Challenging Dogma - Spring 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

Why Do You Ride?: A Critique of a Massachusetts’s “Same Roads. Same Rules.” Campaign and the Proposal of a More Focused Intervention – Emily Keefe

The benefits of bicycling are many, the most notable of which are the improvements to one’s health and its positive effects on the environment. Bicycling, when compared to high-impact activities such as running, tennis, basketball, or walking, offers people a way to gain the benefits of regular physical activity with a reduced risk of pain or injury. Bicycling improves one’s strength, coordination, and cardiovascular fitness, and also provides a great deal of psychological benefits by reducing stress and improving self-esteem and one’s emotional state (23). Beyond its physical and psychological benefits, bicycling is a way in which people can travel without adding harmful pollutants to the air. Three-quarters of all trips taken by Americans are fewer than three miles, and yet most Americans use their motor vehicles to travel such short distances. Most of the harmful emissions created by motor vehicles are produced within the first few minutes of a trip, meaning short trips cause more pollution per mile than long trips (17). A three-mile bike ride is not only physically possible for most people but would also only take about twenty minutes. Using a bicycle to cover these shorter distances would reduce carbon dioxide emissions, as well as increase the amount of physical activity people get each day.
Although increasing bicycle use should certainly be a priority of the United States Department of Transportation, there are many potential dangers that must be addressed if Americans begin bicycling more often and in greater numbers. In 2009, 51,000 bicyclists were injured in accidents and of the nearly 700 hundred fatalities, 70% were due to head injuries. Despite the fact that a properly-worn bicycle helmet is nearly 90% effective in preventing head injuries, as well as reducing the risk of neck and facial injuries, nearly half of American adults never wear a helmet and another quarter only wear one some of the time (25). There are many other ways in which a bicyclist can be harmed apart from head injuries and, therefore, proper riding techniques and appropriate attire are also essential to safe riding.
It appears that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, along with several other state offices, including the Department of Public Health, has begun to take interest in the wide range of benefits bicycling has to offer. In 2009, various Massachusetts transportation, safety, and health departments joined forces with the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition, MassBike, a non-profit organization that aims to make Massachusetts a “bicycle-friendly environment” and encourages people to bicycle for many different reasons. These groups collaborated to produce “Same Roads. Same Rules.”, a campaign aimed to educate people in Massachusetts about safer driving and bicycling (22). As more people begin riding, there will be a need for greater education about cycling, particularly on roads shared with automobiles. While the campaign’s goals are certainly important and valid, its delivery and broad message will likely be ineffective in changing motorists’ and bicyclists’ behaviors in Massachusetts.
“Same Roads. Same Rules.” Assumes that People are Rational
The messages given to motorists and bicyclists through the “Same Roads. Same Rules.” campaign’s online resources assume that people act rationally and make reasoned, informed decisions. The “Same Roads. Same Rules.” website provides a separate tip sheet for bicyclists and for motorists regarding safe riding and driving techniques, respectively, as well as a section debunking common myths and misconceptions about cars and bicycles on the roads. In one instance riders are encouraged to “Get Some Head Insurance” and are told that they should wear a helmet because their brain is their “most important piece of safety equipment”. The “Bicyclist Myths” section of the website lists many of the “bad ideas” bicyclists have while on the roads and encourages them to make changes in their habits by providing tips about safe riding techniques. The website provides similar education and advice for motorists, telling them that “bicycles are vehicles, too” and to follow the laws (22).
Although education is certainly an essential aspect of promoting healthier behavior, education alone is not sufficient to change the way people bicycle and drive. The motorist and bicyclist “tip sheets”, as well as the page of myths, relies upon the tenets of the Health Belief Model (HBM) to encourage safe habits on the roads. The HBM, developed in the 1950’s by the Public Health Service, was originally used as a framework for understanding why people did not engage in preventative behaviors in order to detect disease in its early stages and how to change their attitudes and behavior regarding disease prevention and screening (20). The very first formulation of the HBM posits that an individual will assess his risk for the outcome of interest, evaluate the severity of the outcome, and, after weighing the barriers and benefits of engaging in the recommended preventative behavior, will decide to act and change his behavior accordingly.
