Selling Booze to Teens Via Top 40 Music Lyrics

Marketing Alcohol to Kids and Teens in Song

One of my passions is the ways in which we are influenced without our knowledge. These are referred to as subconscious influences. And it turns out we are far more easily influenced than we realize.

Priming studies have consistently shown that we are influenced by a task as simple as unscrambling four sentences. Given the right word, these priming tasks have been shown to effect short term memory, pace of walking, aggression, degree of politeness, and body posture.

So it was with great interest that I looked at this new study looking at the effects of music lyrics on alcohol consumption in teens in the United Kingdom. As one in five songs in the top ten in the UK reference booze, do these lyrics have any impact on teen drinking? Which raises other critical questions, if behavior is affected by lyrics, what effect are the myriad of songs referencing prescription pill use, marijuana use, illegal drug use having?

Mention of alcohol is so blatant in songs, I’ve wondered if alcohol companies are paying musicians for product mentions in songs. What better way is there to market to the younger generation?!

Several experts argue that recent evidence shows that public health messages on alcohol may be drowning amidst the louder and more ubiquitous messages from some genres within the music industry.

Researchers from Liverpool John Moores University found that older children and teens listen to more than two hours of music daily. Researchers in the United States have documented a rise in alcohol and drug references, including mention of specific liquor brands and types (e.g., Patron), in popular music. But until recently, little data was available on comparable UK trends. Hardcastle’s team selected four years for analysis, comparing music charts across four decades. They discovered a significant increase in the number of times alcohol was mentioned.

Top ten songs in the early 1980s contained relatively few references to alcohol, with the number declining further in 1991. Rave culture was popular in this period; a music scene linked more to Ecstasy than alcohol. But  alcohol references returned by 2001, showing up in eight percent of popular hits. This figure continues to rise, more than doubling by 2011, with almost one in five (18.5%) top ten songs featuring alcohol-related lyrics. This pattern is consistent with US trends, although UK charts still have fewer alcohol mentions than their US counterparts.

Alcohol-related song lyrics are associated with hip hop and rap and US artists, with lyrics generally putting a positive spin on alcohol consumption. Drinking is linked to confidence, outgoingness or physical attractiveness, as well as outcomes such as money, fame, and sex. Popular artists sing about the negative effects of alcohol far less frequently.

 

Positive psychology and teens
Negative Side of Teen Drinking

 

Lyrics have an impact beyond the US and UK, pointing out that US and British songs often have global appeal. For example, US artist Katy Perry’s 2011 single “Last Friday Night” detailing excessive drinking and risk-taking behavior, achieved a top 10 position not only in the US and the UK, but also in 15 other countries.

How Can I Be happy
Katy Perry – Lyrics Influencing the Youth?

So what impact do these alcohol references have on young people? It is highly likely that we underestimate the true impact of exposure to pro-alcohol messages young people hear, says lead researcher Katherine Hardcastle:

“Public health concerns are already focused on the impacts of alcohol advertising on the drinking behaviours of young people, yet the growing reference to alcohol in popular music could mean that alcohol promoting messages are reaching much larger audiences; regardless of restrictions (e.g. age) on direct advertising.”

Children Exposed to Pro-Alcohol Lyrics May Be Influenced to Drink Earlier

The study concludes that:

“The exposure of young people to alcohol in the media is a major concern given its potential impact on drinking behaviours […] A greater understanding of the impacts of alcohol-related popular music content on young listeners is urgently needed. Health and other professionals should be vigilant for increases in alcohol-related lyrics and work to ensure that popular music does not become a medium for reinforcing and extending cultures of intoxication and alcohol-related harm.”

Given that we listen to our favorite songs hundreds, if not thousands, of times, it seems safe to assume that frequent repetition of pro-alcohol and pro-drug lyrics will normalize such behaviors making them somewhat more likely to occur.

Positive psychology and marijuana
Wiz Khalifa with the Ubiquitous Blunt

In my private practice, I see this frequently with male adolescents who are listening exclusively to rap and hip-hop. While I enjoy several songs of Wiz Khalifa and 2 Chainz, I also know enough to listen to them infrequently. Our emotional mind is trained most effectively via repetition. Listening to pro-marijuana lyrics thousands of times is likely to influence minds which are already open to suggestions.

Keep an open mind!

Dr. John

John Schinnerer, Ph.D.
Positive Psychology Coach
Anger Management Specialist
Expert Consultant to Pixar
Founder, Guide to Self, Inc.
913 San Ramon Valley Blvd. #280
Danville CA 94526
Positive psychology blog: http://drjohnblog.guidetoself.com 
Anger management blog:
http://WebAngerManagement.com
Main site:
www.GuideToSelf.com
Twitter: @johnschin

 

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by SAGE Publications, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Journal Reference:

  1. Katherine A. Hardcastle, Karen Hughes, Olivia Sharples, and Mark A. Bellis. Trends in alcohol portrayal in popular music: A longitudinal analysis of the UK charts. Psychology of Music, September 2013 DOI: 10.1177/0305735613500701

Ads Targeted At How You Feel – Beware the Next Level of Marketing!

