Penn Journal of Philosophy: Volume 12, Issue 1

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  • Publication
    Understanding and Connecting Cultures within the World of Advertising
    (2017-11-15) Rahm, Isabella
    The advertising industry is a human enterprise at its core, constantly relying on and affecting human thoughts and behaviors. Advertisements for products and services reflect cultural messages and the values that shape our daily lives. This two-part article first offers a literature review of the effect of antismoking ads on teenagers’ behavior and attitudes towards smoking across Western, English-speaking societies within a cultural psychology framework. Then, it applies the themes from this literature review in presenting the results of a qualitative study exploring how employees at gyro, a business-to-business advertising agency, incorporate cultural thinking into their advertising process. Conclusions drawn in my review indicate that visceral negative and personal testimonies appealing to the emotions of a teenage audience positively affect youth and discourage them from smoking across cultures. Moreover, the digital age is transforming youth culture because adolescents are increasingly interacting by sharing posts and photos online via social media. Consequently, stronger reliance on online communication can extensively impact communities by closing some of the major cultural gaps. The review indicates that youth antismoking advertising evolves as a subculture in much the same way that larger cultures do. The qualitative study complements this underlying cultural evolution by demonstrating that advertisers actually do use methods of advancing culture in their work. In fact, the study reveals that culture is central to the creative advertising process. For instance, advertisers adjust the content of a message depending on whether a client is asking for a global, national, or regional campaign, in order to appeal to the right audience and deliver interesting and emotional experiences. Advertisers use tools, drawing from cultural psychology, to make their messages maximally effective and attractive. It is important to understand culture in order to create connections between societies around the globe within the world of advertising.
  • Publication
    Why the Future of Marijuana Legalization is Still Uncertain
    (2017-11-15) Chernew, Adam
    The purpose of this paper is to examine the future of the marijuana legalization movement and the prospects of recreational marijuana legalization at the national level. While the marijuana movement has made tremendous strides at the state level over a very short period of time, there remains a debate over whether or not this progress will translate into success federally. First, this paper reviews the literature from the field, the majority of which focuses on whether marijuana ought to be legalized for recreational use in the first place. Despite extensive research, the evidence from the field is far from definitive. It remains unclear whether recreational legalization of marijuana raises teenage usage, whether the harmful side effects of marijuana are offset by its medical benefits, and whether the social costs of marijuana prohibition outweigh the social costs associated with its increased use. This paper also details political obstacles obstructing federal legalization of marijuana. Even if state-based evidence for recreational legalization was overwhelmingly favorable, there would still be significant obstacles to federal legalization of marijuana. These obstacles include a backward drug classification system, an anti-marijuana Attorney General, and key constituencies that oppose marijuana legalization. This paper concludes that despite the liberalization of marijuana policies at the state level, the future of federal legalization is still hazy at best.
  • Publication
    Letter from the Editor
    (2017-11-15) Lipton, Casey
  • Publication
    Getting Out of Your Way to Help Others: Responsibility to Help and Warm-Glow
    (2017-11-15) Jeon, Jongmin (Chris)
    In the past decades, three major theories emerged as key motivators in altruistic behaviors: pure altruism, external motivation, and warm-glow, which refers to utility that people derive from altruistic actions in a form of warm, positive feeling. Recently, more studies have focused on understanding warm-glow and its components, such as social image concern and empathic stimuli, in order to better comprehend and encourage altruistic behaviors. We propose that responsibility to help is a potential factor that influences warm-glow from altruistic behavior. In our proposed experimental design, we will test the hypothesis that people would anticipate less warm-glow if the responsibility to help is high, but would anticipate more warm-glow if the responsibility to help is low. We also hypothesize that higher responsibility to help would lead to more altruistic behaviors. Support for our hypothesis, as shown in the preliminary data, would render significant implications to charities as their tendency to make people feel responsible to give may have a tradeoff between increased short-term donation and reduced warm-glow feeling that donors experience.