Walter Dill Scott Publishes The Theory of Advertising (Great Events from History II: Business and Commerce Series)
Article abstract: By placing advertising on a scientific basis, Walter Dill Scott taught American businesspeople how to manipulate consumers’ tastes and buying habits.
Summary of Event
Walter Dill Scott received his Ph.D. in 1900 at the University of Leipzig, where he studied under the famous Wilhelm Wundt, who was attempting to make an exact science of psychology. Scott was fascinated with the potential of this budding science and devoted his life to studying its principles. He was associate professor of psychology and education at the prestigious Northwestern University from 1901 to 1908, professor of psychology from 1908 to 1920, and president of Northwestern from 1921 until he retired in 1939.
Scott published many books on the application of scientific psychological principles to business practice. He was imbued with the spirit of progress that characterized the early part of the twentieth century and sincerely believed that the free enterprise system would provide nothing but good things for the American people. Several of his books dealt with the subject of advertising, and all were popular with businesspeople because he offered advice that was badly needed and unavailable from other sources.
Advertising was in its infancy in the early part of the twentieth century. Many businesspeople understood its awesome potential, but no one understood how to make it work effectively and predictably....
(The entire section is 2197 words.)
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