Complete an observation journal, where you will use the p
information collected in your comparison template to apply social scientific observations to help you to develop a
the ads that a social scientist might ask. The work you do on this observation journal will directly support your wor
course project, the final reflection, which is due later in the course.
This observation journal assignment will assess the following course outcome, which you focused on throughout
Develop questions about fundamental aspects of human behavior that inform personal assumptions, beliefs, an
evidence from the social sciences
Your second course project is an observation journal. You have already gathered your advertisements and compl
comparison template to determine the social science approaches that are relevant to your ads. For this assignme
that information to write an observation journal that will ask you to draw conclusions from the ads and, eventually,
I. Explain why you chose these advertisements for social scientific and personal study. For instance, what aspects
intrigued you and made you curious?
II. Explain the assumptions and observations about human interactions and behaviors you made about the advert
are some questions you
might want to consider in your explanation:
a. Who do you believe the audiences for the ads might be?
b. What messages do you think the ads are sending?
c. What do you think the nature of the relationship is between or among the people in the ads?
d. What relationship(s) do you see between or among the people and the product or service being advertised?
e. How effective are the ads in influencing your own consumer decisions?
III. Identify topics in this course that are relevant to the human behaviors in your advertisements and explain how
This is your social science evidence for your observations. For instance, what ideas and people have you studied
to your observations?
scientist. What question would you ask about the advertisements that you, as a social scientist, could seek to ans
observations and objective conclusions led you to this question?
The sample of the assignment.
CS 100 Project 2 Observation Journal Exemplar
I chose the advertisements that I did because I was interested in how they related gender to food. Each advertise
a certain food: gelato, candy bars, or ice cream. Each advertisement depicts either females alone or females in sp
roles. I was also intrigued by the advertisements because I am female and I enjoy eating chocolate. When I have
enjoy coming home and indulging in dessert to comfort myself. Some of the advertisements portray women as ha
sweets, which made me question my own tendency to desire sweet foods after a hard day at work.
Assumptions and Observations
Audience. Each advertisement has a specific audience to which it appeals. Each advertisement depicts mostly wh
actresses. The intended audience of these advertisements are people who use food as reward. The audience for
advertisements would most likely be people from a westernized civilization who have excess food to use for pleas
For example, people who live in countries where there is not easy access to plentiful amounts of food would not h
relationship to food as the people depicted in these advertisements. There are other aspects of the advertisemen
think the intended audience is white and westernized. For example, the marriage in the Milky Way advertisement
traditional Christian wedding, based on the presence of a priest and the decoration of the church. The Freddo Ice
advertisement depicts children, all of them white, and represents a democracy in which people are elected to gov
The Celebration advertisement is also showing individuals—all of whom are also white—who again are using food
celebrating. Finally, the Antonio Federici advertisement is depicting a white nun being sinful by eating chocolate, w
seems to be portraying a relationship between indulgence and food. I believe the relationship of food as indulgenc
westernized and privileged notion. Based on my observations, I believe the intended audience for most of these a
are middle-class, white women.
Message. The message the advertisements are sending all seem to be about the relationship between people an
Federici advertisement, the message is that women use rich, sweet food for indulgence and as a “guilty pleasure.
advertisement even seems to relate the indulgence of this sweet food with sin by showing a nun who is pregnant.
Cream advertisement is also showing a relationship between food and people. In this advertisement, I observed t
the ones serving food, while the boy is the one running for office. This advertisement seems to portray a stereotyp
serving men. It also is showing a relationship between women being the ones to handle the serving and maybe e
preparation of food. The Celebration advertisement’s message again appears to show a relationship between wo
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with food. The ad even shows the girls celebrating other’s misfortune, thereby seeming to portray females as self
Way advertisement also depicts a woman as being selfish by indulging in chocolate, which makes her late for her
common message is showing gender stereotypes as they relate to women and food.
