<body> Public Ad Campaign: How We Feel About a Billboard Can Impact Our Driving
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How We Feel About a Billboard Can Impact Our Driving

A small article recently appeared on the Atlantic Cities blog about outdoor advertising's effect on your cognitive processes as they alter your emotions ones way or the other. While the article points out that driving may be one task that is susceptible to "emotional distraction" I would argue that advertising's effects on our daily lives should not be looked at on a task by task basis, but on our public lives more generally. If I can be distracted from a simple task at hand by the content of a billboard, it would follow that the compounded effects become a distraction to life itself. 
Research suggests that human emotion has an impact on cognition. If you’re in an emotional state – happy, angry, sad – that can influence how you perform complex tasks, how long it takes you to search for something or to react to a stimulus.

Consider the task of driving, which demands all of the above (multi-tasking, close attention, quick reactions). As it turns out, driving can be susceptible to "emotional distraction" too, and from a seemingly insignificant source: roadside billboards hawking sunny beach vacations or warning of lung cancer. More [HERE]

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