When the HBM is used alone it results in a much distorted understanding of human decision-making and behavior. In a study assessing the healthy lifestyle habits of adults from 1998-2006, researchers found that Americans became more unhealthy over this time period as evidenced by greater incidence of overweight and obese people. These increases occurred despite greater awareness of the importance of a healthful diet, physical activity, abstaining from drinking alcohol in excess, and smoking (16). Unlike the assumptions of the HBM, people may be aware of the impact of a healthy lifestyle on long-term health outcomes but this is not sufficient to enact a change in behavior; there are other values, beliefs, and conditions that contribute to people’s health behaviors. This example underscores two incorrect assumptions of the HBM. The HBM assumes that susceptibility and severity of the outcome are sufficient to motivate people to protect and better their health, indicating that intention or attitude precede behavior. Furthermore, this theory assumes that people also value health as an outcome, when in reality many people have values that take precedence over their health (21).
The “Same Roads. Same Rules.” website attempts to counteract perceived barriers people may have toward safe riding and driving. For example, the website provides bicyclists with information about purchasing affordable helmets in case inaccessibility or cost is a concern. It also attempts to make road bicyclists more appealing to motorists by suggesting that more bikes means fewer cars on the roads and less traffic congestion (22). Even in attempting to overcome these barriers or costs to safer riding and driving, the campaign assumes that people value their health and safety enough to engage in these behaviors. However, a bike rider may care more about how he looks while riding or how warm a helmet makes his head in summer months than the potential for a heady injury if he has an accident. Motorists may find that waiting for bicycles to pass on narrow roads is not as important as getting to their destination quickly. The “Same Roads. Same Rules.” campaign limits its potential for enacting behavior change among bicyclists and motorists by assuming that they value health and safety above other ideals and that education about susceptibility and severity are sufficient to change peoples’ attitudes and behaviors.
Campaign Risks Encouraging Undesired Behavior
In 1966, Jack W. Brehm developed a theory of psychological reactance. This theory posits that when an individual’s freedom is threatened, he will react to protect and restore his freedom. An individual may simply ignore the message or he may instead do the exact opposite in order to exert his power and re-establish is freedom (2). This latter response is identified as the “boomerang effect”, where individuals respond to a restriction or elimination of their freedom by engaging in the exact behavior being discouraged (19).
The boomerang effect can be seen in teenagers’ responses to the National Youth Anti-Drug Media campaign in 2006. The campaign targeted marijuana use in teens with the slogan “Responsibility: Your Anti-Drug”. One public service announcement depicted a car accident where a group of teenagers kill a young girl because they were high, while another showed a young boy who had drowned in his family’s pool because his brother was getting high instead of babysitting (19). These advertisements, along with others in the campaign, did not succeed in reducing marijuana use among teens; in fact, there is evidence that they may have engendered great intention to use drugs (26). The campaign created the impression that everyone uses drugs and that to be “anti-drug” was to be in the minority. Furthermore, the campaign was far too dramatic to seem realistic and teens may have instead been left with the impression that drugs were fun, and the rebellious thing to do, but that the risk was not all that great. By communicating unrealistic consequences of marijuana use, as well as taking away a teen’s freedom to be like his friends, the campaign may have induced psychological reactance and increased interest in marijuana (13).
