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The aim of this research study is to understand the effectiveness of control and experimental conditioning. For such purpose, primary data collection sources are used to collect the information. This study is focused on identifying the effectiveness of the conditioning in a specific context. A new educational internet TV channel is being launched by the DE100 team which is called DE100 IPTV which will be showing popular programs relevant to psychology. The experimental study has been conducted using the survey methodology with 40 participants taken for the study. The principle of the project was to identify to what extent the logo had influence over the opinions of the participants. During the study, such a slide show was watched by half of the participants in which there were positive images annexed with the IPTV logo. The other half participants watched the video with the neutral random image annexed with the logo. There was identified a significant difference between the control and experimental conditioning. It was identified that evaluative conditioning is helpful in finding out how human behaviour is affected. The participants liked the DE100 IPTV logo with the positive images which indicates that the experimental conditioning impacts the human behaviour while making decisions.
An important question in marketing research is how one might get consumers to like or dislike certain products. One possibility is that consumers like products that become associated in their mind with something that they already perceive to be positive. This sort of association is referred to as ‘evaluative conditioning’. Typically a neutral stimulus, such as a new brand or product, is paired with a positive stimulus, such as a favoured celebrity, and this allows some of the positive feelings and attitudes associated with the celebrity to be transferred to the product. The current study explores whether the principles of evaluative conditioning can be used to increase people’s liking of a new education channel logo.
Previous research has shown that ‘evaluative conditioning’ can be successfully used to influence participants’ attitudes and behaviour. For instance, Chen, Lin and Hsiao (2012) cited in Brace (2020, p. 160) examined the impact of pairing an image of a celebrity with that of a sporting event on how positive people subsequently felt about the event. Participants viewed a short slideshow of images representing a sporting event (baseball or basketball), popular celebrities, and distractor images such as landscapes. The images were shown in pairs. Those in the experimental condition always saw the sports event paired with the images of celebrities, while in the control condition, the sport-related image was paired with a neutral image. The results showed that those who had seen the sporting events paired with celebrities were subsequently more positive about the sports events than those in the control condition.
Another study, by Hollands, Prestwich and Marteau (2011) cited in The Open University (2021), showed that evaluative conditioning can have an impact not just on people’s attitudes but also on their behaviour. They showed participants a brief slideshow of images of unhealthy snacks paired with images illustrating the negative consequences of unhealthy eating (the experimental condition) or paired with a blank screen (the control condition). They found that significantly more participants who had seen the images of snack foods paired with negative consequences subsequently made healthy eating choices than those who had been in the control condition. They conclude that the principles of evaluative conditioning can be used to improve people’s eating behaviour, at least in the short term.
The current study considers the effectiveness of evaluative conditioning in a specific, applied context. DE100 module team is launching an educational internet TV channel called DE100 IPTV. DE100 IPTV will show popular programmes relevant to psychology. The team has come up with a logo, and the aim of the current study is to explore whether the principles of evaluative conditioning can be used to make the logo more attractive to the audience. To address this question, an experiment similar to that by Chen, Lin and Hsiao (2012) cited in Brace (2020, p. 160) was conducted.
Although the current project followed the design used by Chen, Lin and Hsiao (2012) cited in Brace (2020, p. 160) very closely, there were some differences. Different stimuli, specifically relevant to the topic of the study, were created and used. For instance, the positive image included a picture of happy students dressed in graduation gowns, rather than that of a celebrity, and the ‘neutral’ images included photographs of everyday objects. Also the procedure was modified to reduce the time needed to complete the task, thereby reducing the possible effects of boredom. So, in the experiment, participants in the experimental condition always saw the DE100 IPTV logo paired with the positive image of graduating students, while in the control condition, the logo was paired with one of the neutral images.
The hypothesis was that significantly more participants in the experimental condition would report liking the DE100 IPTV logo than in the control condition.
DE100 project is about a team who are launching an educational internet TV channel called DE100 IPTV. After designing the logo, the module team wants to evaluate whether the principle evaluative conditioning can be used to make the logo attractive to the audience.
The logo is DE100IPTV have designed with a picture of Happy students celebrating their graduation day. It is further assumed that the happy pictures will be seen positively by people taking part in the study. Through combining the DE100IPTV it is hoped that the participant will link the positive aspects of the graduate students with the logo and hence like the logo more than if otherwise. While in controlled condition logo will be paired with the neutral image of everyday household objects.
Independent variable – the type of image paired with DE100 logo
Dependent variable – whether or not participants like the logo of DE100IPTV after viewing the slideshow.
The participants were 40 people. Males and females between 18 and 68 years old. The participants were recruited from a pool of friends and family and received no payment, course credits, or other incentives to take part.
