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Original Articles About Psychology, Masculinity, and the Infomercial Form

The three issues that are explored by original articles in this issue have received little scholarly attention to date. Katherine Parkin's article on Ernest Dichter and motivational research probes the historical connections between a topic of considerable concern to the academic discipline of psychology and an area of massive significance to advertising. Parkin's article looks into this relationship between theory and practical application and tells the about Ernest Dichter's relationship to advertising.

Mark Grandstaff's article reinterprets public ideas about military service and manhood during World War II by exploring the representations of masculinity that appeared in period advertisements. His findings contribute to a fuller understanding of the role of advertising in the war effort and its role in constructing societal ideas about men's lives and the values that shape them. The author interestingly connects the myths of masculinity of the World War II period to long-standing mythologies of manhood in Western culture.

Wayne Hope and Rosser Johnson, by contrast, focus their attention on one of the most ubiquitous, yet modern forms of advertising—the infomercial that commonly airs not only in the United States but in many other countries as well. They look at the history of the genre, the features that define it, and at its functions as an advertising form.

William M. O'Barr