The “Same Roads. Same Rules.” campaign does not contain the dramatic component found in the anti-drug campaign. However, many portions of the website give bicyclists and motorists advice and instructions that lack valid support and that may leave people feeling as though their freedom to behave as they wish is being threatened. The “Motorist Tips” portion of the “Same Roads. Same Rules.” website exhibits a very distinct tone of authority and, in some instances, admonishment (4). In its effort to educate motorists about the road laws they share with bicyclists and to encourage safer driving, the campaign ultimately tells drivers what they have been doing wrong and what they should be doing instead. Furthermore, drivers are told to change their habits in a way that seemingly criticizes them for not being on bicycles and does not encourage a positive relationship between bicyclists and motorists. By instructing motorists to adopt certain behaviors, the campaign may in fact see motorists continue as they have been or become more aggressive toward cyclists. While it is difficult to imagine that motorists would intentionally drive recklessly in order to harm cyclists, reactance may also take the form of simply rejecting a message. That is, motorists may ignore the campaign’s initiatives and not treat cyclists as equals on the roads.
The “Same Roads. Same Rules.” campaign’s messages to cyclists also risk inducing psychological reactance. One item on the “Bicyclists Tip Sheet” instructs bicyclists to “take a break” at stop signs and red lights. While following road signs and traffic signals is required of bicyclists, the tip sheet attempts to appeal to riders on a different level by suggesting that stopping allows a rider a chance to relax, to “chat with the cute biker behind you”, and to set a good example for everyone else (4). The tone of the message is not only condescending but also tells a rider that he may be the only one obeying traffic laws. To be the sole rider stopping at a red light may make a rider feel as though he has less freedom and control than other riders. The last item on the tip sheet will likely generate the greatest amount of resistance; riders are told to “Get Some Head Insurance”, or wear their helmets (4). Although encouraging riders to wear helmets is certainly an important piece of bike safety education, the tip admits that a rider may never need it. By acknowledging that a rider might never have a need for his helmet, he may in fact never wear it; why would he be uncomfortable and look silly if his chances of a head injury are so small? Providing such weak support for the importance of helmet use would likely cause resistance to the behavior because an individual may feel his freedom is being restricted for such an insignificant reason. The “Same Roads. Same Rules.” campaign offers sound and important advice to bicyclists and motorists but does not deliver the messages in an effective manner, thus risking psychological reactance.
“Same Roads. Same Rules.” Lacks Focus
“Same Roads. Same Rules.” attempts to bring motorists and bicyclists together in a harmonious effort to make roads safer for all forms of transportation. While unifying these two groups together is certainly a commendable endeavor, this campaign is far too broad to be effective. In fact, in its attempt to reach a greater number of people on the roads, the campaign may actually effect a behavior change in fewer.
According to the National Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behavior conducted by the United States Department of Transportation, most Americans are not bicyclists. The survey found that over half of Americans never ride a bicycle and another quarter are only occasional riders, which is defined as only a few rides each year (25). It appears that while most Americans are motorists, only a small portion of these motorists are bike riders, as well. The “Same Roads. Same Rules.” campaign fails to acknowledge that these two groups likely differ in their beliefs and values.
As described in Grier and Bryant’s “Social Marketing in Public Health”, people fit into different segments of the population based on “psychographic” identifiers, such as lifestyle, values, and personality characteristics. These groups must be targeted differently by social marketing campaigns (11). Bicyclists and motorists maintain different beliefs about cycling and road use, as well as about issues separate from cycling. Bicyclists tend to have stronger beliefs about protecting the environment and thus a more negative opinion of automobiles. Additionally, people who are more physically active have a very positive view of bicycling while those who are more sedentary find bicycling to be much less appealing. As compared to bicyclists, those who do not bicycle perceive bicycling to have many more barriers than other forms of transit. For example, they tend to believe bicycling to be less safe than driving, as well as more inconvenient, tiring, and unpleasant (12). The “Same Roads. Same Rules.” campaign does not recognize the very different attitudes that motorists and bicyclists seem to have about road use and cycling. Furthermore, these beliefs affect how these two groups will interpret the behavior changes being asked of them by the campaign. For instance, motorists may not agree with the law that gives bicyclists equal rights on the roads. Thus, inciting this law as reason why motorists must respect riders serves little use. In order to effectively target a group of people with a public health campaign, it is essential that a social marketer understand how a group of people will interpret a particular behavior change (9).
