Thesis: Through analyzing the behaviour advertisers, the explosion of new media, the psychological makeup of young adults, and the correlation between youth behaviour and advertising, it is possible to construct a causal relationship between advertiser’s construction of the…
t the past ten to twenty years, however, the amount of advertising exposure and kind of advertising has changed significantly, and may have an increased effect on American youths. It is incredibly difficult to construct a causal relationship between advertising and behaviour, something that advertisers have used to their advantage to fight regulation throughout history, from the cigarette era to today. The problems of determining causal relationships are myriad, but most simply rest on the well known idea that correlation is not causation: wearing your favorite team’s jersey and them winning does not indicate any causal relationship between your jersey choice and your team’s success. Furthering the complexity of this problem is the fact that advertising in fact mirrors many of the issues inherent to many forms of media, such as film and television, in, for instance, constructing unrealistic ideas of beauty. Advertisers, for instance, are often blamed on helping to cause eating disorders, while there may be many different societal and media factors at work in those issues. To construct a causal relationship, one must therefore go much further than simply analyzing correlation (though correlation certainly plays some part in the analysis). Through analyzing the behaviour advertisers, the explosion of new media, the psychological makeup of young adults, and the correlation between youth behaviour and advertising, it is possible to construct a causal relationship between advertiser’s construction of the ideals of beauty and negative behaviour among young adults, such as the development of eating disorders.
The first thing that must be unequivocally establishes is the fact that advertising does, in fact, affect behaviour. This is its whole point of the entire industry, to lead people to buy products. There are various interpretations of the role of advertising. The most generous would say that advertising merely influences behaviour through demonstrations ...
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