Does social media use influence attentional bias to body-related cues in females?
MetadataDangos cofnod eitem llawn
Literature has suggested that social media has an influence on decreasing self-esteem and confidence in females. Social media is covered with images of female bodies, more so the unrealistic portrayal of thin ideals. Majority of users spend their time viewing what others share which results in a vast amount of social comparison. This has led to many females suffering from body dissatisfaction, especially individuals with eating disorders. Elevated levels of body dissatisfaction have been related to higher attentional bias to body image stimuli. Research has focused predominantly on attentional bias in clinical patients with eating disorders. Whilst this is beneficial, there is little experimental research conducted on attentional bias in non-clinical females. This study aims to fill the gap in literature by carrying out an experimental study measuring the influence of social media on attentional bias to body-related cues in non-clinical females. More visually based social media platforms have been used to extend research. Psychology students (n=36) completed a social media usage questionnaire to establish a score. This was then followed by a visual dot probe task which included fat, thin and neutral stimuli. Participants were grouped into high or low social media usage using a median split. The data was analysed using a 2 – way ANOVA, which measured any main effects between the two social media groups. Findings demonstrated that there was no significant interaction of social media on stimuli type. However, there was a significant effect of social media on attentional bias to body-related cues in high social media users. This matched the predicted hypothesis.
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