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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 3 shows, people experience a drive or pressure to reduce this arousal by changing either their beliefs, or their behaviors or both. It is reasonable to believe that cognitive dissonance would occur among college-age consumers who, through advertising, develop a desire for a product at the present time but can not afford it. One indication of the occurrence of cognitive dissonance could be emotional responses to the ads. This study investigates the emotional state of such consumers as a result of advertising for products that they may not be able to afford. Advertising researchers have used physiological measures to assess cognitive and emotional responses to advertising. Heart rate has been used to measure attention paid to television advertisements (Bolls, Yoon, Lang, & Potter, 1997) and presence of mental imagery during exposure to radio advertisements (Bolls & Potter, 1998). Skin conductance has been used as a measure of arousal and response to sales appeal during television advertisements (Hopkins & Fletcher, 1994). Recently, facial EMG has been used to measure the valence of emotional response to radio advertisements (Bolls, Potter, Lang, Floyd-Snyder, 1999). The measurement of physiological responses during exposure to advertisements provides information that cannot be obtained through self-report measures alone. Taken together, physiological and self-report data have the potential to provide detailed insight into the nature of emotional and cognitive responses evoked by advertisements. Based on Robertson, et al. (1989)’s findings that advertising exposure was positively related to product requests, we expect that: H1: People higher in pre-exposure materialism scores will report that they pay more attention to advertising, in general. In other words, there will be a positive relationship between inherent materialism levels and advertising exposure. Building on the cognitive dissonance literature, we predict that there will be a relationship between advertising exposure, socio-economic status, and emotional responses to the ads. H2: Consumers of lower family income will find the advertisements less pleasing. H3: Consumers of lower family income will find the advertisements more exciting. Method The study will be a 2 (high/low family income level - between subjects) x 2 (high/low product cost - within subjects) x 8 (product item - within subjects) x 4 (order - between subjects) design. All participants will be exposed to the same set of commercials. The study controls for television use, attention to advertising, previous exposure to

Authors: Mendelson, Andrew. and Bolls, Paul.
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Ads, family income, and young adults
3
shows, people experience a drive or pressure to reduce this arousal by changing either their beliefs, or their
behaviors or both.
It is reasonable to believe that cognitive dissonance would occur among college-age consumers who,
through advertising, develop a desire for a product at the present time but can not afford it. One indication of the
occurrence of cognitive dissonance could be emotional responses to the ads. This study investigates the emotional
state of such consumers as a result of advertising for products that they may not be able to afford.
Advertising researchers have used physiological measures to assess cognitive and emotional responses to
advertising. Heart rate has been used to measure attention paid to television advertisements (Bolls, Yoon, Lang, &
Potter, 1997) and presence of mental imagery during exposure to radio advertisements (Bolls & Potter, 1998). Skin
conductance has been used as a measure of arousal and response to sales appeal during television advertisements
(Hopkins & Fletcher, 1994). Recently, facial EMG has been used to measure the valence of emotional response to
radio advertisements (Bolls, Potter, Lang, Floyd-Snyder, 1999). The measurement of physiological responses
during exposure to advertisements provides information that cannot be obtained through self-report measures alone.
Taken together, physiological and self-report data have the potential to provide detailed insight into the nature of
emotional and cognitive responses evoked by advertisements.
Based on Robertson, et al. (1989)’s findings that advertising exposure was positively related to product
requests, we expect that:
H1: People higher in pre-exposure materialism scores will report that they pay more
attention to advertising, in general. In other words, there will be a positive relationship
between inherent materialism levels and advertising exposure.

Building on the cognitive dissonance literature, we predict that there will be a relationship between
advertising exposure, socio-economic status, and emotional responses to the ads.
H2: Consumers of lower family income will find the advertisements less pleasing.
H3: Consumers of lower family income will find the advertisements more exciting.
Method
The study will be a 2 (high/low family income level - between subjects) x 2 (high/low product cost - within
subjects) x 8 (product item - within subjects) x 4 (order - between subjects) design. All participants will be exposed
to the same set of commercials. The study controls for television use, attention to advertising, previous exposure to


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