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Get a MAc Advert Campaigns

Get a Mac Adverts <link to adverts (american version).

Get a mac adverts were aired in America, The United Kingdom, Japan amongst many other countries. They feature two famous people, one as PC and the other as Mac acting out a vignette. To focus in on different countries, different actors were used in different countries: Justin long as Mac and John Hogdeman as PC in america; Robert Webb as Mac and David Mitchell as PC in the UK and a comedic Japenese due in Japan. By personalising the Ads for the different countries is a really effective way of reaching out to the different countries making the ads more effective.

There are over 60 adverts in the campaign which all feature the same recognisable music throughout with makes the adverts recognisable. They all feature a white background which make them really simple to follow. With so many adverts showing between 2006 and 2009 is works on mere exposure, it would be near impossible to not have seen any of the adverts. There is a strong brand image used in the adverts: at the end of the advert an apple omputer would be shown oth the Mac and apple logo. The white background also adds to the brand image- it is the iconic white headphones which most people feature with the brand. At the beginning of each advert they actprs also introduce themselves as Mac and PC, so throughout we know of the brand and are hearing about the brand. The actor portraying PC wears an old looking suit and glasses and is seen as being boring whereas MAC is portrayed as being cool and young. This again adds to brand image. Prior to the campaign, MAC sales were decreasing. One month after the campaign was launched an increase in MACs sold went through 200,000. After a year sales had increased by 39%. The adverts were really effective, which I feel is due to the strong brand image, the comedic and simple approach and the personalised actors for each country- effective market segmentation.




Infinite Blog Choices: Is too much choice a bad thing?

 With the blogging assessments the range of topics we could write about were infinite- we could write about anything, providing we related it back to emotion and motivation. Giving students choice about topics has often been viewed as positive. By giving students the choice of topic they can pick what they are interested in with the hope that it will spur intrinsic motivation to learn (Deci,1972). Intrinsic learning has been found to be the best form of motivation (Heymen & Dweck, 1992).

However, research has shown that too much choice can actually be detrimental to a students performance (Iyengar & Lepper, 2000). Students were given an assignment which would give them extra credit for their university course. Half were given a choice of 6 essay titles and the other a choice of 30. The results found that those given the fewer choice were more likely to do the assignment and the quality of essays were also better. Students also reported greater satisfaction with the limited choice option. Other researchers also found that choice can be a good thing, as long as there’s not too much choice (Patall, Cooper & Robinson, 2008).

I find this extremely relevant to my blog writing assignments. When writing my blog I would spend a lot of time deciding on and researching what to write my blog on. After a while I would get overwhelmed by the amount of choice and of trying to find a choice I am interested in. This would therefore leave me feeling stressed so I would end my feelings of stress by settling for a topic I was not satisfied with nor interested in. I do not feel my blogs reflect the quality of work I could potentially achieve. More direction of a topic would narrow down the choice and enable me to write a blog I would be proud of.


Deci, E. L. (1972). Intrinsic motivation, extrinsic reinforcement, and inequity. Journal of personality and social psychology, 22(1), 113.

 Heyman, G. D., & Dweck, C. S. (1992). Achievement goals and intrinsic motivation: Their relation and their role in adaptive motivation. Motivation and Emotion, 16(3), 231-247.

Iyengar, S. S., & Lepper, M. R. (2000). When choice is demotivating: Can one desire too much of a good thing?. Journal of personality and social psychology, 79(6), 995.

 Patall, E. A., Cooper, H., & Robinson, J. C. (2008). The effects of choice on intrinsic motivation and related outcomes: a meta-analysis of research findings. Psychological bulletin, 134(2), 270.


Wanderlust: a Genetic Basis to a Globetrotting Fanatic

Headnote: Wanderlust is described in the Online Oxford English Dictionary as a strong desire to travel: a man/woman consumed by wanderlust (Oxford Dictionaries, 2013).

