Breaking the circle: Challenging Western sociocultural norms for appearance influences young women's attention to appearance-related media
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SourceBody Image, 10, 3, (2013), pp. 316-325
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OGG
SW OZ BSI SCP
SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being; Developmental Psychopathology
Paying attention to thin media models may negatively affect women's self-evaluation. This study aimed to reduce the amount of attention that young women give to appearance-related information by challenging the sociocultural norms for appearance, and studied the moderating role of self-esteem. Seventy-one college women either received norm-confirming, norm-challenging, or no information regarding the sociocultural norms for appearance. Subsequently, participants’ visual attention to appearance-related and neutral advertisements was measured using an eye-tracker. The results demonstrate that when no information or norm-confirming information was received, women with lower self-esteem paid more attention to the appearance-related advertisements than women with higher self-esteem. Importantly however, when norm-challenging information was received, women with lower self-esteem paid significantly less attention to the appearance-related ads than women with lower self-esteem who did not receive this manipulation. These findings indicate that challenging the sociocultural norms for appearance can attenuate the amount of attention women give to appearance-related media.
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