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van den Berg, Patricia.
Self-schema and social comparison explanations of body dissatisfaction
h [electronic resource] /
by Patricia van den Berg.
[Tampa, Fla.] :
b University of South Florida,
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2005.
Includes bibliographical references.
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ABSTRACT: The current study was an investigation of the self-schema and social comparison theories of the development of body dissatisfaction. Social comparison stimuli, consisting of photographs of women, were piloted and selected to form 3 stimuli sets: upward comparison, downward comparison, and no comparison. A priming manipulation consisting of an imagery exercise intended to prime participants appearance self-schema was also piloted. Participants completed state measures of body image and mood at pretest, were given the priming manipulation and the social comparison stimuli, then completed posttest measures of mood and body image, as well as providing demographic information. Results indicated no significant interaction between priming and social comparison and no significant main effect for priming. However, there was a significant effect of social comparison, such that those in the downward comparison condition showed decreased body dissatisfaction and negative mood.
Adviser: J. Kevin Thompson, Ph.D.
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
Self-Schema And Social Comparison E xplanations of B ody Dissatisfaction by Patricia van den Berg A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Psychology College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: J. Kevin Thompson, Ph.D. Michael Brannick, Ph.D. Jonathon Rottenberg, Ph.D. Douglas Nelson, Ph.D. Vicky Phares, Ph.D. Date of Approval: July 15, 2005 Keywords: body image, body dissatisfaction, self -schema, social comparison, appearance Copyright 2005 Patricia van den Berg
i Table of Contents List of Tables................................................................................................................. ....iii List of Figures................................................................................................................ ....iv Abstract....................................................................................................................... .........v Introduction................................................................................................................... .......1 Self-Schema Theory........................................................................................................3 Social Comparison Theory...........................................................................................14 Studies Combining Self-schem a and Social Comparison.............................................20 Current Study................................................................................................................25 Hypotheses....................................................................................................................2 5 Method and Results............................................................................................................2 8 Pilot Study 1: Social Comparison Stimuli....................................................................28 Method......................................................................................................................28 Participants............................................................................................................28 Materials...............................................................................................................28 Measures...............................................................................................................29 Procedure..............................................................................................................29 Results.......................................................................................................................3 0 Pilot Study 2: Priming Manipulation............................................................................31 Method......................................................................................................................31 Participants............................................................................................................31 Materials...............................................................................................................31 Measures...............................................................................................................32
ii Procedure..............................................................................................................34 Results.......................................................................................................................3 4 Main Study....................................................................................................................3 5 Method......................................................................................................................35 Participants............................................................................................................35 Materials...............................................................................................................36 Measures...............................................................................................................36 Procedure..............................................................................................................38 Design and Analyses.............................................................................................39 Results.......................................................................................................................4 0 Discussion..................................................................................................................... .....57 References..................................................................................................................... .....65 Appendices..................................................................................................................... ....78 Appendix A: Sample items from Stimuli Rating Questionnaire.................................79 Appendix B: Instructions for the ap pearance and non-appearance priming manipulations........................................................................................................80 Appendix C: Adapted version of the Word Stem Completion Task (Tiggemann et al., 2004).....................................................................................................................81 Appendix D: Body Image States Scal e (Cash, Fleming, et al., 2002)..........................83 Appendix E: Example of VAS item Ov erall Appearance Satisfaction......................85 Appendix F: Demographics Questionnaire...................................................................86 Appendix G: Attention Check Questionnaire...............................................................87 About the AuthorEnd Page
iii List of Tables Table 1 Mean ratings and t-tests of the stim uli sets selected for use in the main study 30 Table 2 Means (standard deviations) and t-tests for the priming manipulation pilot sample 35 Table 3 Descriptive statisti cs for age and BMI by condition 41 Table 4 Descriptive statistics for race by condition 41 Table 5 Descriptive statistics fo r pretest and posttest VAS items 42 Table 6 Normality tests for original and transformed variables 44 Table 7 Correlations among the dependent variables 50 Table 8 Correlations among the pretest cova riates and posttest dependent variables 51 Table 9 Multivariate tests 52 Table 10 Univariate ANCOVA results 53 Table 11 Adjusted means of dependent variables for Comparison conditions 54 Table 12 Pairwise comparisons across comparison condition 55
iv List of Figures Figure 1. Cashs (2002b) model of the development and maintenance of body image disturbance. 8
v Self-schema and Social Comparison E xplanations of Body Dissatisfaction Patricia van den Berg ABSTRACT The current study was an investigation of the self-schema and social comparison theories of the development of body dissatisfaction. Social comparison stimuli, consisting of photographs of women, were piloted and se lected to form 3 stimuli sets: upward comparison, downward comparison, and no comparison. A priming manipulation consisting of an imagery exercise intended to prime participants appearance self-schema was also piloted. Participants completed state measures of body image and mood at pretest, were given the prim ing manipulation and the soci al comparison stimuli, then completed posttest measures of mood and body image, as well as providing demographic information. Results indicated no significan t interaction between priming and social comparison and no significant main effect for priming. However, there was a significant effect of social comparison, such that those in the downward comparison condition showed decreased body dissatisfaction and nega tive mood. Results are discussed in the context of self-schema theory and social co mparison, and suggestions are given for future research that might further shed light on these topics.
