By Harsh Godhani, Managing Editor
Crystal Quillen, a professor of psychology, and her social psychology class held a ‘Cupcake Wars’ contest in the College Center lobby on Feb. 14 from 11 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. to raise donations for the Edison Animal Shelter.
The social psychology students in Quillen’s class were divided among six teams, each who were stationed on a different table showcasing their variety of cupcake.
According to the flier, each team had 120 cupcakes and they must compete against each other on selling their cupcakes to the students passing by. Students had to persuade each passerby to donate to their table instead of the opposing teams’.
Quillen said, “Before we began our Cupcake Wars, students spent a class period talking about persuasion.
It is one of the most influential types of social influence. There are two theories for persuasion: the Yale approach and the Elaboration Likelihood Model. Students were to incorporate these theories and sell their cupcakes.”
Each cupcake was valued at $1. The College’s community participated by using their power of the purse to donate to a specific table. The table that collected the largest sum of money would be the winner of the contest.
Teams used different tactics to approach students and staff and sell cupcakes. Some teams simply sat back and waited for students to approach their tables, while others stood in front of their tables and urged anyone who passed by to purchase their cupcakes.
Quillen said, “The more successful groups used signs displaying information about the Edison Animal Shelter and ‘Build-A-Cupcake.’ One of the teams decorated their table with tinsel and balloons. They even passed out candy as an incentive. Some of the teams ventured away from the College Center and sold their cupcakes to faculty and staff in their offices.”
Two teams used a variation of tactics to collect as many donations as possible. By noon, each team had sold majority of their cupcakes. With 20 minutes left in the contest, Andreo Patrick and Kellie Kilsby, both sophomore criminal justice majors and part of social psychology class, were not stressed about the competition. They both said they had teammates in Crabiel Hall and other locations on campus selling cupcakes.
Quillen said, “We don’t have an official winner yet, but two teams came very close. I can say that all six teams earned over $700 in cash and Venmo totals combined. The money will go to the Edison Animal Shelter.”