Smokers perceive the graphic images on the back of cigarette packs as a manipulation attempt.
(Mirror Daily, United States) – According to the latest study, smokers are not intimidated by graphic photos on the back of cigarette packs. Tobacco companies have spent millions of dollars on awareness messages that have no emotional impact on the avid smokers.
Children are the best embodiment when it comes to psychological reluctance. This is a widespread personality trait that basically makes a person want to do something more after being told that they aren’t allowed.
This is exactly why smokers are not intimidated by graphic photos on the back of cigarette packs. They perceive the photos and the messages as an incursion into their freedom of choice. That leads to a cigarette being lit not because that person really wanted a smoke, but rather because the gesture defies the anti-smoking campaigns.
A team of researchers from the Illinois University conducted a study based on the psychological impact of the photos and warning labels displayed on the back of cigarette packs. The results pointed to the fact that smokers are not intimidated by graphic photos.
The team worked on a sample of 435 individuals who were undergraduate students at the Illinois University. Their age varied from 18 to 25. Out of the total of 435, approximately 18 percent were smokers.
The participants were divided into groups. All of them received a questionnaire that was meant to establish their fundamental psychological traits. Afterwards, they were given cigarette packs that featured either the graphic images or the warning labels. They were then asked to write down how those “pieced of advice” made them feel.
According to the paper that was published in the Communication Research journal, the majority of the undergrad participants displayed negative reactions to the use of graphic images as a way of convincing people to stop smoking.
One of the members of the team, Nicole LaVoie, an Illinois University doctoral student declared that the strongest opinions were expressed by people who had a very prominent psychological reluctance. LaVoie also mentioned that smokers tend to have a more protrusive personality than non-smokers. This is why smokers are not intimidated by graphic photos.
The most interesting part of the experiment is that not only the smokers were upset by the use of graphic imagery, but also the non-smoking category. They perceived the descriptive pictures as a sort of manipulation attempt on the government’s part.
The researchers that conducted the study concluded that the current campaign that includes compelling imagery and eloquent messages is not having any positive effects upon the smoking population. They believe that a new approach must be considered since smokers are not intimidated by graphic photos.
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