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Fear Patterns using EDR

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6.6 Results

6.6.1 Fear Patterns using EDR

This experiment involved an examination of the emotional reactions experienced by viewers during fear appeal anti-speeding TV advertisements using both the cognitive continuous response measure of fear and a psychophysiological response measure of arousal. A comparison of the two different types of continuous response measures was made to determine if both measures produced similar or different results. Participants watched one of eight anti-speeding advertisements, with 20 participants per

advertisement group (total n=160). Using responses from each type of measure, two graphs (patterns) were formed for each advertisement group, these being the cognitive-dial graph (labelled fear) and the skin conductance response graph (labelled arousal).

Hopkins and Fletcher (1994) made a precautionary note about aggregating skin

conductance responses, due to slight differences in reaction times between participants.

For this study, each EDR graph was examined to ensure that the average responses were accurately reflecting peaks and key moments in the advertisements. Similarly, every CRM graph was examined for anomalies (outlier graphs).

The responses from both the CRM measure and EDR measure were indexed for this

study to allow for a direct comparison of patterns. It should be noted that the jump in the EDR arousal graphs at the beginning of each advertisement was primarily due to the onset of stimuli after the 3 minute baseline period. Also, the peaks of the two graphs in most cases did not coincide, mainly due to the differences in response times, that is, there was quite often a 2 to 3 second delay in participants' EDR, compared to their dial responses.

Group m e a n patterns of felt fear and arousal as measured b y the dial and skin

conductance measures are shown for the eight advertisements in Figures 6.2 to 6.9.

These graphs demonstrate that the manipulation of the advertisements was successful.

The fear-only advertisements resulted in high levels of fear and arousal at the end of the advertisement. The^ear-re/Ze/'advertisements resulted in low levels of fear and arousal at the end of the advertisement.

6.6.1.1 CRM-fear and EDR arousal of Advertisement 5 - "Pizza-Fear "

The CRM and EDR responses (refer to Figure 6.2) of participants viewing

Advertisement 5 - "Pizza-Fear" showed that high EDR was sustained from the initial shock at the beginning of the advertisement, and was not greatly reduced, in comparison to the cognitive measure of fear, that showed a reduction in fear felt by the audience in the middle of the advertisement. The greatest arousal felt by viewers was from the

initial shock caused by viewing the pedestrian being hit by the car, whereas the greatest fear felt by viewers was both from the initial shock of viewing the pedestrian being hit by the car and then again the slow motion re-enactment of the initial scene. The

different measurements of responses to this advertisement demonstrated that cognitive processing of the emotion/s felt during the advertisement was different to

psychophysiological responses. Regardless of measurement type, the advertisement

was still classified as fear-only, given the final moments in the advertisement reflect heightened fear and arousal.

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Figure 6.2: Advertisement 5 "Pizzafear" -Comparison of CRM-fear and EDR arousal

C R M - F e a r EDR - Arousal

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6.6.1.2 CRM-fear and EDR arousal of Advertisement 1 - "Pizza-Relief

A comparison of the graphed CRM and EDR responses in Figure 6.3, that relate to Advertisement 1 - "Pizza-Relief, showed that during the slow motion replay of the

body being hit by the car, viewers indicated that they were feeling increasingly tense, yet there was only a slight increase in arousal. The greatest arousal felt by viewers was from the initial shock caused by viewing the pedestrian being hit by the car. The

different measurements of responses to this advertisement again demonstrated that

cognitive processing of the fear felt during the advertisement was slightly different to psychophysiological responses. The advertisement can be classified as fear-relief

regardless of which measure was used as participants' fear/arousal responses were greatly reduced at the end of the advertisement; however the cognitive-dial responses indicated that the viewer was feeling no fear at the end of the advertisement. It is logical that some arousal would remain after viewing such a shocking advertisement.

