Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
If children are encouraged to develop critical thinking, then they are largely vaccinated against advertising.

This is a commonly held view. It's also not true.

Advertisements do not typically contain factual claims upon which critical thinking may be exercised. Advertising builds recognition of brands and association of brands with other stimuli. Given adequate exposure, no amount of critical thinking skills will protect you from developing cognitive biases as a result.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 05:19:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's worse than untrue. It reflects a world view that is at odds with how humans work: the myth of the rational man. Humans are not rational. They're emotional. The affective system is primary.

Rational thought is a thin layer developed to serve the affective system that comes to believe it is running the show. Critical thinking and so on are tool sets built on top of that. Thin and fragile toolsets that even the best of us struggle to apply properly. They help a bit, but only if you remember to use them. Propaganda works even if you know it's propaganda.

What does inoculate you against advertising is not seeing it. We don't have a normal TV feed any more so all our TV watching is either off the Internet or (ripped to harddrive) DVDs. As a result watching TV ads is a curious experience. It's as if they're speaking a slightly foreign language or a language I once spoke but have forgotten.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 05:59:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Propaganda works even if you know it's propaganda.

Truer words never spoken. Now to work on everyone's giant egos and conceptions of self...

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Feb 15th, 2012 at 03:04:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And advertising works even if it is muted!

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 12:31:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Advertisements do not typically contain factual claims upon which critical thinking may be exercised.

Indeed, but they use codes and techniques which are recognisable and analysable.

Critical thinking, and media analysis, need to be part of the core school curriculum

Pavlovian reflexes can be overcome through higher thought. This is one thing which distinguishes humans from dogs (of course, it doesn't prevent humans from behaving like dogs on occasion). Children need to have access to the tools which enable them to choose to defend themselves against mind control, if they wish to. This goes way beyond advertising, of course.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 07:23:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Advertisers seem to have just figured out your last point:
The first ever British advert created specially for dogs - featuring high-pitched sounds that cannot be heard by humans - is due to be broadcast on ITV1 tonight.


Bakers, the dog food manufacturer which commisioned the advert, hope the sounds will provoke a reaction from dogs in living rooms across the country, fooling their owners into thinking they are interested in the products on the screen.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 07:32:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series