Many people dream of travelling the world, seeing places they’ve never been and experiencing different cultures. Phrases such as backpacking, gap year and globetrotting have become much a part of vocabulary, increasingly more-so since the availability and promise of cheap flights and overseas volunteer teaching placements. Humans are amongst the most curious and exploratory species that has ever lived upon earth. This drive to travel and breakthrough to unknown places can be described through genetics.

The root of all human existence is linked back to Africa: the first of our ancestors began to leave around 70,000 to 50,000 years ago (Armour et al 1996) No other species on the planet has travelled and spread across the world in the same way as humans: species usually stay in the area they have always been yet modern humans have visited and settled in every continent, country and corner of the world in just 50,000 years. Not quite so much of a long time, in earths long years of existence (Knoll, 2003).

Research into why humans like to travel and as a species have travelled so far has been focused on studying genes. A gene DRD4 is involved in dopamine levels in the brain, which is linked with motivation and behaviour (Lichter et al, 1993). A variation of this gene, DRD4-7R, is carried by an approximately 20% of the human population and is linked with restlessness and curiosity along with being a named association with ADHD (Schilling, Walsh & Yun, 2011). This restlessness can cause people to take bigger risks which includes exploring new or different places. A study by Chen (1999) found the DRD4-7r form of the gene more likely to occur in modern day societies where people migrated longer differences from where we first originated in Africa many thousands of years ago. Another more recent study also reported similar findings: those who lived in cultures whose ancestors migrated out of Africa the furthest and the fastest/earliest were more likely to have the DRD4-7r gene (Dobbs, 2012). These findings suggest that this gene could be the motivation behind the yearning to travel, to move and to see the world: as it possibly did with our ancient ancestors.

Another theory behind the motivation to travel is rooted in our childhood: as children, we learn through play and imagination. Compared to most animals, and to some of our closest ancient ancestors (Neanderthals etc) we spend more time as children protected by our mothers in which we can develop our imagination. The basics of imagination is to create hypothetical scenarios and worlds which could be what is behind our fuel to travel and what makes us so inquisitive. Questions such as ‘what’s further than that border?’and ‘what’s over the other side of the sea’ are just some of the questions which drove our species to explore around the world.

In conclusion, the motivations behind travelling can be explained through our genes (DRD4-7R) and also through our imagination which is fuelled by play and childhood. Our ancestors 50,000 years ago started our journey around the world possibly through their restless genes, and passed their inquisitive nature through their generations. Even now, humans continue to explore and travel: from individuals getting a plane and exploring other continents and far away countries, to astronauts pushing further to explore space and the moon. oxford university press


Armour, J.A.L., Anttinen, T., May, C.A., Vega, E.E., Sajantila, A., Kidd, J.R., Kidd, K.K., Bertranpetit, J., Pääbo, S., & Jeffreys, A.J. (1996) Minisatellite diversity supports a recent African origin for modern humans. Nature Genetics, 13. 154–160doi:10.1038/ng0696-154

Dobbs, D. (2012). Are you an orchid or a dandelion?. New Scientist, 213(2849), 42-45.

Gopnik, A., Meltzoff, A. N., & Kuhl, P. K. (2009). The scientist in the crib: Minds, brains, and how children learn. HarperCollins

Knoll, A.H. (2003) Life on a Young Planet: The First Three Billion Years of Evolution on Earth. New York: Princeton University Press

Lichter, J. B., Barr, C. L., Kennedy, J. L., Van Tol, H. H., Kidd, K. K., & Livak, K. J. (1993). A hypervariable segment in the human dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene. Human Molecular Genetics, 2(6), 767-773.

Schilling, C. M., Walsh, A., & Yun, I. (2011). ADHD and criminality: A primer on the genetic, neurobiological, evolutionary, and treatment literature for criminologists. Journal of Criminal Justice, 39(1), 3-11.

