Exploring the impact of Fitspiration imagery and body dissatisfaction on attentional bias to body stimuli in male undergraduates
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Body image dissatisfaction relates to negative evaluations of one’s body size which usually involves a perceived discrepancy between a person’s evaluation of their own body and their “ideal” body (Grogan, 2016, p. 4). Contemporary research has recognised an association between body dissatisfaction (BD) and the influence of the media, using experimental designs such as visual dot probe tasks as a measure of attentional bias (AB) and priming as a source of media exposure. This study aims to explore the influence of a Fitspiration prime on BD, social media usage and AB. Participants consisted of 20 male undergraduate students who were assigned to view a set of idealized male body images on a fitspiration prime (experimental group) or a set of nature images (control group) via an Instagram account. They were required to complete a visual dot probe task before and after the priming as a measure of attention and further questionnaires to measure their BD and social media usage. An independent t-test and a mixed ANOVA were employed to analyse the results where it was determined that the experimental priming had no effect on participants BD or AB. These findings were evaluated with regards to existing literature where limitations and considerations for future research were suggested.
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