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Old 04-21-2006, 05:30 AM
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Default Re: Research Initiative of the Week: Critiquing Commercials

Ok, so I saw this commercial, and was confused. I thought it was going to be how we make our kids obese by feeding them trash at an early age. But it was actually meant to be positive.

I could not hear, but it looked like some type of family commercial, about spending time on your kids.

So they showed the daily schedule for this 5 year old. It starts out with his parents giving him a box—yes a box—of donuts for breakfast. Then, 3 hours later, he plays some game with them. Then, they gave him some sugary cereal and milk (or some junk food like that). Then, he goes outside and plays. Then, several hours later, they give him a bag of carrots!!! Then he plays again. Now here is the kicker, at the end, his parents gave him a bag of burger king lmao! I was in shock. I am hoping that maybe I misinterpreted this, because that is the worst commercial ever. I was waiting for them to show that kid like 5 years later, obese or something. [img]/forum/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

Ok, now the second commercial I saw was this.

This young lady was apparently afraid of heights. So they showed her at standing on the edge of a hill, about 20 feet or so over the ground, with water underneath. She was holding onto a rope, that would swig her across, and then drop her into the water. She said that she was absolutely terrified, but that this one motivational speaker convinced her to do it, and that she was glad, because the only way to get rid of her fear was to face it heads up.

That is the worst thing you could do to someone with a phobia. That method is like 100 years outdated!

Here is a quote from my article last issue of JHR, explaining why this is bad, and how to properly get rid of phobias.

Exercise and Stress Part 5—Stress Management

Systematic Desensitization

The name is very descriptive. Systematic Desensitization is a behaviorist approach that suggests that fears are often conditioned, and do not involve cognitive processes. It deals with phobias, panic attacks and such like situations. For example, if someone has difficulties talking in front of large crowds, just standing in front of a large crowd (the stimulus)—even if you do not have catastrophic cognitive thoughts—could trigger a stressful response.

As the term systematic dictates, it is a progressive process. Opposite of this would be “flooding” which involves completely exposing someone to their fears, until they are no longer afraid. For instance, if someone is afraid of snakes, you would throw them in a room of snakes until they were no longer afraid. However, this technique is simplistic, and though it may help, it also may produce adverse residual effects (Simmons, 2006).

Thus, the goal of this technique is to systematically desensitize the fear of the stimulus. There are several steps to implementing this technique, as follows (Simmons, 2006).

First, the client must learn how to be relaxed. This can be done through using the aforementioned techniques such as progressive relaxation.

Then, implement imagery. Imagery can be defined as creating or recreating images in the mind. Imagery involves all the senses including visual, kinesthetic, auditory, and olfactory senses. It also involves moods and emotions (Simons, 2005).

Along with this, implement modeling (observational learning). This involves watching someone else perform a certain behavior.

Finally, you should slowly expose the individual to the stimulus in real life.

Let’s elaborate on this with an example.

Suppose someone is afraid of dogs.

First, have them perform progressive relaxation and meditation for a week, to get them to learn what it feels like to be relaxed.

Second, implement imagery. Start slowly, by imaging being a block away from a dog. Now, pair this stressful situation with relaxation techniques. So while they are imaging this, have them focus on being relaxed and calm. And you can keep imaging getting closer and closer to the dog, until the person images being with the dog, and perhaps petting the dog, all the while being relaxed. If the person ever freaks out during an imagery session, simply take a step back, and slowly progress forward. It is important to understand that the person must be imaging his or herself doing the action, and the more senses are involved in the situation, the better the results will be.

Another great technique is modeling. Most effective models for this method are peer coping models. These are models with similar attributes to the client such as age, gender, height, etc. And, they also have a phobia with the situation (in this case, dogs). The client would watch the coping model successfully cope with his or her fear of dogs, and the hope is that the client will think “if this person can do it, so can I.” Evidence supports the efficacy of this technique (McCullagh, 2005).

Finally, you should have the person actually confront his or her fear in real life. Again, take it progressively, and take a step backwards any time you have a set back.

During this time, you should implement verbal persuasion, and educate the person on their phobia. For instance, tell them that dogs are friendly animals, and won’t hurt them. This will help decrease the fear and uncertainty aspects of stress.

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It just amazes me the stuff they put on TV these days. [img]/forum/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]
Gabriel "Venom" Wilson, Ph.D. Nutritional Sciences
B.S. (Hons) & M.S. in Kinesiology, CSCS
Vice President, ABCbodybuilding
Co-Editor. of JHR
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