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Social Psychology to Improve the Packaging of Products

Strahan et al. (2002) talks about ways in which social psychological findings can be exploited to improve the labelling on cigarette packages. But surely that's not the only domain in which social psychological findings can be applied to improve the packaging of products that have implications for health. Lots of other products may adversely affect health. And lots of additional products may have positive impacts on health. In what additional clever ways might specific pieces of social psychological knowledge be applied to the packaging of of health-relevant products?

I am looking for more of personal notes instead of outside sources. Although, it needs to be empirically based.

It would be great if you respond to this question by stating your opinions and ideas on this topic, relating them to the empirical findings of research/ literature done in the field.

Solution Preview

The Alcohol & Public Health Research Unit in Australia and New Zealand wished to support the introduction of health warnings on alcohol containers, each with a single message from a rotated set of several alcohol-related health risks. This support is based on available research which indicates that alcohol health warnings on containers can be an effective, low cost and publicly supported mechanism that raises awareness about alcohol related harm and its influence on the social climate in which drinking occurs.

Alcohol container labels have been introduced in the United States, Mexico and India, warning people of the risks of drinking while pregnant, driving a vehicle and other health problems. Public Law No.110-690, 1988, mandated a health warning label about foetal alcohol syndrome, from November 1989, based on research evaluation of other health labeling, notably on tobacco products (Holder 1993).

An evaluation carried out by the Alcohol Research Group and the Department of Psychiatry of the University of California, San Francisco, has emerged with the following conclusions which assist to make container labels an attractive harm reduction intervention for governments (Greenfield,
1. Product health warning labels should act as an effective mechanism to reach the appropriate 'target groups'. For instance, teenagers who are usually prone to fall prey to addictions such as drugs, alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, etc.
2. Label messages can focus on practical, plausible preventative ...

Solution Summary

Attitudes and behavior of people play a vital role in the choice to continue or alternatively quit formed habits including smoking. Overall, beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, and the interplay between these social psychological variables need to be taken into consideration while producing effective labels for packaging of health relevant products.