June 15, 2012

Microsoft has applied for a patent for  targeting ads to users based on their emotional state, using a Kinect type device, GeekWire reports.

Do you look happy? You’ll see ads for vacation packages and consumer electronics, but not weight-loss programs or self-help products. Do you look sad? You won’t see that over-the-top animated ad for children’s birthday parties at the local bowling alley. Feeling frustrated? It’s PC support ads for you.

Those are actual examples from the patent application, which incorporates some of the same ideas as the earlier filing for deducing the user’s mood — including scanning messages and social media postings.

Also included: audio and video capture devices (to detect facial expressions and tone of voice) in addition to the company’s Kinect sensor, which would be used to analyze body movements as another input for the emotion-detecting algorithm.

Protect your mind. It’s the only one you get!

Peace,
John

John Schinnerer, Ph.D.

Positive Psychology Coach

Author of the award-winning Guide To Self: The Beginner’s Guide To Managing Emotion & Thought

Guide To Self, Inc.

913 San Ramon Valley Blvd. #280

Danville CA 94526

GuideToSelf.comWeb site

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Obesity May Rise to 42% of United States Population – New Harvard Study

From Yahoo.com…

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Americans will keep growing fatter until 42 percent of the nation is considered obese, and having fat friends is part of the problem, researchers said on Thursday.

The prediction by a team of researchers at Harvard University contradicts other experts who say the nation’s obesity rate has peaked at 34 percent of the U.S. population.

The finding is from the same group, led by Nicholas Christakis, that reported in 2007 that if someone’s friend becomes obese, that person’s chances of becoming obese increase by more than half.

They now think this same phenomenon is driving the obesity epidemic, which will climb slowly but steadily for the next 40 years.

For a free PDF copy of John’s award-winning self-help book, Guide to Self: The Beginner’s Guide to Managing Emotion and Thought, visit http://www.GuidetoSelf.com and enter your email address!

Alison Hill, a graduate student at Harvard and the Harvard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology Division of Health Sciences and Technology, said the study is based on the idea that obesity can spread like an infectious disease and people can catch it from their friends.

For the study, she and colleagues applied a mathematical model to four decades of data from the long-running Framingham study — a study of the health and habits of nearly an entire town in Massachusetts.

“We looked at the probability of becoming obese and what that was influenced by,” Hill said in a telephone interview.

“We found there is some baseline risk of becoming obese based on the friends you have,” Hill said.

Hill said that based on their calculations and looking at the influence of social interactions on obesity in the Framingham study, they think the U.S. obesity rates will top out at 42 percent of the population.

Over the long-running study, the rate of weight gain caused by social interaction — a person’s contact with friends who are obese — has grown quite rapidly since 1971, Hill said.

“It looks like obesity is becoming more infectious,” said Hill. The findings are reported in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Computational Biology.

For the full article, click here.

To life, love and laughter,

 John Schinnerer Ph.D.

Founder Guide to Self, Inc.

Top Five Flirting Styles For Falling in Love

Top 5 Flirting Styles for Falling in Love

ScienceDaily (Nov. 6, 2010) — A little self-awareness can help people struggling in the world of relationships, says Jeffrey Hall, assistant professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas.

Hall recently completed a study into styles of flirting among dating adults, surveying more than 5,100 people regarding their methods of communicating romantic interest.

“Knowing something about the way you communicate attraction says something about challenges you might have had in your past dating life,” Hall said. “Hopefully, this awareness can help people avoid those mistakes and succeed in courtship.”

He identified five styles of flirting: physical, traditional, polite, sincere and playful.

• Physical flirting involves the expression of sexual interest in a potential partner. People who scored high in this form of flirting often develop relationships quickly, have more sexual chemistry and have a greater emotional connection to their partners.

• Traditional flirts think men should make the first move and women should not pursue men. Because they adopt a more passive role in dating, women with this style are likely to report trouble getting men’s attention and are less likely to flirt or be flattered by flirting. Traditional men often know a potential partner for a longer time before approaching them. Both genders tend to be introverted and prefer a more intimate dating scene.

• The polite style of flirting focuses on proper manners and nonsexual communication. Although they are less likely to approach a potential partner and do not find flirting flattering, they do tend to have meaningful relationships.

• Sincere flirting is based on creating emotional connections and communicating sincere interest. Although women tend to score higher in this style, it is advocated by both genders. Relationships involve strong emotional connections and sexual chemistry and are typically meaningful.

• People with playful flirting styles often flirt with little interest in a long-term romance. However, they find flirting fun and enhancing to their self-esteem. They are less likely to have important and meaningful relationships.

