TAI Assistant Professor Yan Huang Shares Research on Narrative Persuasion and Attitude Resistance

TAI Research Brown Bag by TAI Assistant Professor, Yan Huang.

On Friday, April 13, Yan Huang, Assistant Professor of Advertising in TAI at SMU, shared her research titled “Persuasion and Counter Persuasion: The Impact of Narratives in Health Promotion,” at the TAI Research Brown Bag.

Professor Huang’s research examines the effects and mechanisms of strategic media messages and technologies in shaping consumer psychology, especially as they relate to health and socially responsible advertising. Through her studies, she addresses a series of questions including,

  • Is attitude induced by narratives able to resist the influence of competing messages?
  • What are the psychological mechanisms underlying narratives’ influence on resistance?
  • Can narratives effectively persuade individuals when used for counter persuasion?
  • How do we use storytelling to help the public make better decisions?

Health public service advertising (PSA) is not processed in a vacuum. An effective health PSA must not only produce an immediate persuasive impact but also compete with counter messages from different interest groups. Prior literature supports narrative benefits in eliciting immediate health attitude change. However, its influence in a competitive scenario has yet to be tested.

When individuals are exposed to a campaign message, they think about it, but they don’t typically engage in actions immediately. There is a time lag, in which individuals can encounter other information, which may contradict with what they were previously exposed to – these are competing messages. Professor Yan Huang performed a series of studies in which attitudes were assessed after exposure to pro- and anti-radiotherapy messages, in both the conventional rhetoric and storytelling formats. Immediate reactions and the responses after counter persuasion were assessed and analyzed.

Major findings of Professor Huang’s studies include,

  • Campaign messages in story formats can lead to better retention of information, which could enhance audience resistance to counter persuasion.
  • The experiential processes associated with narrative exposure, such as identification with story characters and the feeling of “being transported” into the story world, can increase counter-arguing with competing messages.
  • Narrative messages are much more effective than rhetorical messages in communicating counter-attitudinal information.

After sharing her research Professor Huang discussed various theoretical and practical implications including,

  • Narrative persuasion research may benefit from focusing attention beyond the change in attitude intensity to other properties of attitude strength.
  • The mechanisms underlying the carryover effect of narratives in the face of a competing message are both cognitive and experiential.
  • The applicability of narrative persuasion theories in a competitive situation.
  • The strong potential of narrative campaign messages in altering attitude.

Temerlin Advertising Institute was honored to have Yan Huang for a lecture on her research. TAI is passionate about staying informed on all current topics in the advertising industry, hosting speakers periodically throughout the year.

Yan Huang holds a Ph.D. in mass communication from Pennsylvania State University. She teaches Consumer Behavior (ADV 2301) at SMU. Her work has appeared in such journals as American Behavioral Scientist, Health Communication, Journal of Communication, among others. Moreover, her research has been recognized with Top Paper Awards from the International Communication Association (ICA), the Association for the Education of Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and the International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC).

TAI Hosts Visiting Scholar Dr. Sukki Yoon for Lecture on Speed-Induced Construal and Perceptions of Advertising Messages

Friday February 23, Temerlin Advertising Institute hosted a lecture by Visiting Scholar Dr. Sukki Yoon, associate marketing professor at Bryant University. Dr. Yoon discussed his research, “Slow Versus Fast: How Speed-Induced Construal Affects Perceptions of Advertising Messages,” with many SMU students, faculty and staff attending the lecture.

Through his research studies, Dr. Yoon addresses fundamental questions of consumer behavior: why and how people react to marketing communications. His research centers on Consumer Behavior but he is also interested in Branding, Integrated Marketing Communication, Consumer Psychology, International Advertising, Digital Marketing and Social Marketing.

Dr. Yoon provided a report of results of five studies investigating construals arising from the pace of commercials, which then affects consumers’ perceptions and responses.

“Dr. Sukki Yoon’s research provides important theoretical extensions to the construal level theory. It demonstrates that the speed of media stimulus can influence consumers’ cognitive processing. The findings offer useful information for the design and placement of advertising messages,” TAI Professor Dr. Yan Huang said.

Dr. Sukki Yoon lecturing to audience of SMU students, faculty and staff

Studies 1, 2, and 3 provide empirical evidence showing that slow-moving objects generate high-level construals and fast-moving objects generate low-level construals.

