The impact of thin ideal images on mood: what role do demand characteristics play?
thesisposted on 22.05.2021, 12:00 authored by Zahra Vahedi
Previous research has shown that female viewers generally experience detrimental effects following exposure to idealized media images. However, in experimental studies, demand characteristics – or cues that help the participant deduce the true purpose of the study – might influence the responses participants provide, particularly in studies involving idealized images. The present study investigated the potential role of demand characteristics following exposure to media images. Undergraduate female students (N = 172) were assigned to three groups (Implied Demand, Minimized Demand and Control), two of which were exposed to idealized media images in fashion magazines. Demand characteristics were manipulated when the experimenter provided the magazines during a break period, and participants’ mood was assessed both pre and post-exposure. Contrary to previous research, our results indicated that exposure to magazine images did not have consistently detrimental effects on the measures of participants’ mood. Potential explanations for these results and future directions of research are discussed.