Journal 5

The advertisement of Nissin Cup Noodle is one of my favorite advertisements. After learning about Yale Model of persuasive Communication, I wanted to apply this model to the advertisement to see the strengths and weakness of it.

General speaking, this advertisement is really creative. It has a topic of “survival” and it talked about Japanese office workers struggle competitively under globalization, because learning English becomes important for international communications nowadays, but their English is not that good. This advertisement is involved with self-deprecation, and I think it struck responsive chord with many Asians.

Now let’s analysis this advertisement form the Message Learning  Approach. There are 6 steps that make up the chain of persuasion: exposure, attention, comprehension, acceptance, retention and action. For exposure, we not only present the messages to the audience, but also hope audience can get familiar with the advertisement and raise awareness of it. The advertisement of Nissin Cup Noodle, is really fun and not that long generally, therefore it can stand out from other common and boring advertisements, and audience will not feel weary about this advertisement.

The next step is attention. One important target of advertisement is how to catch audience’ attention. Since most people had a negative effect of advertisement, for interrupting them from seeing a show, and most of the advertisements are boring. In order to catch audience’s attention, some advertisements use background music, louder sound, celebrities, etc. to make people take notice of their advertisement. In Nissin’s advertisement, first, the color of it is unusual, neither colorful nor black and white, but more like a vintage style, making people feel a sense of “survival” back to old time. Moreover, the setting of the advertisement is like 20th century, which stands out from other advertisement. Finally, it is not only a funny advertisement but also reflects realistic problems, so that it made people think about it even after ending.

The third step is comprehension, which means audience should understand what the advertisement is trying to say. I think this advertisement did not that good on this part. Though it talked about an easy-understanding story, but it is hard for audience to relate the story with the Nissin Cup Noodle.

The forth step is acceptance. This advertisement actually describes the concerns of almost all the businessman in Japan, therefore I think Japanese people or even all Asian people will accept their concept. One surprise of this advertisement is that when the Japanese “soldiers” were asked “How are you?” They replied “Fine, thank you. And youuuuuu.” all together. This is because both English textbooks in China and Japan had such dialogue and people all believe that it should be the right way to reply to “How are you” question. It was not  until I came here then realized that “Fine, thank you. And you” sounds like a weird answer.

Next step is retention, which means advertisement need to be reminder to the audience. This advertisement does a good job on this, because everyday when the businessmen go to work and use their English, they will come up with this advertisement, consciously or subconsciously. And as for me, this advertisement left a deep impression on me, so once I learned about the Yale Model of persuasive Communication, this advertisement came up to my mind.

The final step is action. Actually Nissin cup noodle is already a famous brand all over the world, so many people would like to buy it. However, this advertisement still help on Nissin’s selling, as my perspective of view. Because after watching their advertisement, as long as I want to buy cup noodles, the first brand comes up to mind is Nissin.

As a successful case of good advertisement, I think if other advertisement we watch everyday can be as good as this one, maybe one day the audience will be more interested in those advertisement instead of the TV show!





Journal 4


A screenshot of the show

About 9 years ago, an opera called “Don’t Talk to Strangers” became popular all across China. This show talked about a woman who suffered from domestic violence finally get rid of the conventional prejudice and safeguarded her own rights. The assailant was his husband, a famous doctor who had good reputation but actually was a sicko. The actor who played the role was called Yuanzheng Feng. After this opera became popular, Feng also became a household name. He said in one interview that after he acted this role, he was often “attacked” by people: someone punctured his type and even attacked him when he was having dinner.

Feng is from the same city of I am. When I was about 10 years old, one weekend my father drove us back home, when we stopped on the road, we found that Feng was in the car next to us. Suddenly we heard a woman shouted to Feng’s car “Don’t beat your wife again!”