1 Introduction The current understanding of body image is as a multi-facete d construct with perceptual, cognitive, affective, and beha vioral components (Cash & Pruzinsky, 2002; Thompson, Heinberg, Altabe, & TantleffDunn, 1999). Cash and Pruzinsky (1990) defined the first three of th ese components in this way: Perceptually, we construct images and appraisals of the size and shape of various aspects of our body. Our cognitive body image includes attentional body-focus and related self-statements, as well as beliefs about our bodies and bodily experience ... The emotiona l component includes our experiences of comfort or discomfort, satisfaction or dissatisfaction a ssociated with our appearance as well as with many other aspects of body experience. (p. 338) Behavioral aspects of body image have most often been operationa lized in terms of avoidance of body image-related activities (Rosen, Srebnik, Sa ltzberg, & Wendt, 1991), appearance concealment and fixing behaviors su ch as checking ones appearance in the mirror, and more recently behavioral methods of coping with a challenge to ones body image (Cash, 2002b). Individuals can manifest body image dist urbance in any of these areas. The term body dissatisfaction is generally used to refer to subjective unhappiness with ones body or appearance (Thompson, Heinberg, Altabe, & TantleffDunn, 1999). Body image disturbance is closely associ ated with the clinical disorders of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and body dys morphic disorder. Di agnostic criteria for
2 anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, fo r instance, include body image disturbance (DSM-IV; American Psychiatri c Association, 1994). Rates of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are reported to be 1.0% and 3.0% of young women, respectively (American Psychiatric Association, 1994), w ith partial syndromes occurring much more frequently (Hoek & van Hoeken, 2003). These rates appear to have risen over the last century, especially among adolescent girl s (Hoek & van Hoeken, 2003). Anorexia nervosa is an extremely serious disorder, with ten percent of indivi duals who have been treated in a hospital setting even tually dying of the disorder. Bulimia nervosa, likewise, has serious medical consequences (Ameri can Psychiatric Association, 1994). Body dysmorphic disorder is a disorder of body im age in which a person becomes preoccupied with a real but minor, or nonexistent, de fect in his or her appearance (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). It has seve re consequences for sufferers, who in one study had a rate of suicide attempts of 30% (Phillips and Diaz, 1997). Body image disturbances also predict the later onset and maintenance of anorexia and bulimia nervosa (Stice & Shaw, 2002). In longitudinal studies body image disturbance has been found consistently to be one of the strongest risk factors for the development of eating disordered behavior in adolescents (A ttie & Brooks-Gunn, 1989; Cattarin & Thompson, 1994; Krahnstover Davi son, Markey, & Birch, 2003) and adults (Striegel-Moore, Silberstein, Frensch & Rodin, 1989; Wertheim, Paxton, & Blaney, 2004). Body dissatisfaction occurs at such high rates in the general population of women that Rodin, Silberstein, and Striegel-Moor e (1984) coined the term normative discontent to characterize this phenomenon. The rates of body dissatisfaction in women,
3 and also men, have increased steadily over th e last several decades (Cash, 2002a; Garner, 1997; Rodin, Silberstein, & Striegel-Moore, 1984). Body dissatisfaction has been found to be related both concurrently and prosp ectively to depression (Denniston, Roth, & Gilroy, 1992; Stice, Nemeroff, & Shaw, 1996), and also plays a role in arenas such as social functioning (Cash & Fleming, 2002) and sexual functioning (Wiederman, 2002), and is an important concern in many medi cal conditions (for reviews see Cash & Pruzinsky, 2002, chapters 38-45). Clearly, th e investigation of body image disturbance could contribute to the alleviat ion of mental health concerns in a variety of contexts. Two prominent theories of body image fo rm the foundation for the current study: appearance self-schema and appearance social comparison These theories will be discussed and the empirical support for each will be reviewed, followed by a detailed description of the current study, which is a laboratory study designed to determine the unique and combined effects of social comparison and appearance self-schema manipulations on state levels of body image and mood. Self-Schema Theory The schema as an organizing structure of the self was first proposed by Markus (1977). She defined self-schemata as cognitiv e generalizations about the self, derived from past experience, that organize and guide the processing of self-related information (p. 64). This approach to the self has b een adopted by various researchers to explain different types of psychopa thology, including depression (In gram, Bernet, & McLauglin, 1994; Segal, 1988; Segal, Gemar, Truchon, Guirguis, & Horowitz, 1995) and anxiety disorders (Beck & Clark, 1997). Self-schema theory was first applied to body image by Markus and colleagues (Markus, Hamill, & Se ntis, 1987). According to this approach,
4 individuals can vary in the degree to which body image and appearance is important to them or self-relevant. Those for whom app earance is an important aspect of their self are considered schematic for body image, whereas those for whom appearance is not important are considered aschematic. Individuals who are schematic for body image are purported to develop more complex, inte rconnected networks of knowledge regarding appearance, and to demonstrate a variety of in formation-processing biases related to their self-schema (Markus et al., 1987). Since Markus introduction of the self-schema concept to the field of body image and eating disorders, self-schema cognitive models have been adopted, refined, and evaluated by a number of body image and eati ng disorders researchers. Vitousek and Hollon (1990) provided an early review of the self-schema theory of body image and the research on it, drawing from th e literature in social cogniti on and cognitive psychology to suggest several ways in which the presence of self-schemata for weight and shape could be further investigated. Th ey proposed, for example, testing for differences between aschematics and schematics on information-pr ocessing ease and speed, complexity of relevant cognitive structures and degree of specialized knowledge re lated to the selfschema, intrusion of irrelevant information into the processing of schema-activating situations, memory for schema-relevant information, affective involvement in components of the schema, and resistance to counter-schematic information (Vitousek & Hollon, 1990). In later reviews Williamson and colleagues (Williamson, 1996; Williamson, Muller, Reas, & Thaw, 1999) discussed the burgeoning literature on cognitive biases related to eat ing and appearance, the existe nce of which has been taken as evidence of the presence of appearance schemas. Williamson and colleagues