Occurrence and Treatment of Specific Phobias

Phobias are a common occurrence in today’s society, fears can be as ordinary as nyctophobia (fear of the dark), claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces) to fears being reported as absurd as Anatidaephobia (fear you are being watched by a duck). With some researchers reporting figures as high as 21.2% women and 10.9% of men meeting criteria for having a specific phobia (Fredikson, Annas, Fischer, Wik, 1996) research into the acquiring and treatment of phobias is beneficial to sufferers.

Phobias are classified in the latest DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5; 2013) as an anxiety disorder separated into three subcategories: social phobia, specific phobia and Agoraphobia. A specific phobia is described as a persistent fear of an object or animal (spiders, beans, planes etc) which is often acknowledged as being irrational (Bourne 2011). Upon contact or near proximity to the specific stimulus, sufferers feel severe distress and display symptoms of anxiety including; racing heart, dizziness, nausea and can lead to a sense of dread and panic attacks (NHS, 2013).

Researchers have proposed many plausible explanations for the occurrence of specific phobias. Some of the earliest and most notable research into fears and phobias was conducted by Freud (1909) and Watson and Rayner (1919). Freud concluded from his research about Hans (five year old boy with a specific phobia of horses) that his fear was of his father but was displaced onto horses. On later analysis, Wolpe and Rachman criticised the research and interpreted the evidence differently to find that Hans’ fear of horses derived from an earlier experience in which Hans felt feelings of strong fear whilst in the presence of horses.

This classical conditioning of fears is further supported by Watson and Raynors classical study on Little Albert. Albert, a little boy, was conditioned onto having a fear of rats: a loud noise was made which scared the boy whenever he touched a rat. The neutral stimulus (rat) was presented at the same time as an unconditioned stimulus (loud noise) which resulted in a conditioned stimulus in which the boy was afraid (rat). This all supports the learning theory of acquiring phobias.

Phobias are a keen part of survival: learning not to avoid a stimulus or situation which was previously fearful keeps us out of danger. In this way phobic stimuli such as heights, dogs, spiders and snakes can all be related to evolution of survival. Avoiding dangerous situations which involve these stimuli will keep a person safe and therefore have a heightened chance of survival (Davey, 1999).

However, as mentioned earlier, phobias can often be described as irrational. Irrational fears have no place in survival: being scared of and avoiding small spiders, photos of spiders etc will not aid in survival. Phobias can lower a persons quality of life (McEvoy et al 2011). If a person lives or is constantly in close proximity to a phobic stimulus (such as they work on the 8th floor of building, but have a phobia of elevators) then this can impact their daily lives. If this sufferer has extreme symptoms the thought of the elevator to work could bring up panic attacks etc which could effect a person mentally. This case highlights the importance of work on treatments of phobias.

If as mentioned, phobias are learnt behaviours and motivations and fear is the conditioned response, then it should be simple to uncondition.

With regards to the neurology of phobias, the amygdala has been found to be strongly linked. The amygdala processes fear which is the main emotion described when a sufferer is faced with a phobic stimulus. Whalen & Phelps (2009) found that the amygdala responds to fear using a system similar to classical conditioning (fear conditioning). It creates a conditioned response to fear that is often seen in the reactions of people with a specific phobia.

To uncondition this response in the brain and to see this in our behaviour, researchers can eliminate the fear response ans symptoms of the phobia by counter-conditioning relaxation to the phobic stimulus in replace of fear (Wolpe and Lazarus 1969).

Overall, the majority of the research into phobias supports the learning theory and so the treatments used to desensitise the fear should be used as this has been found to be successful.


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical

manual of mental disorders (5th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC: Author

Bourne, E.J., (2011). The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook New Harbinger Publications. 5th ed pp. 50–51. ISBN 572244135

Davey, G.C. (1999). Phobias: a handbook of theory, research and treatment. John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Fredrikson, M., Annas, P., Fischer, H., & Wik, G. (1996). Gender and age differences in the prevalence of specific fears and phobias. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 34(1), 33-39.