Hall said that for the most part, there was little difference between genders within each flirting style.

The research results likely will be used by future researchers who study courtship behaviors, Hall said. But he added that such information has overall value to society.

“In some ways, the very early part of developing relationships is important to the success of long-term relationships, including marriages,” he said.

The results of the survey appear in the October issue of the journal Communication Quarterly. Hall co-authored the article with Steve Carter, senior director of research and product development at eHarmony.com; Michael J. Cody, professor in the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California; and Julie M. Albright, adjunct professor of sociology at USC.

Take the flirting styles survey: http://connect.ku.edu/tests/flirt/

University of Kansas (2010, November 6). Self awareness can help people navigate rocky seas of relationships. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 7, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com¬ /releases/2010/11/101101082901.htm

To life, love and laughter!

John Schinnerer, Ph.D.

Founder Guide to Self, Inc.

http://www.GuidetoSelf.com

John Schinnerer positive psychology coach love flirting relationships

The Battle Going on In Your Mind – Automatic Vs. Conscious Minds

There is a battle going on in your mind. There are two factions in your mind. Sometimes these two get along and sometimes they are in conflict. At times, the two cooperate. At times, they act in direct opposition to one another.

The two factions are your rational, thinking mind and your automatic, emotional, subconscious mind. Here is the latest study to examine the differences between the two sides…

ScienceDaily (Nov. 8, 2010) — Expert typists are able to zoom across the keyboard without ever thinking about which fingers are pressing the keys. New research from Vanderbilt University reveals that this skill is managed by an autopilot, one that is able to catch errors that can fool our conscious brain.

The research was published in the Oct. 29 issue of Science.

“We all know we do some things on autopilot, from walking to doing familiar tasks like making coffee and, in this study, typing. What we don’t know as scientists is how people are able to control their autopilots,” Gordon Logan, Centennial Professor of Psychology and lead author of the new research, said. “The remarkable thing we found is that these processes are disassociated. The hands know when the hands make an error, even when the mind does not.”

For  a free PDF copy of the award-winning book Guide To Self: The Beginner’s Guide to  Managing Emotion and Thought, visit http://www.GuideToSelf.com and enter your name and email address. This book outlines the latest proven tools for optimal human functioning – tools to manage your negative emotions (anger, anxiety, sadness and stress) and turn up the volume on your positive emotions (gratitude, curiosity, awe, love,  joy, pride, hope, happiness and passion). It also helps you become more aware of your automatic mind and the shortcuts it takes without your consent.

To determine the relationship between the autopilot and the conscious brain, or pilot, and the role of each in detecting errors, Logan and co-author Matthew Crump designed a series of experiments to break the normal connection between what we see on the screen and what our fingers feel as they type.

In the first experiment, Logan and Crump had skilled typists type in words that appeared on the screen and then report whether or not they had made any errors. Using a computer program they created, the researchers either randomly inserted errors that the user had not made or corrected errors the user had made. They also timed the typists’ typing speed, looking for the slowdown that is known to occur when one hits the wrong key. They then asked the typists to evaluate their overall performance.

The researchers found the typists generally took the blame for the errors the program had inserted and took the credit for mistakes the computer had corrected. They were fooled by the program. However, their fingers, as managed by the autopilot, were not — the typists slowed down when they actually made an error, as expected, and did not slow down when a false error appeared on the screen.

In two additional experiments, the researchers set out to probe awareness more deeply. In the second experiment, they had the typists immediately judge their performance after typing each word. In the third, they told typists that the computer might insert or correct errors and again asked them to report on their performance.

The typists still took credit for corrected errors and blame for false errors in the second experiment, and still slowed down after real errors but not after false ones. In the third experiment, the typists were fairly accurate in detecting when the computer inserted an error, but still tended to take credit for corrections the computer had made. As with the other two experiments, the typists slowed down after real but not after false errors.

The research is the first to offer evidence of the different and separate roles of conscious and unconscious processing in detecting errors.

“This suggests that error detection can occur on a voluntary and involuntary basis,” Crump, a postdoctoral fellow in psychology, said. “An important feature of our research is to show that people can compensate for their mistakes even when they are not aware of their errors. And, we have developed a new research tool that allows us to separately investigate the role of awareness in error detection, and the role of more automatic processes involved in error detection. The tool will also allow a better understanding of how these different processes work together.”

The research was supported with funding from the National Science Foundation.

1. Gordon D. Logan, and Matthew J. C. Crump. Cognitive Illusions of Authorship Reveal Hierarchical Error Detection in Skilled Typists. Science, 29 October 2010: Vol. 330. no. 6004, pp. 683 – 686 DOI: 10.1126/science.1190483

To life, love and laughter,

John Schinnerer Ph.D.

Founder Guide to Self, Inc.

http://www.GuideToSelf.com