The materials used in this project experiment are the slide show files which can be accessed directly from the module websites where full-screen view must be selected before playing and for this option, there must be a broadband connection. There is also a downloaded copy of the slide files from the module files which can be played in separate media players which can be used if the internet connection is not stable. Other equipment such as a computer or other devices such as phones or tablets can be used if it is capable to play the slideshow. There are a few documents that were required during the experiment which are briefing sheets and instructions, consent forms, response sheets, and debriefing sheets.
Participants were randomly allocated to the control or experimental condition and were tested one at a time in a quiet space with few distractions.
The experiment was described to the participant and they were told they had the opportunity to withdraw at any time. Each participant heard the same instruction that they should ‘Watch the slideshow from beginning to end without interruption’.
The experimental or control condition slideshow was then played. Participants saw images of fictional internet TV channel logos, neutral everyday objects, and a positive image of graduating students.
The order of presentation of the images was random in the control condition. In the experimental condition the DE100 IPTV logo was always paired with the positive image of graduating students.
Each image was presented 5 times for 3 seconds. The slideshow took 4 minutes, and the full session was no longer than 15 minutes.
After watching the slideshow, participants were asked to complete the response form stating whether or not they liked the DE100 IPTV logo.
The purpose of the experiment was then explained to them in greater detail and they were given the opportunity to ask any questions and withdraw their data from analysis.
This study investigated the relationship between pairing the DE100 IPTV logo with a positive image (the experimental condition) or a neutral image (the control condition) and whether participants subsequently said they liked that logo (yes or no). The hypothesis was that more participants in the experimental condition would like the DE100 IPTV logo than those in the control condition. The number of participants falling into the resulting four categories was recorded. The data are summarised in Table 1.
Table 1 Number of participants who liked/did not like the DE100 IPTV logo by experimental condition
Did participants like the logo?
Table 1 shows that the proportion of participants who saw the DE100 IPTV logo paired with a positive image, and who subsequently said that they liked the logo (19 out of 20 or 95%), was greater than the proportion of control participants who said they liked the logo (6 out of 20 or 30%).
A chi-square test was conducted to investigate the effect of the condition on the participants' responses. The results of the test were statistically significant χ2(1, N = 40) = 18.03, p < .05, V = .67, which means that there was a significant difference between the experimental and control conditions in terms of how many participants reported liking the logo. Therefore, the experimental hypothesis is accepted. The effect size was large.
There was identified a huge difference between the control and experimental conditioning in relation to the answers recorded from the participants about liking the DE100 IPTV logo. Approximately 14 out of 20 participants watched the slide show with the DE100 logo paired with the positive picture under the experimental conditioning and liked it which is 70%. It is more significant as compared to the control conditioning where 5 participants out of 20 watched the slide shows with a Neutral image with a logo and liked it which is quite low at 25%. This effect size can be considered a moderate association (Hollands, et al., 2011).
As per these results received from the experiment, the hypotheses developed are confirmed. The logo with the positive image had a higher percentage of liking under the experimental conditioning hence it can be confirmed that evaluative conditioning has an impact on human preference. This finding of this research study is also similar to the previous research where there has been shown a connection between the impact of positive or neutral stimulus over the liking of humans (Pike and Brace, 2012).
The previous research and findings from the study of Chen et al. (2012) cited in Brace (2017) also focused on combining the sports celebrities with sporting events rather than using a non-celebrity face. This research reflected how a celebrity had an influence on the behavior of the participants. In these studies, there were also two conditions control and experimental conditions. In the experimental condition of the research, there was chosen a celebrity athlete in order to pair with the sporting event, and in control conditioning, no celebrity was paired with the event. In this research, the independent variable was whether a celebrity was associated with the sporting event or not. The results received from this research study were also similar where the participants in the experimental conditions had a more positive attitude towards the sporting event as compared to the control conditions where there was no attitude. It also showed a higher percentage of linking for the experimental conditioning (Stahl and Aust, 2018).
It has been identified that each experiment comes with limitations that can further be improved to increase the effectiveness of the study and the accuracy of the results. In the experiment made for IPTV Logo, the participants participated in the research to watch the slide shows with such logos and they had to record their responses that whether they liked such logo or not. However, there could also be an option of using the questionnaires within the study where there could be more options to answer such as immensely liked, average, immensely disliked, or the simple options of yes or no. Through this method, the better, as well as accurate information regarding the logo and the liking attitude of the participants, could be recorded. In order to respond o the questionnaires, the respondents might also have thought in a critical way and they could be more honest with their opinions. There could also be identified the impact of the p
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