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Media Effect on Americans

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October 26, 2005



Topic: Media's Influence on Americans' Decision Making

I. Introduction

A. Do you believe everything you see on television, internet, books/magazines?

B. Many people base their decision making on how other people think or act.

C. People need to become more enlightened and make their own educated decisions.

II. Consumer Psychology

A. There are groups within advertising firms that study how consumers think, feel, and act.

B. Group influence

1. "My friends have it, so I have to have it."

C. Consumer target groups.

III. Television/Movies

A. Each year, the average American spends 1550 hours watching television

B. Exposure to hundreds or even thousands of commercials a year

C. The news and commercials influence how to think, what to buy.

IV. Internet

A. Becoming as popular if not more popular as TV advertising.

B. Pop-up ads. Web site banners = blatant advertising schemes

C. Internet trends.

V. Conclusion

A. Learn to think for yourself

B. Use variety of sources to base your decision making on. Not just one medium.

C. Don't believe everything you see on TV/movies/internet.

Harrison Bray

October 26, 2005


Topic: Media Influence on Decision Making

Do you believe everything you see on television? How about the internet, or in magazines? You may not think so, but every day we are exposed to numerous attempts by the media to influence our thinking and decision making. How many people can recite a commercial jingle or recall in detail an advertisement they saw recently? I'm sure all of you can. The truth is, there are people who work for advertising firms that are in the business of manipulating consumers using various psychological tactics. We are exposed to these tactics everyday, without even realizing it.

According to Dr. Lars Perner, professor of Consumer Psychology in San Diego State University, consumer behavior is by definition "The study of individuals, groups, or organizations and the processes they use to select, secure, use, and dispose of products, services, experiences, or ideas to satisfy needs and the impacts that these processes have on the consumer and society." Marketing firms study the behavior of consumers in various demographic groups, and design advertising in order to influence the behavior of these groups. In fact, marketing firms even study the most effective times to expose people to various forms of advertising. If you ever stay home during the day when most people are at work, turn on the television and pay attention to the advertisements that come on. There are many advertisements for credit and debt managing services, technical institutes or distance learning colleges, military, and personal injury lawyers. Obviously the target demographic of these advertisements are those who are unemployed and in debt. Right around lunch time when many people are hungry is when you will see numerous advertisements for restaurants and quick meal ideas.

Marketing firms don't only rely on their



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