Relationship between people. I believe that in most of these advertisements, the most important relationship depi
people is the relationship between sinful females and others. For example, in the Antonio Federici advertisement,
innocent nun who has sinned. Females are supposed to be innocent and this advertisement taps into the hidden
desires of females. I believe these advertisements also show women as weak compared to their desires; for exam
in the Celebration advertisement care only about winning and do not care about their injured competitor. Although
Cream advertisement depicts a different type of gender stereotype, it is still important. The Freddo advertisement
serving males and acting in less important or secondary roles. The relationship between genders is the most impo
I observe in these advertisements.
Relationship with product. In each of the advertisements, the relationship that I chose to focus on is the relationsh
women and food. The Freddo Ice Cream advertisement shows females in the traditional secondary role of serving
food, while the male is in the primary role of running for office. The other three advertisements all portray women
and indulgent when they engage in eating sweet food. The relationship is that a woman cannot help herself and in
guilty pleasure of a sweet food.
Effectiveness. For me, the least effective advertisement is the Celebration advertisement, because it depicts fema
obviously selfish way by showing them celebrating when their competitor is injured. The Milky Way advertisement
woman acting selfishly, but the ad does it in a less obvious way; the consequence of her selfish behavior is not ce
person getting hurt, but that people have to wait for her wedding. Therefore, the Milky Way advertisement is more
Celebration advertisement. I also believe the obviousness of the message impacts the effectiveness of the Anton
advertisement, because if the nun were not pregnant, the message of indulging and being sinful would be less ob
therefore be more effective for me. Finally, the Freddo Ice Cream advertisement very obviously depicts stereotypi
for me, it is hard to look past that and focus on the product. Overall, the advertisements that make a less obvious
their message across seem to be the most effective.
Social Science Evidence
To back up my observations about the relationship between women and food, which in these advertisements I ob
represent gender stereotypes of women in servile roles and as being weak and unable to resist their desires, I loo
within the course so far. My interest in the portrayal of the women in these advertisements seems to fit both within
psychological and sociological fields. In Theme 1, we learned that gender stereotypes can be examined through t
“social construction” of these topics, meaning that society creates and reinforces the category of gender. In Them
that psychology is the study of the mind and behavior (American Psychological Association, n.d.) and even thoug
may be socially constructed, the behavior of engaging in those gender roles is very interesting to me.
We learned about perception in Theme 2. Perception plays a big role in these advertisements because it helps to
perceive what we do from these advertisements. The halo effect is described as “a bias in which our overall impre
(a figurative halo) colors our judgments of that person’s character” (Baumann Foundation, 2013). The halo effect
multiple advertisements. For example, in the Antonio Federici advertisement, we see a nun who has sinned and w
assumptions about all the other choices in her life. We also do this with the Celebration and Milky Way advertisem
depiction of females choosing to indulge within the advertisements leaves the audience making assumptions abo
overall weaknesses and tendency to give into their desires. Confirmation bias can also be used to describe why w
we do from these advertisements. Confirmation bias is described as seeking and/or interpreting evidence in a wa
congruent with one’s existing beliefs or expectations (Nickerson, 1998). Gender stereotypes already exist; therefo
more likely to interpret the advertisements in line with the gender stereotypes with which we are familiar. Accordin
bias, we see the Freddo Ice Cream advertisement as confirming societal gender stereotypes that women are sec
Even though these cognitive biases happen automatically, we learned in Theme 2 that they influence our opinions
The Theme 1 overview describes one of the big questions in psychology as “What motivates individuals to act in c
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used this question, along with the evidence about cognitive biases, to help inform my own question about gender
also using my own experiences because in my household I do more of the cleaning, while my husband does the l
behaviors fit into stereotypical gender roles of women doing more of the cleaning and cooking and men doing mo
work. Although my experience is different than the gender stereotypes portrayed in the advertisements, these beh
the theme of gender stereotypes. I created a question a social scientist might ask using both the information from
my own experiences. Based on this information, my social science question is: How do cognitive biases influence
adhere to gender stereotypes?
American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Definition of psychology. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/about/
The Baumann Foundation. (2013). The halo effect: Why angels and devils walk the earth. Retrieved from
Nickerson, R. S. (1998). Confirmation bias: A ubiquitous phenomenon in many guises. Review of General Psycho
The four advertisement i choosed
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