Boomerang effect of messages against prejudice

Who I am
Joe Dispenza

Sometimes advertisers create ads and campaigns for
marketing with the best intentions in the world but… the results are
disastrous. In the past I had already referred, for example, to messages
negatives used to persuade people not to smoke and like these
caused the opposite effect, since people did not identify with
the gruesome images posted on cigarette packs. Like this
they ended by immediately erasing this image from their memory.

Now a new study developed by the University of
Toronto, goes in the same direction, and states that the messages that push the
people abandoning their prejudices could actually have an effect
boomerang. The researchers carried out two experiments
with the aim of evaluating the effectiveness of two types of character interventions
motivational. One of them only reported what people had to do
while the second explained and underlined why to live without prejudice there
allows you to take advantage of much more of the experiences offered by the reality of
surrounding world and makes us people of greater value. In the first experiment the researchers assigned two
documents by distributing them randomly among the participants, the content of which in one case
it promoted autonomy and in the second it encouraged control. In both
documents was trying a new approach to try to reduce prejudice
in the population. The third group was offered only a few instructions with the goal
to reduce their prejudices. Paradoxically, the results showed who came
urged to abandon their own prejudices (that is, those who read the
document where it was encouraged to check), they showed themselves much more prejudicial
before. Generally, those who showed a real reduction in their prejudices
was the third group. The study authors suggest that when i
messages tend to incite too insistently, people feel that
they are losing the freedom to choose, they feel conditioned and this is his
time causes hostility towards the target group to increase
which identifies the latter as the person responsible for the restriction of
personal rights. Nobody likes to feel pressured when they do
instinctively reacts with more aggressive behavior. Unfortunately,
many of the campaigns that are currently being carried out and which have the objective of trying to
eliminating prejudice follows this line of thinking. Either way, the good news is that if
we offer people simple techniques that allow them to reduce
prejudices in daily life and we also leave him some autonomy for
implementarle, la campagna avrà maggior successo.
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