Print Edition: January 11, 2012
UFV’s second annual poster competition, organized by the visual arts department, is taking place this year with an inspired theme. Graphics instructor Arthur Babiarz explained that the idea for the competition theme “Uncommon Goodness” was sparked by the research done by UBC professor Karl Aquino.
Aquino led a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, a study investigating whether people who experience or observe compassion or goodness are more likely to behave altruistically themselves. Aquino’s research showed a direct link between witnessing acts of goodness, and emotions or thoughts that lead to acts of goodness.
Looking at media, Aquino and co-researcher Brent McFerran of the University of Michigan found that if more attention was dedicated to stories of altruism, the media would have a more positive effect on its viewers. The study shows that reading and watching stories in the media of uncommon goodness had a positive effect on the thoughts and actions of the observers.
The researchers conducted a series of tests on individuals, exposing them to uncommon acts of compassion and goodness in various forms. A correlation was found between the subjects observing these acts, and a subsequent act of charity. Interestingly, Aquino found that this correlation would be less strong if the subject observing these acts of goodness did not identify with the morality; yet, even those who had only a slight—or even entirely absent—moral sense would still be affected by the acts observed.
Nevertheless, Aquino followed through with the media as a source to affect viewers by selecting stories of human compassion or goodness to trigger a compassionate response in the viewers, themselves. For example, Aquino looked at a natural disaster in a country that would rely on aid from other countries. Rather than showing broad scenes of desperation and hardship, the media might be more effective in strategies to raise aid and compassion from viewers by focusing on individual acts of goodness.
“Uncommon Goodness,” then, is the theme of this year’s poster competition – people who see goodness, do good. The poster competition itself is an interesting twist off of Karl Aquino’s research. A poster reflecting this theme might trigger emotion and acts of goodness through an effective and emotive visual for students at UFV. Participants can submit individually or in teams of two students, while each participant may submit up to two entries.
All entries will be judged on creativity and effectiveness, whether the work is visually dynamic and innovative, and relevance to the theme of the competition. The design should incorporate UFV’s name and logo. Any two-dimensional physical or digital format may be used, and they should be printable in a vertical or horizontal poster format.
The registration form submission deadline is January 23, 2012, while the entries submission deadline is January 30, 2012. Participants must submit their work to the Visual Arts office on the Abbotsford campus, building C.