Believing the thin-ideal is the norm promotes body image concerns : beauty is "thin" deep?

dc.contributor.advisorBigler, Rebecca S.en
dc.creatorKrones, Pamela Gayle, 1965-en
dc.description.abstractObjective: Although studies have demonstrated that the media-portrayed thin-ideal images and social comparison processes increase body dissatisfaction and negative affect, research has not tested whether women experience pluralistic ignorance by believing that the thin-ideal is an achievable norm. Method: In Study 1, 172 women completed a questionnaire that assessed the extent to which a participant believed that the thin-ideal body image represented the normative body size among women. In Study 2, 356 women participated in a five condition experiment that manipulated the body size of an attractive college student (i.e., thin-ideal or average-sized) and information about the achievability of the woman’s body size (i.e., achievable, not achievable, or no information). Results: Study 1 found no evidence that thin-ideal norm endorsement affected body dissatisfaction or negative affect. Study 2 revealed an increase in body dissatisfaction but not negative affect in the thin-ideal achievable and thin-ideal no information conditions. The results also indicated a marginally significant decrease in negative views of the self in the average-sized achievable and average-sized no information conditions. Furthermore, participants with low self-esteem or poor social support felt better in the average-sized achievable condition when compared to the thin-ideal achievable condition. Also, participants with a higher BMI felt more depressed in the thin-ideal achievable condition when compared to the average-sized achievable condition. Discussion: Results suggest that thin-ideal norm endorsement increased body dissatisfaction by way of social comparative processes and perhaps, pluralistic ignorance. Because participants with low self-esteem or poor social support felt better after seeing an average-sized peer who was said to be the achievable ideal, these results have implications for clinical treatment and prevention interventions.en
dc.rightsCopyright is held by the author. Presentation of this material on the Libraries' web site by University Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin was made possible under a limited license grant from the author who has retained all copyrights in the works.en
dc.subject.lcshBody image in womenen
dc.titleBelieving the thin-ideal is the norm promotes body image concerns : beauty is "thin" deep?en Psychologyen University of Texas at Austinen of Philosophyen

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