This whole project is explaining how we as human beings have specific behaviour towards an image. We are much more positive towards those who are more attractive, and will not bother or be more negative towards those who are less attractive. This theory can be backed by Edward Thorndike’s ‘Halo Effect’ theory which is how I got the name of my social platform from.
Evidence of this type of human behaviour can be portrayed through advertising campaigns or products – using ‘beautiful people’ to sell a product and boost sales. Examples of these are clothes, perfume, cars, food and drink products…the list could go on. It is a known fact that sex sells. To back this quote I had a look at a book to help me understand more about it.
Gender Advertisements, a 1979 book I read by Canadian social anthropologist, Erving Goffmann is series of studies of visual communication and how gender representation in advertising communicates subtle, underlying messages about the sexual roles projected by masculine and feminine images in advertising. The book is a visual essay about sex roles in advertising and the differences, as well as the symbolism implied in the depictions of men and women in advertising.
The use of physically attractive models in advertising is a form of sex in advertising. Physical attractiveness can be conveyed through facial beauty, physique, hair, skin complexion as well as by the model’s inferred personality. This form of sex in advertising is effective as it draws attention and influences the overall evaluation of the ad. Furthermore, such ads create an association between physical attractiveness and the product, sending a message to the consumer that buying it they will help them achieve that physique. The sexual arousal possibly elicited by physical attractiveness in adverts is thought to transfer onto the advertised product.
This also links to the fact that by using an attractive figure to market a person, product, place etc, shows how powerful the psychology of persuasion really is. We as consumers are literally persuaded through the image of beauty and often buy into stuff we don’t actually really need or want.
Robert Beno Cialdini is a professor of Psychology and Marketing. He is best known for his 1984 book on persuasion and marketing, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. The book has sold over three million copies and has been translated into thirty languages.
One of his theories from his book The Psychology of persuasion was ‘Liking’: People are easily persuaded by other people that they like. Cialdini cites the marketing of Tupperware in what might now be called Viral Marketing. People were more likely to buy if they liked the person selling it to them. Some of the many biases favoring more attractive people are discussed.
I have applied these to my project concept to show in my documentaries how these theories are present in psychological human behaviour in a club environment. In particular, comparing the negative attitude when she is a 16 and positive attitude when she is a size 6/8.