5 organized the research into st udies on attentiona l bias, memory bias, and judgment or selective interpretation bias, and this categor ization will be used in the following review of this literature. A number of studies have examined a ttentional biases toward schema-relevant stimuli, many using the modified Stroop te st (Faunce, 2002; Stroop, 1935). In these studies, researchers measured the response time to color name body weightor shaperelated, food-related, and control words used as Stroop stimuli (Williams, Mathews, & MacLeod, 1996). They found increased interf erence for body shape-, and weight-related words in both eating disordered samples a nd nonclinical samples with a high degree of shape and weight concern (Williamson, 1996; W illiamson et al., 1999). For instance, in one of the most methodologically rigorous studies using the Stroop, Jones-Chesters, Monsell, and Cooper (1998) f ound that eating disordered pa rticipants showed more interference for food/eating and weight/shape wo rds compared to control words. This effect persisted even when the target words we re presented not in blocks, as is usual, but interspersed with control word s, with response time for each word measured individually. In addition to experimental fi ndings of differences between groups, researchers have also reported that women with bulimia nervosa s howed decreased interf erence on the Stroop after treatment of their eating disorder (Cooper & Fairburn, 1994). The dichotic listening task has also been used to show attentional biases in an eating disturbed sample. Schotte, McNall y, and Turner (1990) found that bulimic participants detected an appearance-related word (fa t) more often than a nonappearance word (pick) presented in the una ttended ear. Similarly, in a lexical decision task in which participants were required to determine whether a string of letters was a
6 word, Fuller, Williamson, and Anderson (1995) found that participan ts with higher body dissatisfaction performed more accurately and quickly in responding to appearance words. In the case of the lexical decision task, enhanced performance is considered indicative of the presence of an underlying schema because individuals schematic for a construct should be able to process sc hema-related information more quickly (Williamson et al., 1999). Biases in memory for appearance-related information have also been demonstrated. In a study of undergraduate women, Baker, Williamson, and Sylve (1995) found increased recall for fatness-related wo rds in participants high on body dysphoria. These authors also included a negative mood induction condition, and found that this condition resulted in enhanced memory fo r depression-related words, but not body image-related words. Watkins, Marti n, Muller, and Day (1995) conducted a more naturalistic study in which they asked particip ants to recall items they had seen in an office. The investigators had placed bodyand food-related items in an office, along with several other types of items. Their re sults indicated that those with higher body dysphoria recalled more body-related items compared to those with lower body dysphoria. Similarly, Geller, Johnston, and Ma dsen (1997) found that the false alarm effect was higher for women who were sche matic for shape and weight. The false alarm effect occurred when participants were given a list of schema-related and schemaunrelated words to memorize. When recall was later tested, schematic participants generated a greater number of schema-related words that had not actually occurred on the original list. This stu dy provides especially compelling evidence of the existence of an appearance schema because participants were recalling not words they had actually
7 seen, but presumably words which were associ ated in their minds with the construct of appearance. Judgment or selective interpretation biases involve the interpretation of ambiguous situations, and are hypothesized to be biased towards weight and shape interpretations in persons schematic for app earance, weight, and shap e. Several studies have supported this hypothesis, including a study in which partic ipants were instructed to imagine themselves in situations that had been described to them in ambiguous terms, allowing either a positive or negative inte rpretation (Jackman, Williamson, Netemeyer, & Anderson, 1995). Results indicated that thos e participants with high levels of body dysphoria remembered the body size-related scen arios with a negativ e connotation more often than those with lower levels of body con cerns, suggesting a bias in interpretation of body image-related ambiguous information. In a nother study of select ive interpretation, participants were asked to write sentences with words that were homophones (e.g., waist or waste) or which had multiple meanings (e.g., chest). Results indicated that participants with high levels of body dysphoria tended to inte rpret these words as related to body shape or weight, whereas participan ts with low body dysphoria did not (Watkins, Martin, Muller, & Day, 1995). Tantleff-Dunn and Thompson (1998) examined biased interpretations of videotaped scenarios involving ambiguous appearance-related or nonappearance-related critical f eedback given by a male student to a female student. They found that participants with high levels of body anxiety responded more negatively to the appearance feedback video, and also th at anger increased more in the appearance condition overall.
8 In accordance with the literature on c ognitive factors in eating and body image disturbance, Cash has proposed a cognitive-be havioral model of body image that includes self-schema regarding appearance (Cash, 2002b; see Figure 1). He suggests that appearance schemas are formed as a result of historical influences, which include cultural socialization, interpersonal experiences such as teasing, physical characteristics, and individual personality attribut es. The appearance self-schema in turn gives rise to disturbances or biases in th e processing of schema relevant information, as well as to affect and behavior related to appearance. In addition to the more distal variables contribution to the formation of the self-s chema, the self-schema is purported to be activated proximally by body image relevant ev ents. The self-schema manipulation in the current study is conceptualized as activ ation of the self-sch ema in this manner. Figure 1. Cashs (2002b) model of the development and maintenance of body image disturbance. Cultural Socialization Interpersonal Experiences Physical Characteristics Personality Attributes Body Image Schemas and Attitudes (Investment and Evaluation) Adjustive, selfregulatory strategies and behaviors Body Image Emotions Activating Events Appearance-Schematic Processing Internal Dialogues (thoughts, interpretations, conclusions, etc.)
9 There has been a growing body of literat ure on body image or appearance selfschemas since the topic was first introduced by Markus and colleagues (1987), and this literature has begun to test some of the com ponents of Cashs model. Included in this body of work are questionnaire development st udies, correlational and cross-sectional studies, prospective longitudinal st udies, and experimental studies. In order to study appearance self-sch emas, Cash developed a questionnaire measure of schematicity (Cash & Labarg e, 1996; Cash, Melnyk, & Hrabosky, 2004). The Appearance Schemas Inventory (ASI) and its revised version (ASI-R) were developed to measure attitudes and beliefs regard ing appearance, as well as investment in ones appearance as an importa nt component of ones sense of self (Cash & Labarge, 1996; Cash et al., 2004). This questionnaire ha s proven to be reliab le, and to correlate with other measures of body image such as body image quality of life and situational body image distress (Cash, 2002b; Cash & Fl eming, 2002; Cash et al., 2004). The earliest investigatio n of body image self-schemas was also the first to examine such schemas cross-sectionally. An investigation of group differences in level of schematicity was undertaken by Markus, Hami ll, and Sentis (1987) in their original study of weight self-schemas. The authors classified participants as aschematic, schematic-overweight, or schematic-obese on th e basis of participan ts evaluations of their own weight status and the importance of their weight to their overall selfevaluation.1 They found that there were no differe nces between the groups in response 1 In earlier studies of body image self-schema, schematicity was defined as being both invested in a trait or characteristic, and rating oneself as high on the trait. In later research, however, schematicity has come to be understood as being for the most part separate from ones actual or perceived weight (Cash, 1994). For instance there is variation in schematicity even within groups that rate themselves as overweight (Cash, Melnyk, & Hrabosky, 2004).
