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Negative messages less effective on addicts

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- What types of public messages will most likely deter drug and alcohol abuse or dissuade people from engaging in risky behavior? Negatively framed messages may not be an effective way to reach those most in need of persuasion, suggests a new study in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors by researchers from Indiana University and Wayne State University.

"The findings are somewhat ironic because a whole lot of public service announcements say, 'Drugs are bad for you,' 'Just say no,' or 'This is your brain on drugs' with an image of an egg frying," said principal investigator Joshua Brown, associate professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in IU Bloomington's College of Arts and Sciences. "What we're seeing is that negative messages are not having the same impact on the brain."

http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news/page/normal/23509.html

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They reached this conclusion now? That's basic in Psychology. The best way of convincing people to not do something is to focus on the advantages of the thing, they should do, and that will work better than if you tell them the disadvantages of what they're doing... But, i guess it's never too late for anything ;)

Edited by CuriousGreek

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You are never going to stop people taking drugs or drinking. Everyone has addictive personality some people are addicted to "healthier options" i.e gym junkies, hobbies. Then you people who are addicted to illegal car drags, addictive eatting habits and so on.

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Negatively framed messages may not be an effective way to reach those most in need of persuasion

No, it doesn't work. The whole "just say no", "drugs are bad" ideas are based on discouraging children and adolescents anyway. The addicts I have known (and still know) aren't deterred by these kinds of messages, or with negativity filled lectures about hurting themselves, their families, criminal charges etc. This has been pretty obvious for a long time though. Positive support/encouragment can only take them so far, but in my opinion it's a better bet then the negative communication and messages.

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Addicts have to want to change and until they want that, nothing anyone says will make a difference.

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Addicts have to want to change and until they want that, nothing anyone says will make a difference.

I agree somewhat - however...some addicts are not mentally well enough to want to change, try changing and make the change.

Addicts need only positive words, anything negative will not simply shake them out of it. Addiction is a mental disorder.

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