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Michael Robinson

I find the behaviorism-advertising link very interesting. When I teach advertising in my American history survey, I usually link it to Freudian concepts rather than behavioral ones. I'd like to learn more about the behavioral tie-ins.

Strangely, I feel like classical advertising is reaching me less than ever before. We rarely watch TV for entertainment because we can find just about everything we want via Netflix. In so doing, we avoid commercials. I now rely upon internet radio stations like CBC Radio 3 and sites like Pitchfork.com rather than commercial radio, and when I really like something, I'll purchase it through Itunes for my Ipod. As a result, I feel that my kids - while highly aware of pop cultural figures - are not blitzkrieged with adverts the way I was when I was a kid. Of course this doesn't take into account product placement, internet advertising, etc.

Philip Hatfield

You're certainly right about the Freudian links and I must confess I've omitted them here. Personally I would love to sit down and study the whole period and discipline around Freud, Watson, etc in more detail but that might have to wait a while...

It may seem like an odd place to look but there is a good introduction to Watson in, Tudge, C. (2008) 'Consider the Birds'. It has a section called 'The Minds of Birds' which touches upon and gives a decent bibliography for the work of Watson et al.

The point you make about advertising in an increasingly web based world is very interesting too. I'm inclined to agree and I think this fits with an aspect of Watson's behaviourist approach. The science underpinning this revolved around the removal of variables - results were garnered in highly restrained environments akin to that provided by the rigid structures of television and radio. The web suggests an alternative experieience to this which hence could underine the effectiveness of classical advertising.

Further, perhaps the web environment will also face similar problems as the multiple modes of engagement open up many opportunities to ignore and resist the predations of advertisers?

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