Persuasive Technology



Television

Description
The main objective of the television is to serve as a means of entertainment. It is accessed by the click of a button, often times by a remote, and now has the latest technology available, but at a price. Once the "on" button has been pressed, a screen appears usually with some number in the upper left or right hand corner of the screen, indicating the last channel that was viewed before turning off. The remote control contains all the buttons needed to function the television while the front of the screen has only a limited amount of buttons; usually buttons to change the channel, the volume, to power button, or access to the menu options. By changing the channels, it is possible to view an assortment of programs, but once again, at a price. The television produces visual images and sound effects that coincide with the television program being viewed by the audience. Along with this, the user can also adjust the coloring of the images that appear on the screen, change the language in which the text appears within navigating through the menu and for the captions option, and have the ability to hook up the necessary cables to be able to be able to use the television screen for gaming devices, DVD players, etc.


Macrosuasion vs. Microsuasion
The main objective of the television is to serve as a means of entertainment. Its main focus is not to significantly persuade viewers but to take them out of the "real world" for awhile, almost as a form of simulation. Television directs viewers to watch specific shows, movies, athletic events, or whatever may interest a specific audience but within these options, there also comes advertisements, which serve as 'smaller persuasive elements.' This is why I believe the television is a form of microsuasion. Microsuasion takes place within television primarily through advertisements that includes infomercials on the latest products while the narrators of the commercials try to persuade potential customers. They enforce how it is "a limited time offer" or suggest why it is the best product on the market. Such ads that come to mind include: ProActive, Snuggie, Shamwow, or any other products that Billy Mays tries to get us to buy. The advertisements also prove 'the impact of physical attractiveness' and what society judges to be what is the most attractive in representation of products as well.

Analysis

The Functional Triad
Computers as Persuasive Tools
-Reduction-not sure but this is what I am thinking: The first thing that came to mind was the targeted behavior of entertainment. The television offers a wide array of entertainment (such as that as mentioned before: shows, movies, athletic events, etc.) and with the comfort and convienence of staying at home in your pajamas.
-Tunneling-say the targeted behavior is learning how to be a better cook, so a viewer tunes into the Food Channel watching Rachel Ray. Rachel Ray acts in a persuasive manner by the way she introduces new ideas, concepts, and the products and utensils she uses, a form of 'guided persuasion.' The Food Channel specializes and, in a sense, "caters" to a special kind of audience, depicting tunneling.
-Tailoring-I believe this is similar to tunneling. For example, a program with Bob Vila addressing the issues of Home Improvement to beginners is like tunneling in the sense that it is 'guided persuasion.' Since the program specializes to beginners though, it is a form of customization.
-Suggestion-this goes along with the previous two examples. When watching Rachel Ray cook, a chef might question "why is her way of preparing a specific entree better than mine?" In this manner, Rachel Ray is again being persuasive but not directly. The viewer builds off of the experience rather than completing changing their attitude or behavior.
-Self-monitoring-this allows the viewers of television to see how they have been influenced by viewing certain programs. Going back to the Rachel Ray show, there might be a notice in food that is being prepared and the progress that has been made from before.
-Surveillance-doesn't apply with television unless using the capabilities of the a tv to display the surveillance (not the way I am thinking in which television is used).
-Conditioning-offers reinforcement to reach the targeted behavior. This would apply if you are watching an excercise program in which a personal trainer is there to coach you and motivate you.

Computers as Persuasive Media
Simulation
Television is definitely a medium that is observed through simulation. All three forms of simulations, including cause-and-effect scenarios, environments, and objects, can be seen through the use of a television. TV relates to cause-and-effect scenarios in almost all tv movies, shows, and sporting events by the different circumstances in which movies, shows, and sports are portrayed. Movies and shows have many different scenarios that are used in order for the audience to stay interested within a specific show or movie, a form of persuasion to keep watching possibly because it includes different portrayals of life that the viewer has never witnessed before and wants to learn more about the outcome. Mostly simulated cause-and-effect scenarios and simulated environments are seen with the television but not so much as the simulated objects, they aren't physically there to experiment with. Specific shows that remind me of simulation include CSI, Law & Order, etc.

Computers as Persuasive Social Actors
-Television acts a social actor by the way people get involved with what they are watching. There are several game shows and reality shows that people like to be apart of. I personally know of many people who play along on Jeopardy and answer Alex Trebek's questions or solve the puzzle on Wheel of Fortune. Also, on the reality shows, people like to give there opinions and try to talk to the tv and tell the people in the show what to do.
-One key factor that is seen on television in general, no matter what program is being watched, is the impact of physical attractiveness. Actors and actresses appear in movies, shows, and commercials due to their appearances. The people behind ProActive think Jessica Simpson is going to help sales because of her apparent attractiveness. Also, the factor of viewers being able to relate to someone also draws them to a product or to a show. People suffering from acne watch the ProActive commercial with Jessica Simpson explaining her problems she had and people feel they can relate to that because they had the same type of problem and are easily persuaded. (ProActive also uses interviews from people who aren't celebrities to also help attract customers.) The same is applied to shows and movies. Actors and actresses are made out to represent people from all walks of life so the audience can relate and become more interested to see what the result is of specific characters.


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