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Analysis of Social Psychology Studies
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Download file to see previous pages Leventhal, Watts, and Pagano (1967) conducted a study in which they have shown that moderately high levels of fear are most effective in achieving the desired targeted behavior.  In their study, fear was examined as a tool to achieve desired behavior – i.e, to achieve a drop in smoking levels. The participants were divided into three groups – the first group was shown a film about the dangers of smoking. The second group was provided with some smoking cessation tips. The third group consisted of participants who were shown a film about the dangers of smoking and this was also supplemented with tips that were provided to the participants on how to cease smoking. Hence, they were exposed to both the fear generated by the film on smoking, as well as provided with the tools to begin to tackle those fears. i.e, smoking cessation tips. This study found that the desired action was increased in the third category of participants. In the first instance, where the participants were only shown the film about the dangers of smoking, high levels of fear were aroused, but this did not produce the desired effect, on the contrary, participants increased their smoking after being exposed only to the film. This was explained on the basis of the denial hypothesis, whereby when participants who are already high anxiety persons are exposed to more fear generation through the vehicle of the film, the net effect of such fear generation is psychological denial wherein they refuse to believe that the threat could actually apply to them. As a result, this does not produce any reduction in fear at all. Similarly, those who were exposed to only the tips on how to stop smoking did not demonstrate the desired effect either, because, in this instance, the levels of fear were not adequate enough to spur the participant into action. Since the dangers of smoking were not impressed upon these participants and fear was not sparked off in them, they did not fully realize the dangers of smoking.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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