Due to the very broad nature of the campaign, it is unable to appeal to the different values that each group, bicyclists and motorists, hold. Furthermore, in trying to appeal to both groups, it has created a central promise that neither group necessarily values. Advertising campaigns for consumer products are generally successful when they evoke particular emotions in the target audience. The center of a successful campaign is not just the product being sold but also the promise and values associated with this product. Although one may initially argue that public health campaigns are quite different from traditional advertising and marketing because there is no exchange of money and product, public health can very much utilize the idea of an exchange. A public health campaign must offer a benefit to people that they value and also must understand that the behavior changes being asked of people require some sort of sacrifice, often in the form of time or energy (11).
The “Same Roads. Same Rules.” campaign offers people safer roads in exchange for their efforts to bicycle and drive more conscientiously. Although I am sure people would not desire unsafe roads, motorists and bicyclists would likely feel quite inconvenienced by the instructions given by the campaign and would not feel a strong motivation to change their behavior. A successful public health campaign must have an accurate grasp on peoples’ aspirations, desires, and beliefs apart from health (11). The “Same Roads. Same Rules.” campaign fails to grasp that health and injury prevention are not necessarily priorities for most. Health, in this case in the form of safe riding and driving, is not something that most people value when compared to values such as freedom, control, power, and individuality. Additionally, a social marketing campaign must also be aware of the competing behaviors and the values associated with these behaviors.
A successful campaign provides a solution to a problem that people find important; if motorists do not think that bicyclists should be on the roads then they will not necessarily change their behaviors. Likewise, bicyclists will not necessarily want to wear helmets or bright, reflective clothing if looking attractive or staying cool in hot weather is more important than protecting themselves from potential injury. The “Same Roads. Same Rules.” campaign offers only the possibility of a reduction in accidents and injury and does not offer bicyclists and motorists a promise with which they want to identify.
A Different Direction for Bicycling Safety Interventions: Focusing on Bicyclists and Helmet Use
With the benefits of bicycling evident for both the environment and peoples’ health, it seems that there is a need for a public health intervention that focuses on bicycling. While the “Same Roads. Same Rules.” campaign claims to want safer roads for motorists and bicyclists, it seems that it does not even intend to target motorists. The information provided on the campaign’s website seems to indicate that the intervention is in fact intended for bicyclists. Motorists are included but much of the information provided is aimed at keeping bicyclists safe and on the roads. An intervention that targets bicyclists and motorists does not seem appropriate nor effective. Instead, I propose a media campaign aimed at bicyclists only. Focusing the campaign’s message on a single group will allow for far greater success. In order to increase bicycle safety, bicyclists need be to empowered to take control of their own riding rather than depending on what motorists do on the roads. A bicycle-centered intervention will allow for the creation of a central promise that is relevant to bicyclists and will thereby improve safety for all people on the roads.
In addition to focusing the effort on bicyclists, it seems that a bicycle safety campaign should acknowledge the greatest risk that bicyclists take today: not using a helmet. While bicyclists certainly risk other forms of injury while riding, head injuries are the most serious, as well as the most preventable (25). The issue of helmet-use is two-fold. For those who do take all of the necessary precautions, such as blinking lights, bright clothing, and appropriate hand signals, head injury still poses as a major threat because bicyclists cannot control the actions of motor vehicles and the unpredictability of traffic. For others who are not taking the necessary steps to ride safely, it seems that requesting or ordering a change in multiple behaviors is far too ambitious and unrealistic. That is, if a bicyclist currently does not wear a helmet and does not engage in other safe habits while riding, expecting a change in all of his bicycling behaviors is unreasonable. A bicycle safety campaign will be more successful if it is focused on a single behavior, in this case bicycle helmet use. Focusing the campaign on a single behavior may have the added benefit of encouraging change in other bicycle habits later in time.
