Picture perfect: The direct effect of manipulated Instagram photos on body image in adolescent girls
Number of pages
SourceMedia Psychology, 21, 1, (2018), pp. 93-110
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI CW
SubjectCommunication and Media
This study investigates the effect of manipulated Instagram photos on adolescent girls' body image, and whether social comparison tendency moderates this relation. A between-subject experiment was conducted in which 144 girls (14-18 years old) were randomly exposed to either original or manipulated (retouched and reshaped) Instagram selfies. Results showed that exposure to manipulated Instagram photos directly led to lower body image. Especially, girls with higher social comparison tendencies were negatively affected by exposure to the manipulated photos. Interestingly, the manipulated photos were rated more positively than the original photos. Although the use of filters and effects was detected, reshaping of the bodies was not noticed very well. Girls in both conditions reported to find the pictures realistic. Results of this study implied that the recent societal concern about the effects of manipulated photos in social media might be justified, especially for adolescent girls with a higher social comparison tendency.
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