Freud, S. (1909) The analysis of a phobia in a five-year old boy. In Collected Papers, Vol. 3. London: Hogarth, 1950.

McEvoy, P. M., Grove, R., & Slade, T. (2011). Epidemiology of anxiety disorders in the Australian general population: findings of the 2007 Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 45(11), 957-967.

Whalen, P.J, & Phelps, E.A., (2009). The Human Amygdala. New York: The Guilford Press.

Watson, J.B., & Rayner, R. (1920) Conditioned emotional reactions. Journal of Experi-

mental Psychology, 3, 1-14

Wolfe, J., & Lazarus, A,. The practice of behaviour therapy. London: Pergamon, 1969

The Motives Behind Hate Crime

Every so often a story of hate crime takes over the headlines of the newspapers (whether it be an attack on race, sexual preference or religion) and shocks us all. Most of us (thankfully) can not understand or comprehend the hate and anger that must lead up to such an attack. Hate crimes have been described as a criminal act against a person on the basis that the victim is different or in a different labelled group from the perpetrator; Kurtz, Turpin, 1999. Smith et al (2012) reported an unfathomable 260,000 incidents of hate crime a year in both 2009 and 2010 in England and Wales. Research is carried out into the motivations of hate crime as a means to discourage future possible perpetrators from participating in hate crime focused attacks. Research carried out in the recent past has discovered motivations behind hate crime can be attributed too innate and learnt motives in addition to external motives.


(Photo from )

It seems that separating people into groups such as race and gender and distinguishing our selves either with them or not with them is innate, (Fiske 1993, Nelson, 2002). Research undertaken by Duckett (1992) implied that this was not by hate, but simply a system of ordering a complicated world into understandable schemas: a quick way of processing information. However, this could form the basis of discrimination and racism.

Yearning to be part of a group is innate: being part of a group may increase your chance of survival (for protection) and so enable you to pass on your genes, Byrne and Whiten, 1989. To become part of a group you must adopt the groups’ ideologies (Katz, 2006). This could range from wearing designer clothes to fit with an ‘in group’ to the extremist- adopting racist ideas which could lead to the participation of hate crimes.

This reason for hate crime could also be attributed to external motives. The need to gain praise and social acceptance is an example of an external motive. If a particular group holds racists views, a person may need to be seen as having these racist beliefs in order to become part of the group. To gain praise from the group or even respect and acceptance, a person may commit a hate crime if this is the held belief of their peers they are trying to initiate praise from. In this way a person who holds no racists beliefs could commit a hate crime, Levine and McDevitt (1993).

Another motive and perhaps the most accepted and common for the occurrence of hate crime is the learnt motive; nurture. If a child is brought up around racism and racist views then they will be more likely to adopt these racist views as an adult. Culture and society can have a huge impact on the views and opinions of children and young adults. Typologies of families and adults who commit race hate crimes and who are known to be racist were constructed by researchers. It found that children brought up in abusive and threatening families will go on to be abusive and threatening to others including becoming perpetrators of hate crime as they are adults and are more often than not, were low achievers (Sibbit, 1977). This research suggests that motivations behind hate crime can be attributed largely to upbringing.

However, is has been shown through real life scenarios and cases that some children brought up in these types of families grow up to be different and do not participate in hate crime. Because of this, future research into the motives behind hate crime could be leaned towards an idiographic approach as opposed to a nomothetic approach, which is mainly used. Looking into individual differences and what makes people different could be more useful than grouping hate crime offenders together for research. From this, research could find out more than just what motivates hate crime but also what stops people from participating in hate crime which could be used to curb possible perpetrators away from offending in the future.



Byrne, R, Whiten, A. (1989). Machiavellian Intelligence : Social Expertise and the  Evolution of Intellect in Monkeys, Apes, and Humans. New York: Oxford publications. p19-36.

Duckitt, J. (1992). Psychology and prejudice: A historical analysis and integrative framework. American Psychologist, 47(1), p1182–1193.

