Forget the credo “sex sells.” It doesn’t, and neither does violence, according to a new study by Iowa State University. I-S-U researchers had more than 320 men and women watch T-V programs in three categories: violent, sexually explicit or neutral. The same nine commercials ran in all of the shows. I-S-U psychology professor Brad Bushman conducted the study.He says the people who watched the neutral or more family-oriented programs were 39-percent more likely to remember which ads they saw. The ads all had broad market appeal, including soft drinks, breakfast cereals, snack foods and laundry detergent. Bushman says the results of the study may influence the way advertisers spend their money. He says if people can’t remember the ad, then it’s unlikely they would buy the product. He says that means sponsors of violent or sexually explicit programs won’t get a response to their ads.Bushman says violence and sex “impaired the memory” for men and women of all ages. He says moral appeals from citizens to cut the sex and violence on T-V won’t have much effect, but he says this sort of study might have an impact since profits determine programming.
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