Why Do You Ride?: A Social Media Campaign for Bicyclists
I propose a social media campaign that centers on the slogan “Why Do You Ride?”. The campaign will be initiated by a commercial aired on television stations in Massachusetts and available on the internet. The commercial will be shot from just behind the rider, allowing the viewer to see the back of the rider and the road from the rider’s perspective, and will then shift to show the rider’s facial expressions and demeanor as he or she rides. As the central slogan of the campaign suggests, the commercial will show a sequence of several different bicyclists as they ride, including the following individuals:

1. The hipster – male in his early twenties, traveling down Massachusetts Avenue during the evening commute at dusk; riding a restored 1970’s bicycle, wearing rolled up jeans, a white t-shirt, Ray-Ban sunglasses, and Vans sneakers.
2. The student - female in her early twenties, approaching Boston University on Commonwealth Avenue in the early morning wearing a dress with a jacket, backpack, and sneakers, riding a hybrid road bike.
3. The road warrior - a female cyclist in her mid-40’s on a wide suburban road – wearing a jersey and shorts, clipless shoes and pedals, riding a road bike.
4. The family man – a man in his mid-30’s with young kids ahead on a bicycle trail wearing shorts and a t-shirt, riding a comfortable upright bike.

Each rider will be shown engaging in proper hand signals and riding techniques. All of them will be wearing helmets and all of their bikes will have appropriate lights and reflectors. The four different riders will encompass the main purposes with which people bicycle: basic travel, commuting, exercise, and recreation. The song “Sweet Disposition” by the Temper Trap will provide the commercial’s soundtrack. The final shot of the commercial will feature the slogan “Why Do You Ride?”, spoken by a young female’s voice, and she will then say “Share your story” and provide the campaign’s website. There will be corresponding print campaigns of “Why Do You Ride?” posted on the sides of buses, at bus stops, in the Metro Daily Newspaper and other publications, and on Facebook. The same people from the commercial will be featured individually in four different ads with their bikes. I propose that the campaign be sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation in order to acknowledge bicycling as a true alternative form of transit and not as an activity limited to a small segment of the population.
Modeling Helmet Use to Limit Reactance
People experience psychological reactance to a behavioral intervention when their freedom is threatened. This reaction is identified as the “boomerang effect”, where people respond to a threat to or removal of their freedom by engaging in the exact behavior being discouraged or restricted. In their work on reactance and public health communication, James Price Dillard and Lijiang Shen argue that weaker messages, or those lacking sound support, tend to elicit greater reactance than strong messages. Furthermore, they indicate that criticizing the undesired behavior by providing unrealistic consequences or risks of the behavior are also likely to increase reactance. Rather, a message must provide support for a behavior change in the form of consequences that people find plausible and realistic (7).
It seems that in order to reduce the possibility of reactance to a weak message, one method for avoiding the boomerang effect is to model the desired behavior rather than telling people what to do. This may be particularly effective in encouraging helmet use, which is the most significant method of reducing risk of injury and death among bicyclists. As Melvin DeFleur writes in Theories of Mass Communication, the behavior of actors in television commercials or other visual media, as well as those found in print ads, can be observed and imitated by the viewing public. Although social learning theory does not describe the effects of mass media communication alone, it posits that people adopt habits when they observe particular behaviors in others and when these observations are reinforced. That is, behaviors become habits when people experience some form of gratification for engaging in the behavior, such as pleasure or an improvement in a situation that was once annoying or even painful (5).
