Volume 5, Issue Part 1, 2007
Selected Essays from North America Part 1
Carolyn M. Cusick
The Problem of Psychology and Public Service Advertising
In much the same way that psychology mimics the goals and methods of natural science for purposes of studying the inner life of the mind instead of outer life, non-profit advertising mimics the methods of commercial advertising for social goods instead of profits. Using a few public service advertisements, particularly an anti-rape campaign poster, this essay lays out the parallel between psychology and non-profit advertising, and further, it explores how the failure of psychology to overcome the problem of naturalism is at the root of the growth of all forms of advertising and the attempt to manipulate citizen consumers.