A fictitious educational experiment was created and conducted by a team on the DE100 module and therefore they had to maintain plan and undertake a project to pinpoint their potential findings; this therefore meant launching a logo for internet TV channel in order to address whether or not evaluative conditioning works in either experimental or control conditions. The logo was used to question if it would attract an audience and if they liked it.
Evaluate conditioning is where a person is likely to ‘like or dislike something because it has been associated with something positive or negative’ (Brace N, 2014, P 159). We can be unaware of evaluate conditioning and exactly how powerful it is when applying it to a new project like the DE100 logo. Due to the effectiveness of evaluate conditioning it has now become a regular asset and is used for many reasons, for example the use of reports and advertisements to influence people’s feelings. Another example to influence people into buying certain products or used to beguile people into voting certain political parties. Evaluate conditioning has an effect on a person individual behaviour and attitude but in short terms.
In order to carry out the project a lot of background research was done to understand whether it would work. One psychologist Holland et al was interested in examining if it would be possible to change the behaviour and attitudes with respect of participants eating patterns. He went on to carry out a similar project in regards to healthy snacking through paired food and whether negative consequences formed, for instance obesity. His project showed how unhealthy snacks and healthy snacks had an impact on the individual and he therefore went on to show the 132 participants split into two groups a slide show of cakes and biscuits, the control group with images and blank slides and the experimental group with images on the screen. It was hypothesised that the participants in the experimental group once offered the choice of healthy or unhealthy snack would be more likely to opt for the healthy snack due to the process of evaluative conditioning where negative associations had been carried forward towards unhealthy (The Open University,2014).
The work of the DE100 module team was founded upon the work of Chen et al’ (2012) study can have an effect on people’s attitudes towards sporting events as a result of evaluative conditioning. His study contained two variables to discover if pairing a celebrity with sports would show a positive attitude. The nature of Chen’s images would be likely to enhance the attitude Chen tested this by including two conditions a sporting celebrity and non- sporting celebrity for example a famous actor (Brace, 2014). The DE100 module team included only one variable that was to see if the effect of pairing the logo with a positive image would have on individual’s feelings towards the logo.
The team had also questioned the use of celebrities as it was suggested that because human beings have differences in what they dislike or like it could be argued that this may impede the findings. Chen made the decision to use images of abstract art for his experiment whereas DE100 module team decided against it due to the studies being different. DE100 made the choice that the length of time between each of the slides would have made the participant bored easily. The DE100 team conceded that three seconds to view each image would be sufficient though it was decided to stick with presenting the images five times because previous studies had shown this to be necessary (The Open University, 2014). (602 words)
Part 2 Discussion.
The results showed that the hypothesis has a significantly higher proportion of participants in the experimental group who agreed to have liked the logo compared to those who were in the control group. 75% of those participants who were in the experimental condition (IPTV paired with positive image) liked the logo however only 40% of the participants in the control group (no pairing of the positive image with the logo) agreed to like the logo. This validates the position that evaluative conditioning mechanisms can endorse positive attitudes (The Open University).
Evaluative conditioning operative comes from Brace who had suggested that people make associations either positively or negatively when they are transferred. An interesting example is used by Brace who explains that people take a dislike to other people’s names, it is suggested that this is caused by a like or dislike to a particular name and it therefore becomes associated to a certain person. This can then affect an individual’s behaviour and attitude without being aware of it. Chen et al verified this by sharing similarities with findings to those that were found by the DE100 module team.
Chen et al was interested in whether or not the findings would differ when pairing the sporting event with a sporting celebrity compared to a non-sporting celebrity would make a difference in participant’s attitudes. The participants who were in the experimental condition with a celebrity who had viewed the slides had developed a positive attitude than those in the control condition with no celebrity and sports.
The method used in both DE100 module team’s and the Chen’s study were straightforward this therefore shows a strength and it now means that any future replications can be conducted with ease. The participants who took part were known to the experimenter may have made an unfair experiment as they may have felt pressured into making a decision on liking the logo where they did or not. For them to have minimised risks they need to take into account bias responses given especially if they were known and were asked to submit their response, this could be done anonymously so it can have a greater affect on honest answers. An issue they may come across is if they had presented a sheet with yes/no answers on, a scale with several options to choose from for example, extremely liked to extremely disliked it would have generated a richer set of data for the logo. Participants were asked to write in one sentence why they liked or disliked the logo it may also aid with a more honest response as the participants would then have had to think critically rather than just ticking a box.
Future replications will be open to experiment with and many of the previous work will be carried out to see what their new findings may show for example; by comparing differences between groups of people such as; social back ground, age, education levels, ethnicity, gender and so forth to examine whether groups are more susceptible to evaluative conditioning.
The studies can be applied to various areas in daily life for example healthcare and government organisations, where evaluative conditioning is used to deter or promote certain behaviour an example of this would be the negative images of smoking related on the cover of cigarette packets. Evaluative conditioning techniques have been evidenced and are effective in changing people’s behaviour, these could be used to tackle wider areas of issues such as health and employment, economic decline, tackling poverty and also promoting education. (587 words)
The Open University (2014) ‘Evaluative conditioning and food preferences’ [online], DE100 investigating psychology 1. https://learn2.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=442467§ion=6.3. Accessed (27/04/15). Brace, N. (2014) ‘Measuring and manipulating variables’ in McAvoy, J. and Brace, N. (eds) Investigating methods, Milton Keynes, The Open University. The Open University (2014), ‘Evaluative conditioning and the DE100 IPTV logo’
, DE100 investigating psychology 1. https://learn2.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=44267§ion=6.4. Accessed (27/04/15). Toates, F. (2012) ‘Changing behaviour’ in Brace, N. and Byford, J. (eds) Investigating psychology, Oxford University Press/Milton Keynes, The Open University.
I used to work as a support worker and my role was mainly caring and supporting clients who had various levels of abilities; physical, mental and/or learning disabilities many of whom displayed varying degrees of challenging behaviour. In order to work in any profession skills are vital and throughout DE100 I have come across many transferable skills which are valuable and will also be an asset to any future positions I end up in. Skills I’ve gained an understanding of and would be useful are; Computer skills in order to be able to process reports of clients- new and old. Techniques that can be positive or negative but will help to shape them in the correct way (117 words)