10 latency to questions asking the participants to identify weight-related traits as Me or Not me, which the authors at tributed to the presence of a universal, general schema for weight and ones body. However, when asked to respond to silhouettes of varying sizes in a similar manner, the schematic participan ts (regardless of weight) differed from the aschematics in both the content and the la tency of their responses. The authors interpreted this difference in response tim es as evidence of the operation of underlying self-schemas for weight. Cash and his colleagues have also co nducted two studies on body image treatment and change in appearance schematicity. Gr ant and Cash (1995) compared Cashs group cognitive-behavioral body image therapy with a modest-contact tr eatment based on the group sessions. They found that in addition to reductions in body imag e, the participants in both groups also showed a decrease in th eir ASI scores compared to pre-treatment levels. Cash and Lavallee (1997) extended this experiment, usi ng a self-administered treatment based on a workbook compared to standa rd treatment. Thei r results replicated those of Grant and Cash, showing an effect of the body image trea tment on appearance schematicity as measured by the ASI. Hargreaves and Tiggemann (2002b) conducte d a longitudinal study in which they used scores on the ASI to predict body dissa tisfaction 2 years late r in a sample of Australian adolescents. Their results indica ted that the ASI was in fact a significant predictor of later body dissatisfaction in girls, above and beyond baseline levels of dissatisfaction. Of note, self-esteem, which is generally a significant predictor of future food and body image problems (Wertheim, Paxton, & Blaney, 2004), was no longer significant when ASI was added to the set of pr edictors. Further, th e authors did not find
11 that the reverse relationshi p (body dissatisfaction predicting future ASI scores) was significant. Several experimental studies have in cluded dispositional level of appearance schematicity, measured by the ASI, as a mode rator of the independent variables effect on mood and body image outcomes. For inst ance, Lavin and Cash (2001) conducted a study in which they exposed undergraduate women to audiotapes containing either information regarding appearance stereo typing and discrimina tion, or information regarding the effects of television vi olence on aggression. The authors found a significant influence on body di ssatisfaction for the appearance information, but also found that this influence was st rongest in a group classified as highly schematic. Cash, Fleming, and colleagues (2002) also found a mo derating effect of ASI scores. They tested the influence on state body dissatis faction of having to report information regarding ones weight and a ppearance, finding this influence to be significant overall and greater in the group that was mo re highly schematic for appearance. Because schematicity can not be manipulat ed as an independent variable, Altabe and Thompson (1996) borrowed a paradigm from cognitive psychology in which a possible pre-existing self-schema is primed or activated by the presentation of schemarelevant stimuli. In their first experiment the priming or schema activation condition consisted of the completion of sentence stems th at had been rated as relevant to the body image of the participants in a previous study session. Other conditions received stems that were body-related but which had not been rated as important by the participant, or non-body-related stems. The authors did not find a difference in posttest body dissatisfaction, although post hoc exploratory analyses indicate d an effect of the priming
12 on depression/anxiety, and increased recall for the word stems in the priming condition. In a second study, Altabe and Thompson used a prime that consisted of pictures of body parts participants had rated as most relevant to their body image. Results indicated that there was an effect of the prime on depr ession, weight dissatis faction, and overall appearance dissatisfaction. In another priming study, Meyer and Walle r (2000) presented words subliminally in order to examine participants schematic proc essing. As a test of their theory that fear of abandonment is a contributing factor in eating and weight issues, they presented a word that was either appetitive, related to abandonment, or neut ral. Their dependent variables, which they characterized as meas ures of schema activation, were modified Stroop tasks using either food/shape or abandonme nt words. They found that participants showed greater interference on both the abandonment and fo od/shape Stroop tasks after exposure to the appetitive cue, although in the case of the food/shape Stroop this was a nonsignificant trend. They in terpreted their resu lts as indicating the presence of an underlying schema having both abandonment and food and shape components. Also using the modified Stroop task with appearance words versus control words, Labarge, Cash, and Brown (1998) tested the e ffects of priming participants appearance schemas by asking them to re port appearance information and by having their weight assessed Their results were consistent with their hypotheses, indicati ng that participants given an appearance prime indeed showed greater interference on the appearance-word Stroop. Further, the investigators also exam ined the moderating effects of ASI scores, finding that schematics given an appearance pr ime had slower Stroop times than the other groups.
13 In addition to the longitudinal study mentioned previously, Hargreaves and Tiggemann have also conducte d two relevant experiment al studies. In a 2002 study (Hargreaves & Tiggemann, 2002a) they exposed older adolescent males and females to television commercials, with one group vi ewing commercials containing images of idealized females and the other group viewing nonappearance commercials. They measured body dissatisfaction before and af ter viewing the commercials, and also included a measure of schema-activation consis ting of a word stem completion task they designed. The authors reported that viewi ng the appearance commercials resulted in higher mean levels of schema activation, a nger, and body dissatisfa ction, and also lower mean levels of confidence. Further, th e authors found support for partial mediation by schema activation of the relationshi p between commercial viewing and body dissatisfaction. They also included the ASI in their measures, and found that it moderated the relationship between comme rcial condition and dissatisfaction. The authors replicated th eir findings in a slightly younger sample (Hargreaves & Tiggemann, 2003). They found a significant di fference between pre and post measures of body dissatisfaction in girls who had viewed the appearance commercials. They also found increased schema activa tion in the appearance commer cial condition, for both boys and girls. However, in this study they did not find that ASI scores significantly moderated the effect of viewing appearance commercials on posttest dissatisfaction. Finally, Birkeland, et al (2005) conducted a study of schema activation or priming which forms the basis for the current study. In their study, exposure to magazine ads for beauty products (without human figures) served as an appearance schema prime, compared to magazine ads of household products This variable was crossed with one of
14 two social comparison conditions: presence or absence of an image of a fashion model, representing the female socioc ultural ideal. In their invest igation they did not find an effect of schema activation, but did find that exposure to a fashion model led to increases in body dissatisfaction and ne gative mood. Their study will be further discussed below after first reviewing the second theory to be evaluated in the current study a social comparison explanation of body image disturbance. To summarize, researchers have do cumented weightand shape-related attentional, memory, and interpretational biases in a variety of samples. The existence of these systematic biases argues for the presence of an underlying structure, deemed a selfschema, that drives cognitive processes and affect related to weight and shape. To more directly study the influence of self-schemas researchers have begun to use a priming paradigm, which consists of exposing partic ipants to stimuli pur ported to activate an underlying cognitive structure related to weight and shape, and then measuring outcome variables such as body dissatisf action and mood. In additi on, Hargreaves and Tiggemann (2002a, 2003) introduced a schema activation meas ure in order to bette r assess this aspect of the paradigm. The current study will use this priming paradigm to investigate the joint effects of both body image self-schemas and social comparison on body image and related constructs. Social Comparison Theory An alternative cognitive explanation of body dissatisfaction is social comparison theory. Social comparison theory was orig inally proposed by Festinger (1954), and has been elaborated on and expanded by social psyc hologists and other re searchers since that time (Suls & Wheeler, 2000). Acco rding to this theory, in order to form assessments of
