by
children of their parents. As television viewing (the operationalization of advertising exposure) increased, the
number of product requests increased. Unfortunately, that study did not look at the possible interaction with
demographic variables.
Yoon (1995) investigated the relationship between attitudes toward advertising in general and materialism
beliefs among Caucasians and African Americans. The sample consisted of college students and adults from the
same community (found through mall-intercepts). The results showed African Americans held more materialistic
values and were more positive about advertising than Caucasians. The study did not explore the differential effects
of socio-economic status specifically. Consequently, it is not possible to tell whether the African American sample
was of a different socio-economic status compared to the Caucasian sample.
What happens when a person is not able to satisfy the needs instilled in a materialistic culture, partly by
advertising? Do these needs ferment in a person, accumulating over time, forming higher levels of anxiety, tension
and frustration? Or do consumers become desensitized, as the literature on other media messages, specifically
television and movie violence, has suggested?
Study general proposition and specific hypotheses
Consumption is constrained by disposable income. As a general rule, consumers cannot purchase products
if they have no money. Indeed, Quarles and Jeffries (1983) show that overall consumption levels are predicted best
by disposable income, not by the amount of advertising to which one is exposed. The most critical question, as
these authors suggest, is how people react "when material expectations exceed economic ability" (p. 13).
There is no evidence so far that consumers’ desires, created by advertising, would simply disappear when
they lack disposable income. In general, people feel comfortable in a state in which their attitudes and behaviors
match. If attitudes and behaviors cannot reach a congruency, people experience a motivational state of arousal (first
conceptualized and tested by Festinger, 1957). Specifically, as the phenomenon known as cognitive dissonance


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