Studies 2 and 3 demonstrate that TV commercials featuring slow-moving objects will prompt high-level construals, which induces consumer preferences for desirability advertising appeals that emphasize product benefits and quality. Whereas TV commercials featuring fast-moving objects will prompt low-level construals and cause consumer preferences for feasibility advertising appeals that emphasize product benefits attributes and price.

Studies 4 and 5 demonstrate the same results when the same commercial is run slowly and rapidly.

SMU faculty and staff attending Dr. Yoon’s presentation

“Dr. Sukki Yoon’s lecture was very interesting in terms of how he connected a science theory with advertising. How fast pace music could speed up the path to purchase to process in stores, and how slow pace music can make people think more of their purchase before buying. His lecture was very well-spoken and simplified,” SMU student Chase Drexler said.

Dr. Yoon studies advertising and consumer behavior and has published articles in many international journals, served on editorial boards, and written columns for newspapers and magazines. He has previously taught advertising at Cleveland State University and has lectured as a visiting scholar at Grey Worldwide, Harvard, Sookmyung, Dongguk, and UNIST.

Temerlin Advertising Institute was honored to host Dr. Yoon for a lecture on his research. TAI is passionate about staying informed on all current topics in the advertising industry, hosting guest speakers periodically throughout the year.

 

TAI Hosts Dr. Gi Woong Yun for Lecture on Virtual Reality Use and Effects

TAI faculty attending Dr. Yun’s presentation.

Friday, October 27, Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Advanced Media Studies at the University of Nevada Reno, Dr. Gi Woong Yun, made a visit to SMU campus and presented his research as part of TAI’s Visiting Scholar Lecture Series. The main title of his presentation was “Measurement Development of Virtual Reality Use and Its Effects.”

First, Dr. Yun provided his current research on the levels of student stress and psychopathology. Preemptive interventions that proactively address personal well-being using new technology were tested in his VR mediation study. The rationale for this study is that the VR tools may be able to provide a unique opportunity to promote student health through an affordable and immersive meditative platform. This project examines the effectiveness of VR immersive mindfulness meditation through a longitudinal, quasi-experimental research design. Biometric feedback (e.g., heart rate), combined with Cohen’s Perceived Stress Scale and participant self-reports, informed the potential for VR interventions on college campuses. Results indicated that VR could be an effective intervention method. But, the quantitative measurements could be improved to detect long-term effects of the meditation sessions.

TAI faculty trying out the VR equipment after the presentation.

The second study was VR and mobile EEG measurement. Dr. Yun presented research methods in implementing a two-by-two experimental design using both repeated measures (exciting VR content vs. experiential VR content) and between subject stimulus (social vs. no social). The effects were measured with a mobile EEG tool, Emotiv EPOC, and post-test surveys. The mobile EEG tool was able to detect stimulus content showing increased brain activities in some areas of the brain. However, social interaction stimulus did not make a difference in EEG measurements and showed no interaction effect. The framework developed can be adopted in areas of research on contemporary VR production, audience research, content regulation, and game development, to name a few.

Dr. Yun’s presentation was attended by many TAI faculty members, all of whom enjoyed his lecture and the opportunity to use the VR equipment following the lecture.

Dr. Nicolas Sternsdorff-Cisterna Presents “Is this safe to eat? Food Safety after Fukushima”

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Photo Credit: www.telegraph.co.uk

Dr. Nicolas Sternsdorff-Cisterna, Assistant Professor, Anthropology, presented his work “Is this safe to eat? Food safety and risk after Fukushima” on Friday at the TAI Research Brown Bag. The participants were taken through the tragedy that struck Japan after a devastating earthquake, nuclear explosion and tsunami put people, food, soil and water at risk of radiation. Professor Sternsdorff-Cisterna discussed  consumers’ reactions to food purchases and eating habits along with government messaging working to alleviate consumer and citizen concerns.

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Bags of Soil / Photo Credit: Toru Hanai/Reuters

The intent of the brown bag luncheon is to bring together faculty members to present work they are doing in an effort to engage collaboration as well as offer ideas in moving the research area forward.

japan_earthquake_map_Sendai_Fukushima_nuclear_power_plantAttendees included Visiting Professor Yuting Li, Head of the Advertising Department, Guangdong University of Finance & Economics, China as well as colleagues from across campus. Often the work is related to research, but can also involved creative works and industry endeavors.  Our next brown bag will be in December. Keep your eye out for highlights from December’s presenter!

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