I could not remember whether Feng responded to her or not, however, this event left a deep impression on me, because at that time I was thinking about why people gave vent to their anger of the role to the actor himself. For now, I think part of the reason can be discussed from view of classical conditioning. In this case, the role Feng played is the unconditioned stimulus (UCS), the anger of audience is the unconditioned response (UCR), and Feng himself is conditioned stimulus (CS). Since the role Feng played always abused and beat his wife, audience create negative impression even anger on the role. However, since it was Feng who played this character, audience thought that he was also a guy who abused his wife in real life. Such relation can be expressed as following:

Villain in the show (UCS) –> Negative impression (UCR)

Actor (CS) + Villain in the show (UCS) –> Negative impression (UCR)

Actor (CS) –> Negative impression (CR)

Instead of dislikes to the negative protagonists, we may also be attracted with positive protagonists in dramas. Since part of the reasons those fans like their idols was that the characters the stars presented on the screen were attractive, but not the actors or actresses themselves. For example, I love the character Sherlock Holmes played by the actor Benedict Cumberbatch in the British show Sherlock, because I think Sherlock was a cool and clever man, however, the actor himself may be not a person who was as cool and clever as the role he played. Such idolatry of stars can also be seen as Halo effect. Since most of the images stars present to public are attractive, and the roles they acted on the screen are always likeable, we tend to think them as smart and kind, just like the attractive roles they played on screen.

If we can see similar events from perspective of classic conditioning and (or) Halo Effect, there may be fewer people who are infatuated with those stars, and people will not feel astonished when finding that the stars they love are not that perfect in real life. Nowadays some teenagers are crazy of following those stars, they cut classes, leave their home and travel a long way to wait their stars in the hotels the stars live, and some of them even sacrifice their money for meals in order to get a flight tickets. It is not appropriate to judge whether their behavior is right or wrong, but it is indeed irrational. If these teenagers know about classical conditioning and Halo effect, and think about their behavior from these perspective, I think they will be much more rational fans of the stars.

Journal 3


This is the post made by Hong Kong newspaper stating that Hong Kong people screamed for not allowing main land people to buy milk powder in Hong Kong


This is the photo of demonstration of Hong Kong people protested against mainland pregnant women

Recently, the conflict between mainland China and Hong Kong become more and more fierce. In March, demonstration of “fighting against mainland” was reported on Chinese newspaper and some websites. Some Hong Kong people even compose a song called “song of locust” to satirize mainland Chinese are just like the locusts.

There are several events that I considered to be the fuse for the dissatisfaction of Kong Kong people. First, in 2008, some milk powder in mainland was found been added some chemical material “Melamine” that could cause infants to suffer urinary calculus. Such event sharply reduced people’s trust to almost all Chinese brand milk powder and more and more people chose to buy milk powder from Hong Kong. The huge demand of milk powder from mainland China caused the supply shortages of milk powder in Hong Kong, so even Hong Kong people could not buy their milk powder, which provoked a great deal of controversy.

Second, more and more mainland pregnant women go to Hong Kong to give birth, because they want their children to have Hong Kong permanent identity, which is freer than China identity and can be exempt from tax. Similarly, as more and more mainland pregnant women went to hospitals in Hong Kong, it gradually become harder and harder for Hong Kong women to find beds in hospitals, which also provoke discontent of Hong Kong people.

Such events make me think about the Robber’s Cave study that talked about group conflicts. In this study, 22 boys who were all unfamiliar with each other were assigned randomly to 2 groups. Researchers then created conflict between the 2 groups like arranging series of competitive activities. They found that the competition for limited resources led to conflict between two groups. However, in our cases, milk powder and the Hong Kong identity are the limited sources. As more and more mainland Chinese went to “strive” for these resources, the conflicts appeared, which deepened the contradiction between mainland and Hong Kong.  After thinking about these reasons in light of psychological theory, the question left is what can we do to improve the conflicts.  The one I come up with is that since the origin of the conflicts is the limited sources, if we can make the sources available to more people, the conflicts should be reduced. For example, if milk powder companies of mainland can improve quality of the milk powder, then I think there will be fewer mainland people to buy milk powder from Hong Kong. For the second limited source, although I know it is hard to achieve, if the government could expand the extent of rights of people, then maybe fewer people will be willing to go to a long way to Hong Kong to give birth.

Moreover, Sherif indicated that by bringing two groups into cooperation, group conflicts were reduced and two groups were connected again (Sherif, 1956).  Therefore, based on such finding, I wonder if we can create any chance for people from mainland and Hong Kong to cooperate with each other, then the conflicts will decrease.

Before learning about competition from psychological view, I was always taught that competition is good for the growth of group. For instance, teachers told us competition could help us have a sense of crisis if we knew that others did better than ourselves, and competition made students work harder. Also, in most of Chinese schools, teachers tend to be like good students more and pay more attention to them, and give less care to those who get bad grades. As a result, good students generated stereotype to “bad” students and “bad” students also dislike good ones, which conflicts in the class were produced. However, after learning about Robber’s Cave Study and the jigsaw group study by Aronson and Bridgeman (1979), I realize that the best way for the growth of a group is to create cooperation and connect the group members. If we can divide groups for good students and “bad” students work together or if we can ask good students help students with low grades, we can bring the class into harmony and every students are able to become better.