15 themselves individuals compare themselves to others in their social environment on traits or characteristics that are important to them. These comparisons can occur to others who are more accomplished on a particular tr ait, which has been termed an upward comparison, or to others who are less accomplished on a particular trait, called downward comparison. Upward comparisons would be expected to result in negative affect, while downward comparisons generally result in enhancement of ones selfesteem (Thompson, Heinberg, Altabe, & Tant leff-Dunn, 1999). Within the field of body image and eating disorders, social comparison has been studied as a trait level tendency to engage in social comparis ons, a manipulated independent variable, and a dependent or process variable. Studies using each of these approaches have found support for the important role of appearance soci al comparison in body dissatisfaction. Dispositional level of social comparison tendency has been tested in a number of studies and generally found to be a pot ent predictor of body dissatisfaction and disordered eating. For example, in an ear ly study of undergraduate women, StriegelMoore, McAvay, and Rodin (1986) found a positive correlation between a single questionnaire item about social comparison and an item on feeling fat, which can be seen as roughly equivalent to body dissatisf action. The first questionnaire measure designed to measure individual differences in social comparison tendencies was the Physical Appearance Comparison Scale (T hompson, Heinberg, & Tantleff, 1991), which was found to correlate significantly with body dissatisfaction. Thompson and Heinberg attempted to replicate this finding in a 1993 study, and while they did not find an effect for frequency of social comparison, there was an effect for comparison target importance
16 ratings such that higher rating of the impor tance of a range of comparison targets was associated with more negative eating and body image outcomes. Rieves and Cash (1996) examined re trospective reports of participants comparison with siblings and found that comparison was related to body image, particularly comparison occurr ing during the adolescent years. Tsiantas and King (2000) studied 43 sibling pairs and likewise found that, for younger si sters, self-reports of comparison to their sister predicted body dissatisfaction. Also confirming their predictions, Stormer and Thompson (1996) found that social comparison tendencies predicted body di ssatisfaction in a sample of college women, even after removing the effects of Body Mass Index (BMI) and self-esteem, both of which are established correlates of body dissatisfaction (Thompson, Heinberg, Altabe, & Tantleff-Dunn, 1999). They found, further, that appearance comparison specifically on a dimension of weight or size, as o pposed to general appearance comparison, was most predictive of body image dissatisfaction. This distinction be tween weight and nonweight comparison was confirmed by Fish er, Dunn, and Thompson (2002) in a study using multidimensional scaling to examine the construct of appearance comparison tendency. Additionally, Stormer and Thompsons 1996 results were replicated in an Italian and a British sample by Mautner, Owe n, and Furnham (2000). Extending this line of inquiry further, Thompson, Coovert, and Stormer (1999) conducted a Covariance Structure Modeling (CSM) study in which they investigated the me diational role of comparison between appearance-related teas ing and body image disturbance. Social comparison was in fact found to mediate th is relationship. van den Berg, Thompson, Obremski-Brandon, and Coovert (2002) also conducted a CSM investigation of
17 comparison, family, peer, and media influen ces such as teasing and the level of importance of placed on appearance, and body image and eating outcomes. They replicated previous results, finding support fo r social comparison as a mediator of the relationship between media and family influences and body dissatisfaction. Heinberg and Thompson (1992) conducted an early experimental investigation of social comparison in university students in wh ich they manipulated both the direction of comparison and the characteristics of the target group. They gave participants feedback regarding their own weight, indi cating that they were larger or smaller than a target group that was either universal (the average U.S. citizen) or partic ularistic (the average student attending the participants unive rsity). Their results indicated that comparison with peers resulted in decreases in body satisfaction, how ever size feedback (smaller, larger) did not interact with target group. Lin and Kulik ( 2002) also used peers as comparison targets. They conducted an experiment in which they to ld participants they would participate in a Dating Game scenario in order to study de cision-making in dating relationships. They told the participants that they and anot her female participant would meet a male participant, who would later id entify one of the women as someone he would prefer to date. Participants in the two experiment al conditions were given a photo of either a slender or an overweight woman, identified as the hypothetical other woman; they were given no photo in the co ntrol condition. Results indicated that participants in the thinpeer condition had greater body dissatis faction and lower confidence. Faith, Leone, and Allison (1997) also ma nipulated the direction of comparison, but proposed that comparison to a participan ts own ideal might produce even an even greater effect than comparison to peers or othe r targets. Thus, they asked participants to
18 visualize their own comparison target. In the two experime ntal conditions participants were directed to imagine and then write a de scription of someone who was very attractive or someone who was very unattractive, wh ereas in the control condition they were instructed to think of a TV show or movie. The authors found that comparison condition did not significantly affect the posttest measure of body dissatisfaction. However, dispositional level of social comparison tendency assessed beforehand did predict body image and appearance anxiety. A recent meta-analysis of studies of e xposure to idealized images of female bodies concluded that viewing these images l eads to a consistent, bu t small, effect on body dissatisfaction (Groesz, Levine, & Murnen, 2002). Even so, this is not a universal effect, and attention has turn ed to uncovering individual di fferences in reactions to idealized images, as well as the processes invo lved in the effect of media images on body dissatisfaction (Tiggemann & McGill, 2004). A nu mber of studies have examined social comparison in this vein. For example, Mart in and her colleagues have conducted a series of studies exploring the eff ects of both media exposure and comparison processes (Martin & Gentry, 1997; Martin & Kennedy, 1993). Martin and Kennedy (1993) found that 4th through 8th grade girls tendency to compare themse lves to models in ads predicted both lower self-esteem and lower ratings of partic ipants own attractiveness. Their findings were corroborated by those of Carlson-Jones (2001), who reported that girls tendency to compare themselves to same-sex peers or m odels was significantly correlated with body dissatisfaction. Botta (1999, 2003) similarly f ound that, in a sample of high school girls and a sample of college women, comparis on to images in the media predicted body image and eating outcomes such as endorsement of the thin ideal, body image