Figure 6.3: Advertisement 1 "Pizzarelief' -Comparison of CRM-fear and E D R arousal

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C R M - F e a r E D R - Arousal

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6.6.1.3 CRM-fear and EDR arousal of Advertisement 6 - "Pram-Fear"

Both fear and arousal were incrementally increased throughout the Advertisement 6

-"Pram-Fear", with each pedestrian scenario suggesting greater danger (refer to Figure 6.4). The "pattern" of fear/arousal was similar, however, the level of the index differed between the measures. This advertisement was classified as fear-only, regardless of

which measure is used to pattern the advertisement, as there was no fear or arousal reduction at the end.

Figure 6.4: Advertisement 6 "Pramfear" -Comparison of CRM-fear and EDR arousal

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6.6.1.4 CRM-fear and EDR arousal of Advertisement 2 - "Pram-Relief

The CRM and EDR responses to Advertisement 2 - "Pram-Relief, classified as

fear-relief, demonstrated that at the beginning of the advertisement viewers were feeling

greater arousal than fear (refer to Figure 6.5). The "pattern" of fear/arousal was similar, again however the level of the index differed between the measures. While the EDR

still indicated some arousal reduction at the end of the advertisement, the CRM measure indicated complete fear reduction. Again, it was expected that there would be some

residual arousal at the end of the advertisement, creating divergence between the responses.

Figure 6.5: Advertisement 2 "Pram-relief'-Comparison of C R M - f e a r and E D R arousal

C R M - F e a r

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1 23 45 67 89 111 133 155 177 199 221 243 265 287

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6.6.1.5 CRM-fear and EDR arousal of Advertisement 3 - "Trike-Fear "

The Trike-Fear advertisement (Advertisement 3) provided a good example of the

limitations of using EDR as a measure of "fear" when testing threat appeal road safety advertisements. The EDR graph increased at the beginning of the advertisement where

there was no indicator of a threatening situation (refer to Figure 6.6). It is likely that the increased arousal was due to excitement caused by happy faces, brightly coloured

tricycles and the upbeat tune in the advertisement. Arousal was then further increased by the shock of seeing the car run over the child. This advertisement was classified as fear-only (rising arousal) as the responses were sustained at a high level at the end of the advertisement, with fear/arousal built-up in the earlier seconds of the advertisement.

Again, these graphs demonstrate some divergence between the measures. However, the cognitive-dial graph does move towards "relieved" at the beginning of the

advertisement that relates to the positive images and sounds that also create arousal (excitement).

Figure 6.6: Advertisement 3 "Trikefear" -Comparison of CRM-fear and EDR arousal

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6.6.1.6 CRM-fear and EDR arousal of Advertisement 7 - "Trike-Relief

Similar to the findings from Advertisement 3, the beginning of Advertisement 7 -'Trike-Relief caused arousal (EDR) to increase (refer to Figure 6.7). At 15 to 17 seconds into the advertisement the graphs then converge and follow a very similar pattern - fear and then relief.

Figure 6.7: Ad 7 "Trike-relief'- Comparison of CRM-fear and EDR arousal

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6.6.1.7 CRM-fear and EDR arousal of Advertisement 4-"4 WD-Fear "

Of all the advertisements tested the Advertisement 4 - "4WD-Fear" graphs provide the closest patterns using the two different measures (refer to Figure 6.8). Cognitive fear coincided with arousal in this particular instance. The end of the advertisement

produced a sustained CRM-Fear response more than the EDR-Arousal, however, overall the graphs are relatively consistent in depicting advertisement response. The "4WD-Fear" advertisement was classified as fear-only (rising arousal) as there was only the slightest decrease in fear/arousal at the end.

Figure 6.8: Advertisement 4 "4WD-fear" - Comparison of CRM-fear and E D R arousal

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6.6.1.8 CRM-fear and EDR arousal of Advertisement 8-"4 WD-Relief

The fear and arousal responses to Advertisement 8 - "4WD-Relief (refer to Figure

6.9) show a fear-reliefpattern, despite the cognitive fear graph reflecting more sustained fear after the major shock component of the advertisement. The fear measure indicates that at the end of the advertisement the audience experienced significant fear reduction that was similar to the feedback provided by the arousal measure.

Figure 6.9 - Advertisement 8 "4WD-relief' - Comparison of C R M - f e a r and E D R arousal

C R M - F e a r E D R - Arousal

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