[MUSIC] The media are a another popular tool for changing target behaviors. The range of technologies is vast, including broadcast media such as the radio, film, and television, newspaper, Internet, and even public events. Common intervention include information campaigns, entertainment, ranging from soap operas to video games. And other more modest form of collective entertainment such as village theater. The viewers of soap operas, or at a more local level village theater, are driven to discuss the characters and their actions. These discussion create an environment that facilitates changes in beliefs, as well as in social expectations. Soap operas, in particular, have been credited with the induction of considerable belief and behavioral changes. These shows present viewers with characters where easy to identify with, yet frequently deviate from maladaptive behavioural patterns. In many respects, the characters in soap operas are the perfect instances of schema discrepant information. They are largely prototypical to particular social group yet, they often deviate in specific and ambiguous and positive ways. Effective soap opera's should draw upon research on script and schema change. To change people beliefs about what they can and should expect from a particular social group, the character should be prototypical enough so that subtyping is avoided yet deviant enough so that meaningful schema revision is attained. For example, a soap opera centered on a young girl should have her adhere to all the values and the interests that are typical of a girl from such a community. Yet, at the same time, she should also also spouse different aspirations. Perhaps she wants to stay in school longer, marry later, or even choose her own husband. Viewing such an otherwise prototypical character has the potential to cause someone to update their associated social schema. In this case, the schema for a young girl. Recall, the schema defiant instances that are largely prototypical are harder to subtype. As there are many different soap operas that people can watch, that all feature the same relevant qualities, they present relatable characters that deviate from expectation, in similar positive ways. And the schema defiant qualities are repeatedly observed each time one watches an episode. The type of schema change that is occurring would be best modeled by the bookkeeping model of schema change that we discussed in lecture nine. Even though such characters and stories are fictional, they can still feel real enough to the viewer to be persuasive. When viewers identify with particular characters, they see the character perspective as their own, share his or her experience, and therefore vicariously experience their discoveries. The more frequently they encounter particular characters, the more connected to them viewers will feel. Several studies show, that the behavioral impact of soap operas is substantial and positive. They have influenced many social phenomena ranging from fertility rates in Brazil, to appreciation of women rights and doctonomy in India, to family planning and inter group relation in Africa. For example, studies of the effect of the telenovelas in Brazi, show how the independent female characters in these soap operas served as benevolent role models for their viewers. All the female protagonists in these shows rarely had many children, had high divorce rates, and pursued meaningful and ambitious jobs, but were otherwise representative of typical Brazilian women. Once coverage was introduced to a new region, birth rates subsequently dropped and divorce rate rose. Interestingly, birth rates dropped the most for older women who match the age profile of the telenovela characters. All viewers, presumably, updated their beliefs and expectation after watching the soap operas. Yet, it was the older women who found this new expectation to be more self-relevant. Longitudinal survey data in several regions of rural India show an association between the advent of cable television access and lower female acceptance rate of spousal abuse. A diminish preference for sons, greater levels of female autonomy, as measured by levels of household decision making, and lower fertility rates. Indian soap operas typically feature educated urban families and liberated female characters who marry later and have fewer children. Twenda na Wakati, a successful Tanzanian radio soap opera, was designed to promote positive beliefs toward family planning practices. After comparing the behavior of those who listened to the radio show with those who did not, within treatment areas, the differences were evident. 49% of married women who actually listened to the show adopted family planning practices, as compared to 19% of those who did not listen. And adoption rates of female listener increased to 64% if they talked about the family planning content of the soap opera with their spouses. High levels of communication with spouses and friends were also reported. This discussion would help to infer how relevant others feel about family planning, thereby facilitating a shift in normative expectation. Interestingly, exposure had no impact on awareness of family planning methods, which was already high at the beginning of the intervention. Here we see how purely informational campaigns may not be sufficient to change important structural elements of family planning schema's. Indeed, the availability of a long-term show that represented models of action, and characters that easily fit into social roles became crucial in changing the listener empirical expectation about the possibility, and indeed, the advisability of adopting new practices. The public character of these shows helped people realize that many others were listening and stimulate a discussion among friends who followed the same program. Let us now listen to the importance of soap operas as a tool for change. >> Soap operas, related drama performances are also very good at facilitating change because they help to model behavior. People see people like themselves on the stage, their life stories are played out for them and they can see this happening. Soap operas help to desensitize some of these topics. They play on their own, so you can see yourself in it, and you live your decisions through what you're seeing in the drama performance. In fact, this is very useful in Sudan because Sudan is a very oral tradition. We are into poetry, we are into drama, we are into songs, we are into music. This is a very useful way also of putting the issues on the table without going all out to discuss what is right with FGC, what is wrong with FGC. Because people can see it played out before them. So yes, soap operas are very useful. >> It's not that the soap opera or any other intervention is a fantasy and that you'll have norm change and collective behavior change overnight. First of all, it's a slow process. You cannot be in too much of a rush to get your message across. I remember that when we did a soap opera in India called kind of in the style of what we call the shows or the mother in law, daughter in law saga, that's a pretty universal saga. That really cuts across socioeconomic groups. It happens in well to do families. It happens in not so well to do families. So, when we did that, we did not introduce any messaging for the first several months actually, until we had some idea that we were getting our audience hooked because that's really what you need to do. You need to have a certain level of certainty that your audience is already getting interested in your story, to follow your story from episode to episode. And now you can start subtly and gently inserting your content of what you want to say. But if you get too top heavy with this, then again, it's going alienate people because they want to listen to your story. It should, if it's well done, give you a new perspective on certain behaviors. For example, let me tell you that in one of the messages of the storylines dealt with open defecation, I mean, sanitation. And what the story was, was really that the girl who was getting married, the young girl who was about to be married, discovered that there was no toilet in the house of the man she was going to marry and whose house she would be then be living in. She made that a big issue and said, I'm not going to marry this guy if there's no toilet in his house. That's how the whole idea of how important it is to have a toilet and that she was used to having a toilet in her house. She certainly wasn't going to married to a guy who didn't have a toilet. Of course, he was so in love with her and he built the toilet. And then they get married and live happily ever after, presumably.