The medical journal called “The Lancet” has published he results of the research called “How to Influence the People’s Attitude towards their Health with the Help of Mass media”. The co-authors of the article were professor Melanie Wakefield, the director of Human Behavior Research Center, Barbara Loken, the professor of the Minnesota University (USA), Robert Hornik (Robert C. Hornik), the professor of the Annenberg Institute at the University of Pennsylvania (USA).
The scientists state that the research of the human behavior changes caused by mass media are carried out only in the USA and there is little data of this problem at the presents time. During the period from 1998 to 2004 the U. S. Congress has spent the enormous sums of money on the anti-drug campaign that was to cover the whole country. The target audience of that company was the children and teenagers aged between 9 and 18 years old, their parents and the other adults who are supposed to influences the children’s actions, for example school teachers and psychologists. But the results of that campaign turned out to be rather ambiguous. On the one hand the authors of the campaign have managed to attract the attention of the young teenagers who normally take interest in the new thins of all kinds. On the other hand there weren’t any data proving that the drugs consumption levels among the teenagers and children have decreased.
Having carried out the research the group of scientists came to the following conclusions.
The repeated action makes the success probability increase but the aggressive marketing methods making the teenagers try drugs and the influence of the social environment may diminish the effect of the anti-drug campaign.
The episodic behavior can be corrected easier than the habitual actions. In that way the frequency of various anti-drug programs and campaigns should be increased. Moreover the various public actions and TV broadcasts should be carried out more regularly.
There was also the new hypothesis suggested by the scientists. The matter is that the teenagers who underwent the anti-drug company were more likely to try the drugs in comparison to the ones who didn’t even seen the TV social videos. The anti-drug campaign should be aimed to show the real consequences of drug abuse. The scary pictures and constant “no’s” only arouse the unhealthy interest towards drugs.
The teenager’s response may seem paradoxical to the adult people. The repulsive and frightening things may seem attractive to the adolescents. Besides that the talented cinematographers compile captivating videos that holds the attention of the viewer. The teenagers subconsciously want to take risks and the risk is what they see while watching an anti-drug advertisement.