19 disturbance, drive for thinness, and bulimic behaviors. Social comparison to media images was a significant predictor above a nd beyond BMI, and also above the amount of exposure to media. A second finding from Martin and Kennedy s (1993) study was that girls rated a picture of an average-looking woman as less attractive when they had been previously exposed to ads with attractive models. Thus their comparison standard was raised after exposure to unrealistic, idealized images. The power of this single episode of exposure to change girls ratings of attractiveness is partic ularly informative in that it provides a clue as to the mechanism by which media expos ure may lead to adverse body and eating outcomes. Martin and Gentry (1997) later continue d their line of research on media images and social comparison in girls, manipulating in structional sets in order to investigate the processes involved in responses to advertisements containing idealized images of women. In one condition participants were told to use the pictures of the models to evaluate their own appearance, in another condition to insp ire them to improve their own appearance, and in the final condition they were enc ouraged to enhance their self-esteem by discounting the models appearance or making a downward comparison to some aspect of the model. While there were some mixed re sults across different age groups, overall they found that self-esteem and self -ratings of attractiveness were lower when participants were instructed to use the images of models to evalua te their own attractiveness. Cattarin, Thompson, Thomas, and Williams (2000) also studied comparison processes as related to media exposure. They showed appearance and non-appearance television commercials to participants who ha d been given an inst ructional set either
20 encouraging social comparison or leading to distraction from the models in the commercials. They found a marginally significant interacti on between video and instruction conditions, with participants w ho were instructed to engage in social comparison having lower body satisfaction. Overall, comparison studies indicate that appearance comparison, to peers and especially to media images, has an effect on body image outcomes. A common experimental technique used to measure comp arison is exposing participants to images designed to invoke comparison in an upward or downward direction. Instructional set has also been manipulated and has shown so me effect, though this has been somewhat inconsistent. The current study will likewi se involve exposure to comparison images, both upward and downward. However, instead of manipulating instructional set, we will prime the participants self-schemas to exam ine the possible effects of schema-activation on social comparison processes. Studies Combining Self-schema and Social Comparison A few studies have examined both appearance comparison and schemas in body dissatisfaction. For instance, Tiggemann (2001 ) examined the interaction of person and situational determinants of body dissatisfac tion in Australian undergraduate women. Participants were instructed to imagine themse lves in 4 different situations which varied on level of body focus and social interacti on: walking by attractive people while at the beach in a bathing suit (body focus and social), in a dressing room trying on bathing suits (body focus only), eating with a friend at a caf eteria (social only), and at home getting ready for school (neither body focus nor social). The social situations were hypothesized to induce comparison processing, whereas th e body focus conditions were hypothesized
21 to evoke more general appearance-related processing that did not necessarily involve comparison. The participants rated thei r body dissatisfaction and body esteem in each condition. They also reported demographic information and completed a measure of social comparison tendency prior to the mani pulation. The results showed the expected effect on body dissatisfaction of the body focus s ituations, as well as a significant 3-way interaction between BMI, social comparis on tendency, and conditi on such that women with high BMI who tended to engage in soci al comparisons had lower body esteem in the social conditions. Tiggemann and McGill (2004) conducted a study which investigated the effects of viewing images from fashion magazine ads on mood and body dissatisfaction. In addition they studied the role of several di spositional variables as possible moderators: internalization of sociocultu ral ideals, dispositional leve l of appearance comparison, and appearance schematicity. Further, they also studied appearance comparison as a process variable or dependent variable hypothesi zed to be caused by the experimental manipulations. They exposed participants to one of 3 types of images: full body shots of highly attractive models, shots of body parts that met the socioc ultural ideal, or shots of various products. They also manipulated the in structional set given to the participants to induce social comparison, general appearan ce processing, or distraction from the appearance aspects of the stim uli. Directly after exposur e to the photos, participants answered several questions re garding the amount of thought given to their appearance and the amount of comparison in which they engaged. As can be expected from a study with so many variables, thei r results were complex. Over all, however, they found that exposure to products led to less body dissa tisfaction and negative mood than did
22 exposure to either type of idealized body image. They also found that appearance comparison (as an outcome variable) was increased in the full body and body part conditions compared to the product condition, and that comparison decreased across the instructional set conditions, with social comparison instructions as expected leading to the highest level of appearance comparis on, followed by general appearance focus instructions, and c ontrol instructions. Continuing this line of research on me dia exposure, schematic processing and social comparison, Tiggemann and Slater (2004) conducted a study in which they exposed female college students to 15 mi nute music video clips with either highly attractive women and a focus on appearance, or with ordinary-l ooking women and nonappearance-related images such as landscape shots. They found that the appearance video condition resulted in higher appearance schema activation, as measured by their schema activation measure, as well as hi gher body dissatisfaction, whereas they found no differences between the two conditions on m ood. They also included comparison as a dependent variable, finding that it was also increased in the idealized appearance condition. Further, they tested social co mparison and appearance schema activation as mediators of the relationship between expos ure to the appearance music videos and body dissatisfaction. Social compar ison was found to be a full medi ator of this relationship, although schema activation was not. Thus, th e results of their study point to social comparison as the more important variable in womens reactions to idealized media images. Birkeland and colleagues experiment (2005), mentioned previously, evaluated both social comparison and self-schema theo ries of body dissatisfaction. The authors
23 explicitly manipulated schema activation and so cial comparison to ideal female images in their stimuli consisting of ads from magazine s. The four conditions included ads with either an appearance-related product or a non-appearance product, crossed with either images of a model or no images of a model. The authors hypothesized that if schema activation were the predomin ant mechanism for media-related body image disturbance outcomes, then dissatisfaction would be equi valent in the two (model-present and modelabsent) appearance product c onditions, with lower dissatis faction in the non-appearance product conditions. Conversely, if social co mparison were the governing process, then the presence or absence of a model in the ads would produce an effect. They found support for the latter hypothesis. Despite the significance of the studies discussed above, especially those by Birkeland et al. (2005) a nd by Tiggemann and colleague s (Hargreaves & Tiggeman, 2002a, 2003; Tiggemann & McGill, 2004; Tiggemann & Slater, 2004), further research is needed to investigate the role of both app earance self-schemas and social comparison in the development and maintenance of body dissa tisfaction. There are several shortcoming to the previous studies, the remediation of which provides the impetus for the current investigation. For example, in several studies social comparison and schema-activation manipulations or processes cannot be separate d. In the studies of television commercials by Hargreaves and Tiggemann (2002a, 2003) the condition intended to activate participants schemas involved viewing idea lized images of women, resulting in an inability to assess social comparison and noncomparison schema activation as separate effects. Also, in Tiggemann and McGills (2004) study of magazine ads and Tiggemann