Modeling theory, which describes the use of social learning theory in the media, puts forward that people identify with actors on television and in the movies, or rather believe they are like the actors (5). As Donn Byrne describes in attraction theory, people tend to like those who are similar to themselves (3). Modeling theory takes this idea one step further by positing that people are attracted to and model the behavior of those who they believe they are similar to and who they want to emulate. The television commercial for “Why Do You Ride?” will use four very different people to appeal to a diverse audience and increase the likelihood that the audience will find someone with whom they can identify. The bicyclists in the campaign will wear bicyclists helmets, thus modeling this safe behavior, but they will also be shown enjoying the outdoors, experiencing the thrill of riding, traveling to and fro quickly and efficiently, or having fun with their families. The use of a bicycle helmet will not be the center of the message but rather will be a piece of the overall experience of bicycling. Modeling theory indicates that people will remember the behaviors of the actors in the television advertisement when they find themselves in a similar situation. Therefore, when people find themselves readying for a bicycle ride, they may recall the actors’ pleasure during bicycling, as well as their proper use of helmets. People will then be more likely to emulate this behavior in order to achieve the actors’ experience and be like him or her.

Framing Bike Safety Effectively to Appeal to Core Values
People do not make decisions solely based on a rational weighing of risks and benefits. Instead, many people make decisions and engage in particular behaviors as a result of intuition and emotional responses (6). Kahneman and Tversky, in their work on cognitive processes involved in decision-making, explain that people often make risky choices without understanding or evaluating the potential consequences. That is, the outcomes of risky behaviors are not certain and therefore people make decisions based on what they think the probabilities of the various outcomes are (15). Educating people about the risks of particular behaviors is often not sufficient to promote behavioral changes, though, for a variety of reasons.
One such reason is that people do not necessarily hold their health and safety above other values and beliefs. Robert Benford and David Snow write that beliefs and values are arranged in a hierarchy. When social movements or behavioral appeals target those at the top of the hierarchy, identified as “core values”, the central message of the appeal is more likely to have a positive effect (1). While people certainly have different core values, it seems that certain values rank above others for many people, only some of which are power, freedom, love, rebelliousness, youth, and belonging. A successful social media campaign targets these core values, as opposed to weaker values such as health, in order to emotionally connect with the audience.
Framing theory posits that there are many perspectives from which to view a single issue and it can be framed so as to appeal to different values. The way in which a particular subject is presented can have very powerful effects on how it is interpreted. People construe messages as a direct result of how the messages are framed, therefore determining their reaction to the message and their resultant behavior (4). “Frames” are the values that people identify in the messages and thus choosing the stronger core values as a message’s particular frame will result in a more successful social media campaign.
“Why Do You Ride?” will not frame helmet use in terms of health and safety, as is often done in public health campaigns for bicyclists. Instead, the advertisement will appeal to many of the strongest core values. Each rider will portray bicycling as the ultimate way in which to be free and independent. The male “hipster” bicyclist and the female “road warrior” in the advertisements will seem powerful and in control, exuding a sense of rebellion and making bike riding seem sexy. The female “college student” will be attractive and appeal to the core value of hard work and individualism, using her bicycle as a way to navigate her busy life. The father will appeal to the core values of family and belonging, depicting bicycling as a way to bring families closer together.
The final shot of the advertisement in which the viewers are asked “Why Do You Ride?” and to “Share Your Story” on the campaign’s website will appeal to people’s desire for acceptance and belonging. Helmet use will not be articulated as the “safe thing” to do but rather will be part of the true bicycling experience, one in which people from all walks of life can take part. The website will enhance this sense of belonging by asking people to share their stories, in writing or by video, and describe what bicycling brings to their lives. In addition to stories describing why people ride, there will also be stories describing the reasons why people wear helmets; some may have not worn them in the past and then changed their behaviors, while others may have had an accident that inspired their habit to always wear one. The website will also contain resources for finding affordable helmets and other bicycling gear and will provide information on the best local riding routes, as well as various recreational and competitive riding groups. The “Why Do You Ride?” website is intended to be an online community for bicyclists of all kinds and will embody the lifestyle associated with people who bicycle, a community where people are active and social and want to feel connected to their communities.
