Dove: Thought Before Action Assignment

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Nada Swilam (Q. 1, 2 & 9)

Sarah Ahmed (Q. 3 & 4)

Alia El-Mohandes (Q. 5 & 6)

Salma Al-Adawi (Q. 7 & 8)

1) What are the negative behaviours presented?

Photoshopping and editing pictures of women to make them live up the standards of beauty, manipulated by people, seemingly, in power: such as art directors, graphic designers and most importantly, for this video, photo retouchers.

2) What are the attitudes presented in the video that lead to these behaviours?

The subjective perception of beauty that is manipulated by the previously mentioned categories of professions in power in regards of this area. Those subjective perceptions are what create stereotypical view of what to be defined as beautiful and what not and form people’s attitude towards “beauty”.

3) Affective component: The primary target in the video is the creator or the producers of Photoshop advertisements, who perceive beauty in this matter. These producers are not aware of the real beauty and they want women to live up to the standards of beauty they were exposed to in the first place. Producers are normal human beings that their schemas of beauty are what they see in the media or what the society planted in their mind. Conformity of this type of retouched and unnatural beauty facilitate the path for these producers to promote for this definition of beauty.

4) Behavioural component: The target audience are the producers of these ads , so their behavior towards this definition of beauty is that they increase it by creating and enhancing more of these aids targeting women all over the world.

5) Cognitive component: When they Photoshop pictures that will be put on magazine covers, the magazines sell more which gets them more profit that’s why they have these attitudes. People who use Photoshop believe that if they didn’t do so, they will not sell more and make lots of money.

6) In the video, HOW do they go about changing the negative attitudes and behaviours?

They are using attitude inoculation:  which means attempting to change their attitude by intentionally exposing them to small doses of the argument against their position. For example, there were beautified option in the video to say that your real beauty is much better and you are beautiful without any effort.

7) What strategies do they use and routes do they target to change the attitudes?

They seem to have tried to target the behavioural component of the attitude. By making a Photoshop action called ‘Beautify’ (Implying that it will make the photo more beautiful) that reverts the photo being Photoshopped to its original, non-retouched state, they are opening the retouchers’ eyes to the extent of their manipulation. And then saying there is no need for it. This is an attempt to illicit cognitive dissonance so that these people would see the large gap between the women they see in their everyday lives and those they are trying to portray in their magazines, thereby stopping or at least reducing their use of Photoshop.

8) Do you think their choices were effective? Why or why not?

This method was probably more effective for those retouchers who are women and so this attitude would be directly relevant to them. Also anyone who has daughters or sisters. Unfortunately there is a lot of external justification for their behaviour, like the fact that Photoshopped images are more profitable for them. If they don’t retouch photos and conform to the set image of beauty, making their photos unrealistically glamorous, they probably won’t sell as much which would be disadvantageous to them. This would mean that their cognitive dissonance won’t be as high because they can blame their actions on external factors, rather than introspecting and changing their own behaviour.

9) What would you do differently to make the video more effective?

To make the video more effective & more likely to bring up long lasting change, we would’ve got some inspiring figure that is somehow related to the matter being tackled, for example a fashion designer, a model or a movies’ director, those who care about beauty and will be viewed as beauty-makers, and we would’ve had a small persuasive, direct talk that tackles the central route of the issue: Giving factual reasons why beauty isn’t to be retouched. This would’ve influenced photo-shoppers more to quit doing what they do and start accepting beauty in a new, more flexible matter. But using purely behavioural and a bit of emotional techniques wasn’t so effective. Yes, they imposed certain feelings to the photo-shoppers by finding all the editing they’ve done to photos gone with a “beautify” button and yes, they showed them briefly the whole behavioural process they undergo while editing photos, from downloading editing apps, etc… But all of that would have a short term effect on the watchers as there’re no new information added or any facts communicated regarding the main topic “What is Beauty?” that might keep ringing in their minds later on while doing the same behaviour, and after losing the feelings they once had while watching the advertisement.

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One thought on “Dove: Thought Before Action Assignment

  1. I liked the way this group interpreted the advertisement. It reflects a wise understanding of the ABC and the attitude change process. I believe that the main issue in our current society right now is the enforcement of subjective perception and generalizing this perception by those who have the power, leading to serious problems in the society and polarizing the society into two categories. Either some are suffering from narcissism or others are suffering from depression. And conformity is the ruling label where the weaker has to conform to the stronger. Strength and weakness here are not measured by physical strength but by the ability to control people’s perception and awareness. External factors are getting more and more in control of our cognition, attribution, and justification.

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