Journal 2

This week, a video caused a fierce discussion on the Internet. The description of the video said “ Kid urinates on the street, parents had a violet clash with passerby”. In this video, a women had a bitter wrangle with the man who held the camera, and it seemed that this mother was helping her child urinate beside the pavement, and then she found that this man was taking pictures of her kid, so she quickly pushed the buggy in order to go away, but the man who held the camera didn’t let her go. In the final part of the video, they even had some physical confrontation.

After this video was posted on Internet, people all blamed this mother for her rude and uncivilized behavior. Like all the other people, when I saw the news and watched the video, I was also angry on this women’s behavior. However, the trend of this event suddenly reversed. The complete form of the video was posted and in this one, the mother said that there were too many people queued for the public restroom and her 4-year-old child could not withhold urine for such long time, and in the video the woman used a nappy to catch the foul and threw it into the trash bin. Besides, when the woman wanted to leave, the man who held the camera kept preventing her from leaving and took pictures of the kid’s private parts. After watching the full version of the video, the public started to change their attitude and turned against to the man who video the girl.

In this case, everyone including me attributed causes to the women’s personality characteristics and ignored the circumstance she was in. Such tendency was called fundamental attribution error in psychological terms. When the uncompleted version of the video first came, people just saw a woman who let her child urinate on the road, and they might think “This mother is so rude! How can she teach her child to urinate on the road!” However, people failed to consider situational factors, like a 4-year-old kids could not wait for such a long time and actually this mother indeed used a nappy to hold the foul.

False attribution error can be seen everywhere in daily life, but it is hard for people to realize they have such cognitive bias, and nowadays some unprincipled media even used false attribution error to manufactured some pieces of biased news in order to draw public attention. The previous video is one of the examples. The uncompleted version was released by Phoenix Television, a famous TV channel in China.  In this version, people can just see that the woman had a quarrel with the man who took pictures of the kid, and the description wrote by the media suggested that it was all the woman’s fault that made those rude behavior. Therefore, people who watched this video would simply think that this mother not only did uncivilized behavior but also have a quarrel with someone who was trying to stop her, how impudent she was! But actually the fact was not like that, and it seemed like Phoenix Television was trying to lead people to have false attribution error on this event intentionally. However, if people can realize the existence of false attribution error and know that it is easy to have such bias, there will be less prejudice on others.

Journal 1

As an international student, when I first came to Bryn Mawr campus, I felt nervous to talk to strangers and therefore had few friends at first time. Yusi, another international student from China, became the first friend I made here because we lived in the same dorm. During the orientation week, I spent most of the time with her and we shared many interests. However, after some weeks, she complained about her roommate A that A always slept very late and made a lot of noises even after she talked to A about it. After hearing from her about her roommate, I generated thoughts that A was not a caring person and was a little bit selfish. In the spring semester, A and I were in a same writing class. One time, when everyone discussed the topic enthusiastically in class, A suddenly stood up and said she was stomachache, with an angry look. Everyone including the professor was confused, which made me feel that she was really rude and I tended to dislike her more. However, when I chatted with another friend recently, she told me that A was really helpful and nice because A helped her find hotels and made arrangement of her tour in Shanghai. After this conversation, I thought I would change my view of A when I saw her next time, but the truth was when I saw her again I still thought she was a rude and selfish person: my view on her didn’t change.

For this experience I see how self-fulfilling prophecy works to impact thoughts. When my friend Yusi told me about her impression of A, such as not caring for her, since Yusi was my good friends and I trusted her a lot, I didn’t doubt whether Yusi described the true experience. Therefore, I formed expectation that A was a selfish person. When we were having discussion in class, since I have the expectation that A was selfish and rude, when she suddenly said she was stomachache and needed to go out, I didn’t realize that she was indeed having a serious stomachache and didn’t have the mood to talk with us. What I thought at that time was she really a rude person, just as Yusi said to me.

If I had been aware of social psychological research about this phenomenon during the event, I might try to keep a neutral attitude toward A, instead of making expectation according to only Yusi’s description. I might consider the possibility that Yusi described the whole situation from her aspect of view and maybe I would ask A herself to hear about how she described this situation.