Fiske, S, T. (1993). Social cognition and social perception. Annual Review of Psychology, 44, 155–194

Katz, D. (2006). The motivational basis of organizational behavior. Systems Research and Behavioural Science. 9(2), p131-146. DOI: 10.1002/bs.3830090206

Kleg, M. (1993) Hate Prejudice and racism. Albany: state university. NY press

Kurtz, L; Turpin, J. Encyclopedia of Violence Peace and Conflict 1999. p89 v2 Academic press

Levine, J, McDevitt, J. (1993). Hate Crime: The Rising Tide of bigotry and bloodshed. New York: plenum

Nelson, T. D. (2002). The psychology of prejudice. Boston: Allyn and Bacon

Sibbitt, R. (1997). The perpetrators of racial harassment and racial violence, Home Office Research Study 176. London: Home Office.

Zatz, S, M. Smith, H . (2012). Immigration, Crime, and Victimization: Rhetoric and Reality. Annual Review of Law and Social Science. 8 (2), p141-159

Do we have a natural distrust for foreign people?

Xenophobia is the a fear or contempt of that which is foreign or unknown, especially of strangers or foreign people (Psychology dictionary 2010). Although this is rare and extreme it could be that everyone has an innate distrust for foreign people. 

Lev-Ari and Keysar (2010) found that people do not believe others or have a mistrust for what they are saying if they have a foreign accent. They did an experiment and asked people to rate how believable a fact such as ‘giraffes can go longer without water than a camel can’ when the speaker who told them was either a native english speaker, a non native speaker with a mild accent and a non native speaker with a strong accent. Their results found that it was rated as less believable when told by someone from a non native english speaker, especially with a strong accent. This could show that we do not trust those with foreign accents and so foreign people. 

Gavioli & Aston (2001) also found that british people often have a mistrust of foreigners even so to where they find others to be unintelligible and untrustworthy. 

Fear of strangers or foreigners can be explained through evolutionary processes: cavemen who stayed away from people they didn’t know would have been less likely to get attacked and so less likely to die. This would in turn, give them a higher chance of reproducing and passing their gene of mistrust to strangers on to their children. Over a while this will then result in an innate fear of foreigners which is in our genes. This is an explanation for us not trusting a foreign voice or face in situations like; over the phone to overseas call centers


L Gavioli G Aston Enriching reality: language corpora in language pedagogy. doi: 10.1093/elt/55.3.238

Lev-Ari, S; Keysar, B. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 46 (2010) 1093–1096


Is psychological research based on western culture?

Lots of the research carried out in psychology is undertaken on participants from western cultures. The findings are then generalised as a whole: one example is the Milgram study of obedience(1963) in which all the participants were from america. The findings were then generalised to all people.

However, it could be that you cannot generalise across cultures. A person brought up in a third world country such as Africa may not think the same as someone of a western culture. Research suggests that people’s brains work differently depending on where they are from.

Nisbitt focused on the difference between western cultures and Asian cultures. He showed through research that when showed pictures those from western cultures focused on the bigger objects and the front, whilst those from Asia concentrated on the background of the pictures. Asians grown up in a western culture processed the picture in the same way as western cultures did and vice versa. This shows that the difference in the way the mind works is separated by culture and not genetics. He found that there were big differences in the way Americans think and process information and the way Asians do. After being shown the same moving underwater animations, East Asians see the objects in context with each others for example, they would describe the animation by saying things such as ‘the blue fish swam past the rock’. Americans on the other hand would focus only on the big objects and not put them together: ‘there was a big blue fish’. This shows that East Asians find it much harder to single out main objects: they have a more holistic approach. Wheras most americans did not consider the background.

He also researched in to why American children learn language differently to those in East Asia.

Overall he found big differences in the way the different cultures brains worked. This means that we cannot generalise findings cross cultures when they are only studied on western people.



Nisbitt. R. The Geography of Thought,

Milgram. S. Study of obediance, Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 1963, Vol. 67, No. 4, 371-378