24 and Slaters (2004) investig ation of music television, the mediational measure of comparison consisted of one or two compar ison items and an item assessing appearance processing, which was the extent to which th e participant thought about her appearance. As these items were correlated highly ( rs = .71 to .85), the authors combined them into one measure of appearance and comparison processing, effectively conflating the variables of schema-activation and appearan ce comparison. This is also the case in Altabe and Thompsons (1996) study; the prim ing stimuli in one of their experiments were pictures of idealized versions of body pa rts. A clearer dis tinction between social comparison and appearance priming variable s, and between social comparison and appearance schema-activation ou tcomes, would help to clarif y the findings in this area. In addition, Birkeland and colleagues (2005) used imag es of appearance products as stimuli they believed would activate schematic processing. However, these stimuli were not piloted to determine the strength of th e manipulation. In fact this is a criticism appropriate for most of the self-schema studies as few, if any, of the authors validated their priming manipulation. A better te st of the self-schema model of body dissatisfaction would include a prime that has been found to be part icularly strong, thus providing adequate power to test the hypothesis. Related to th is issue, in Birkeland and colleagues study the prime was actually pr esented simultaneously with the model in the model-present condition. This is not techni cally a prime in the sense that it did not occur prior to the presentation of the target stimulus or task. Finally, a number of studies tested on ly upward comparisons (Birkeland et al., 2005; Hargreaves & Tiggemann, 2002a, 2003; Tiggemann and McGill, 2004). For a complete test of the social comparison model, a downward comparison condition would
25 need to be included. A downward comparis on condition would allow for the evaluation of the strength of the priming effect compared to a comparison effect, as the two variables should have opposing influences on body dissatisfaction in the appearance priming and downward comparison cell. In summary, it appears that the indi vidual and combined effects of schema activation and social comp arison processes on body dissatisfaction have been inadequately addressed in the few studies th at have been conducted to date, and the current study was designed to address some of these limitations. Current Study The current study investigated the effects of both social comparison and appearance schema activation on women s body dissatisfaction. The experiment consisted of a 2 X 3 between subjects design. Two levels of schema activation consisted of appearance schema priming and non-appearan ce schema priming. A unique aspect of this study was the validation of the prim ing stimulus. The appearance and nonappearance (control) stimuli were tested in a pilot study in order to insure the effectiveness of the manipulation. Duri ng the primary study, the schema activation manipulation was followed by the social co mparison manipulation. Social comparison was operationalized as exposure to slides co ntaining either images of women who have been judged to meet sociocultural ideals of attractiveness (upward comparison), women who do not meet ideals of attractiveness ( downward comparison), or blank slides (no comparison). Dependent variables included st ate measures of appearance satisfaction, physical fitness dissatisf action, anger, anxiety, depr ession, and self-confidence. Hypotheses
26 1. Mean levels of appearance satisfaction and self-confidence will be lower in the appearance prime condition than in th e non-appearance prime condition; the reverse will be true for negative mood and dissatisfaction with physical fitness. 2. Mean levels of body appearance satisfacti on and self-confidence will be lowest in the upward comparison condition, followed by the no comparison condition, and highest in the downward comparison condition; the reverse will be true for negative mood and dissatisfacti on with physical fitness. 3. There will be a significant interaction between prime and comparison such that schema activation will exacerbate the effects of both the downward and upward comparisons. Specifically, we predict that participants given an appearance prime will have lower appearance satisfaction and self-confidence, as well as higher negative mood and dissatisfaction with physic al fitness, in the upward comparison condition than participants who are gi ven a non-appearance prime. They will have higher appearance satisfa ction and self-confidence, as well as lower negative mood and dissatisfaction with physical fitness, in the downward comparison condition than participants who are given a non-appearan ce prime. Participants given either a prime only or an upward comparison only will have moderate levels of the outcome variables, wh ereas those receiving neither appearance priming nor comparison will have levels in dicating slightly less distress compared to participants receiving one or the other. Finally appearance satisfaction and self-confidence will be highest (and ne gative mood and dissatisfaction with physical fitness lowest) in the downward comparison condition, and this effect
27 will be even more pronounced among those given an appearance prime compared to those with a non-appearance prime.
28 Method and Results Pilot Study 1: Social Comparison Stimuli The aim of this pilot study was to select photos that best characterized an upward and a downward comparison. Method Participants. An expert panel consisting of 8 members of a body image research lab served as the init ial raters of the photos2. Subsequently, data were collected from 53 female students between the ages of 18 a nd 52 at the University of South Florida, recruited from undergraduate psychology course s. The average age of the participants was 21.6, with a standard deviation of 4.9. The mean Body Mass Index (BMI; Keys, Fidanza, Karvoren, Kimura, & Taylor, 1972) was 23.6 ( SD = 5.25). Nine percent of the participants identified themselves as Asian, 24.5% as Hispanic/Latino, 43.4% as Caucasian, 17% as African-American, and 5.7% as Other. The pa rticipants received extra credit in their psychology cour se for participation in the study. Materials. A pool of over 180 images was gath ered, chosen from a large number of images that had been collected from a va riety of sources, primarily online, including magazines, catalogs, models online portfolios, photo banks, and similar websites. The pilot images were selected to include full-body, partial (upper) body, and face shots, at least frontal orientation. Photos were selected that would represent a variety of racial/ethnic backgrounds in both the upwar d and downward comparison photos. Pilot
29 images were compiled into a Powerpoint pr esentation, which was projected onto a screen using a Proxima projector. Measures. For each photo, participants rate d the overall attrac tiveness level and age of the model, and the undergraduate pilo t sample also rated the mood of the model3 (see Appendix A for sample questions for th e undergraduate pilot sample). Space was also provided for comments about each phot o. Participants also provided demographic information, including age, race/ethnicity, y ear in school, height and weight, and other variables to be used in an unrelated study. Procedure. The initial pool of 184 photos was first rated by the expert panel for attractiveness level, age, and appropriatene ss for use in the study. Of those 184 photos, 108 were selected to be piloted with an undergraduate sample. The undergraduate pilot sample then rated the photos, and a subsample of 8 participants also participated in a focus group in order to identify any problematic aspects of any of the photos and provide other feedback. Of those 108 photos, 20 were selected to be used as the comparison stimuli. The number of images used was c hosen based on a meta-analysis of exposure to ideal media images, which showed a trend towa rds a greater effect with fewer than 11 images (Groesz, Levine, & Murnen, 2002). The selection of the final sets of photos was conducted in an iterative process. The primary criteria in selecting photos wa s overall attractiveness ratings of the photos, with the most and least attractively rated photos initially selected for the stimuli sets. Other variables were used in order to match the two stimuli sets, including racial/ethnic 2 Not all panel members were available to rate each p hoto. However, each photo was rated by at least 5 panel members.