Effectively Utilizing Marketing and Advertising Techniques
Often the most successful television advertisements, or those that connect with the audience emotionally and command their attention, do not explicitly identify the product being marketed. In “Confessions of an Advertising Man”, David Ogilvy states that a good advertisement does not draw attention to its product but rather grabs the audience’s attention by offering a promise with which the audience can identify (14). A successful promise is upheld with appropriate and strong support and appeals to the target audience’s core values.
One company that has utilized this central tenet of advertising theory so well is Nike. The television advertisement titled “Awake”, which first aired in 2006, begins at dawn and depicts many different people from all walks of life and from all around the world rising out of bed. As the commercial continues, AC/DC’s “Rock N’ Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution” begins to play louder and the commercial runs through scenes of people swimming, running, playing tennis, opening up their shops for the day, and making coffee, among many others (18). The commercial shows flashes of the Nike “swoosh” on sneakers and clothing but the focus of the commercial is not the product. The product being marketed is only a symbol for the brand and represents what the company stands for and values (8). As described by Firat in “Marketing in the Post-Modern World”, Nike is selling its image in its advertisements and its sneakers and clothing are only a way of manifesting this image. Firat goes so far as to describe Nike’s television advertisements as “a form of video poetry - high art that elevates human physical achievement to the level of the sublime”. Nike’s advertisement promises its audience that if they wear Nike, they too will start each day with hope and excitement and enter into the rhythm and flow of life.
“Why Do You Ride?” is meant to elicit similar feelings in its audience as would a Nike advertisement. Although this campaign is not selling a product, W. Douglas Evans and Gerard Hastings argue that a public health campaign can still “brand” itself by embodying a particular lifestyle that people either identify with or want to have (reader). A public health brand can promise that people will gain the benefit of this lifestyle or value, whether it is being cool or strong or powerful, if they engage in the encouraged behavior. “Why Do You Ride?” will depict bicycling as the ultimate rush and as a way to make one’s life richer and more meaningful. The advertisements will promise the audience that riding a bicycle in the right way will provide a more fulfilling and complete experience. Furthermore, these emotions are meant to spawn the desire to be a part of the bicycling community where people can find acceptance and friendship, as well as the thrill and excitement that riding brings to one’s life.

The “Same Roads. Same Rules.” campaign should be commended for identifying bicycling as a popular alternative form of transportation and for recognizing the safety needs of bicyclists. However, a public health campaign centered on education alone will likely not result in significant behavior changes among the target audience. Instead, a successful campaign will attempt to reach people on a more emotional and personal level. A bicycling campaign that focuses on the benefits of riding apart from health, such as fun, self-empowerment, and exhilaration, will appeal to current bicyclists but may also have the added benefit of increasing interest in the activity among those who do not currently ride. Although increased helmet-use among bicyclists should be the goal of such a campaign, people are not necessarily rational in their decision-making and may not respond to evidence of the risks of riding without a helmet or to being told that wearing a helmet is the smart thing to do. A bicycling safety campaign that does not position itself as such, but rather appeals to people’s desires to be strong, powerful, sexy, and accepted will have far more success in changing current behaviors, as well as eliciting greater interest in the activity.
1. Benford, Robert, and David Snow. Annual Review of Psychology 26 (2000): 611-39. Google Scholar. Web. 24 Apr. 2011.
2. Brehm, Jack W. "A Theory of Psychological Reactance." Organization Change: a Comprehensive Reader. By W. Warner Burke, Dale G. Lake, and Jill Waymire Paine. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2009. 377-90. Print.
3. Byrne, Donn. "Attitudes and Attraction." Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. By Mark P. Zanna. New York: Academic, 2006. 36-86. Print.
4. Chong, Dennis, and James Druckman. "Framing Theory." Annual Review of Political Science 10 (2007): 103-26. Google Scholar. Web. 23 Apr. 2011.
5. DeFleur ML, Ball-Rokeach SJ. Theories of Mass Communications (5th Edition), Chapter 8 (Socialization and Theories of Indirect Influence), pp. 202-227. White Plans, NY: Longman, Inc., 1989.
