Pro- and Antisocial Behavior

Pro-and Antisocial Behavior

Pro-and Antisocial Behavior

Theway people learn behavior is a topic of great interest topsychologists both in the past and in the modern society. The violentbehavior of the youth of today is at times attributed to mediaviolence. This essay will look at anti social and pro-social behaviorin relation to advertisements.

Pro-socialBehavior in BP’s Oil Spill Ad

Althoughads have largely been criticized for promoting anti-social behaviors,some ads have also depicted pro-social behavior. One of such ads isthe BP ad which was done during the BP oil spill. The ad wasapologetic for the oil spills which polluted the Gulf of Mexico. Inthis TV, online and billboard ad, the company’s chief executiveofficer Tony Hayward is pledging to correct the damage resulting froman undersea gusher of unrefined oil released by a drilling rigexplosion which left eleven people dead. In the ad, the CEO statesthat the company will honor financial claims and prevent anypossibility of future disasters of this kind. The ad also thanks theefforts of the authorities and independent organization in promotingthe cleaning efforts to save the environment and aquatic life.Although the ad has also been criticized, the message is clear,taking responsibility and apologizing for mistakes done, which is apro-social behavior.

Anti-socialBehavior in Sisley Fashion Ad

Themedia and in particular advertisements have great influence onbehavior of the audience. Many are the times when advertisers havecome under strong criticism from independent groups around the globefor ignoring the very basics of ethics and morals in the society. Oneof such ads is the 2007 fashion ad by Sisley designer where two womenare pictured snorting a shirt with the line “Fashion Junkie” Thead compares the use of drugs and being addicted to fashion as one andthe same thing, which is obviously a line that the fashion housecrossed. Being a valued brand, this ad may suggest that addiction ordrug use is a positive or desired behavior especially among youngpeople.

Applicationof Social Learning Theory

Behavingpro-socially or anti-socially can be explained by social learningtheory. This theory was developed by psychologist Albert Bandura andstates that, learning is a cognitive process which occurs in a socialcontext and can take place merely through observation or directinstruction even without direct reinforcement or motor production(Akers &amp Jensen, 2011). As such, adverts play an important roleas they influence people through observation and direction as in thecase of videos clips. In the modern era, social learning and cultureare going hand in hand. Youths and young people want to belong to acertain culture, most of which is learnt from media (Dabbagh &ampKitsantas, 2012). The ad on Sisley shirt ad shows that drug use is anorm that is even comparable to addiction to fashion. This is likelyto impact negative behavior among the youth watching such ads.Consequently, the BP apologetic ad and a show of responsibility bythe CEO is likely to promote pro-social behavior among the populace.A company CEO is an influential individual and being humble enough toapologize and appreciate external support for such a big company is ashow of responsibility. Responsibility is a desired social behaviorthat every person needs to adopt.


Conclusively,the use of ads to promote anti-social and pro-social behavior is acommon notion. According to Bandura’s social learning theory, bothanti-social and pro-social behaviors are learned through observationor direct instruction.


Akers,R. L., &amp Jensen, G. F. (Eds.). (2011). Sociallearning theory and the explanation of crime(Vol. 1). Transaction Publishers.

Dabbagh,N., &amp Kitsantas, A. (2012). Personal Learning Environments,social media, and self-regulated learning: A natural formula forconnecting formal and informal learning. TheInternet and higher education,15(1),3-8.