6. DeMartino B, Kumaran D, Seymour B, Dolan RJ. Frames, biases, and rational decision-making in the human brain. Science 2006; 313:684-687.
7. Dillard, James Price, and Lijiang Shen. "On the Nature of Reactance and Its Role in Persuasive Health Communication." Communication Monographs 72.2 (2005): 144-68. JStor. Web. 23 Apr. 2011.
8. Firat, A. Fuat, Nikhilesh Dholakia, and Alladi Venkatesh. "Marketing in a Postmodern World." European Journal of Marketing 29.1 (1994): 40-55. Google Scholar. Web. 27 Apr. 2011.
9. Forthofer, Melinda, and Carol Bryant. "Using Audience-Segmentation Techniques to Tailor Health Behavior Change Strategies." American Journal of Health Behavior 24.1 (2000): 36-43. Google Scholar. Web. 16 Apr. 2011.
10. Friday, Leslie. "Bikers Nabbed in Sting Operation | BU Today." Boston University. 21 Apr. 2011. Web. 29 Apr. 2011. .
11. Grier, Sonya, and Carol Bryant. "Social Marketing in Public Health." Annual Review of Public Health 26 (2005): 319-39. Google Scholar. Web. 15 Apr. 2011.
12. Heinen, Eva, Bert Van Wee, and Kees Maat. "Commuting by Bicycle: An Overview of the Literature." Transport Reviews 30.1 (2010): 59-96. Google Scholar. Web. 15 Apr. 2011.
13. Hornik, Robert, Lela Jacobsohn, Robert Orwin, Andrea Piesse, and Graham Kalton. "Effects of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign on Youths." American Journal of Public Health 98.12 (2008): 2229-236. Google Scholar. Web. 19 Apr. 2011.
14. How to Build Great Campaigns (Chapter 5). In: Ogilvy D. Confessions of an Advertising Man. New York: Antheneum, 1964, pp. 89-103.
15. Kahneman, Daniel, and Amos Tversky. "Choices, Values and Frames." American Psychologist 39.4 (1984): 341-50. Google Scholar. Web. 20 Apr. 2011.
16. King DE, Mainous AG, Carnemolla M, Everett CJ. Adherence to healthy lifestyle habits in US adults, 1988-2006. American Journal of Medicine 2009; 122: 528-534.
17. "League of American Bicyclists * Ride for the Environment." League of American Bicyclists * Home. Web. 29 Apr. 2011. .
18. Nike. Awake Advertisement. YouTube. 2010. Web. 26 Apr. 2011. .
19. Rains, Stephen A., and Monique Mitchell Turner. "Psychological Reactance and Persuasive Health Communication: ATest and Extension of the Intertwined Model." Human Communication Research 33 (2007): 241-269. Google Scholar. Web. 12 Apr. 2011.
20. Rosenstock, IM. Historical origins of the health belief model. Health Education Monographs 1974; 2:328-335.
21. Salazar MK. Comparison of four behavioral theories. AAOHN Journal 1991; 39:128-135.
22. Same Roads Same Rules. Mass Bike, 2010. Web. 29 Apr. 2011. .
23. Travers, James. "Health Benefits of Cycling." Adult Bicycling. 2009. Web. 18 Apr. 2011. .
24. United States. Department of Transportation: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Office of Behavioral Safety Research. National Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behavior: Summary Report. By Dawn Royal and Darby Miller-Steiger. Vol. 1. 2008. Print.
25. United States. Department of Transportation: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Office of Behavioral Safety Research. National Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behavior: Findings Report. By Dawn Royal and Darby Miller-Steiger. Vol. 2. 2008. Print.
26. United States. United States Government Accountability Office. Contractor’s National Evaluation Did Not Find That the Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign Was Effective in Reducing Youth Drug Use. By Nancy Kingsbury and Laurie Ekstrand. 2006. Print.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home