30 make-up (which was also matched to that of the university at which the participants are students), age category and mood, and number of face-only and full-body or torso poses. Results Both photo stimuli sets consisted of 10 images, including 5 torso/full body shots and 5 face shots in the upward comparison set, and 6 torso/full body shots and 4 face shots in the downward comparison set. Th e stimuli sets each included 1 AfricanAmerican model, 1 Asian-American model, 1 Hispanic/Latina model, and 7 Caucasian models. As can be seen in Table 1, the mean response to the age question for each of the stimuli sets indicated that the photos were ra ted as being in the 18-25 year-old category. The mean mood was moderately to slight ly positive for each set of photos. The differences between the two se ts of stimuli on mean rati ngs of attractiveness, age category, and mood were examined using t -tests, which can also be seen in Table 1. There was a significant difference between th e upward and downward comparison sets on mean attractiveness, but not on age or mood. Table 1 Mean ratings and t-tests of the stimuli sets selected for use in the main study M ( SD ) ratings Upward comparison photos Downward comparison photos t df p Attractiveness 2.20 (.20) 5.13 (.46) -18.64 18 .00 Age category 2.14 (.26) 2.22 (.55) -.46 18 .65 Mood 2.83 (.85) 3.54 (1.04) -1.67 18 .11 3 The undergraduate pilot sample also rated the degree of underor over-weight of the models in the photos, but this information was for another study and was not used in the current study.
31 Pilot Study 2: Priming Manipulation As there have been very few studi es using body image priming or schema activation stimuli that do not also have a comparison component, another pilot study was conducted to test the appearance prime a nd its corresponding non-appearance control prime. Method Participants. The pilot sample consisted of 98 female students between the ages of 18 and 25 at the University of South Flor ida, recruited from undergraduate psychology courses. Participants were re quired to be native English sp eakers. The mean age of the participants was 21.1 years ( SD = 1.8). Nineteen percent of the sample identified themselves as African-American/Black, 56% as Caucasian, 9% as Latino/Hispanic, 7% as Asian-American, 1% as Native American, and 7% as Other. The average BMI was 23.2 ( SD = 4.4). The participants received extra credit in their psychology course for participation in the study. Materials. The priming task was adapted from tasks used in previous research (Cash, Fleming, et al., 2002; Tiggemann, 2001), and incorporated recommendations made by Williamson, Stewart, White, and Yo rk-Crowe (2002) regarding the types of stimuli that have most consistently been found to provoke biased information-processing, presumably by activating appearance self-schemas The task asks participants to imagine themselves for 60 seconds in a body image re levant situation that does not involve comparison, or a situation that is not re levant to body image (see Appendix B for instructions given to participants).
32 Measures. The first dependent variable used in the pilot study was a word stem completion task developed by Tiggemann, Ha rgreaves, Polivy, and McFarlane (2004; WSC). This task was constructed to asse ss implicitly the activation of appearance schematic processing. It has been used in pr ior research to assess the schema activating effects of exposure to media images, includ ing television and print media (Tiggemann & McGill, 2004; Tiggemann & Slater, 2004). It consists of 20 word stems that can be completed to form nonappearance terms or appearance-related terms, for instance SLE___ which could become sleep or slender. The word stems were chosen by the authors of the task so that the nonappearance words are more frequent in general usage, such that completion of the stems with appe arance words is taken to be indicative of schematic processing. The score on this measure is the number of appearance-related words produced. In previous studies using this measure, it correlated significantly and moderately with measures of general app earance dissatisfaction, body dissatisfaction, and social comparison, and significant differences on the measure were found after exposure to appearance-related stimuli (Hargreav es & Tiggemann, 2002a, 2003; Tiggemann & Slater, 2004). The bias against appearance completions of the words in the task might have made finding an effect unnecessa rily more difficult. To a ddress this issue, additional stems were located that were more even rega rding the likelihood that they be completed as an appearance stem. We examined word association norms to locate appearancerelated words (Nelson, McE voy, & Schreiber, 1998). A dditional words were also generated by the author. Using stem comp letion norms by Shaw (1997), the percentage of appearance or body related completions fo r each new stem was computed. The 45
33 stems with the highest percentages of appear ance related completions were included in the adapted task (see Appendix C for the adapte d version of the task). However, in the end the additional stems were not necessary to show an effect (see results below) and so were not analyzed and will not be reported here. The second dependent variable was the Body Image States Scale (BISS; Cash, Fleming, et al., 2002; see Appendix D). Th e Body Image States Scale is a 6 item measure of state body dissatisfaction. The ite ms in the scale have a 9-point Likert response format. In previous research (Cash, Fleming, et al., 2002) the BISS has demonstrated adequate reliability, with a 23 week test-retest coefficient of .69 and an alpha of .77 in a sample of undergraduate women. It also demonstrated convergent validity, correlating si gnificantly and moderately with trait body image measures, and known groups validity, with significant mean differences between scores for males and females. Additionally, the BISS was found to be sensitive to imagin al manipulations of body image states. In the cu rrent study the BISS had a Cronbachs alpha of .85. Finally, a Visual Analog Scale item was included (VAS; Thompson, Heinberg, Altabe, & Tantleff-Dunn, 1999; example app ears in Appendix E). Visual Analogue Scales are brief, non-verbal instruments used to evaluate a variety of affective states and conditions. The participants place a vertical mark on a 10 cm horizontal line to indicate their position on the named construct or mood state. Responses ar e transformed into scores from 0 to 100 by measuring to the near est millimeter. In prior research (Heinberg & Thompson, 1995) VAS measures of depre ssion, anxiety and a nger were found to correlate substantially w ith the Profile of Mood St ates-Depression/Dejection, Tension/Anxiety, and Anger scales (McN air, Lorr, & Droppleman, 1971). VAS
34 measures of weight and overall appearance dissatisfaction also co rrelated highly with scores on the Eating Disorder s Inventory Body Dissatisf action subscale, a commonly used 7-item index of body image disturbance (Garner, Olmstead, & Polivy, 1983). In the current study, participants completed one VAS item, Satisfaction with your overall appearance. Participants also provided demograp hic information, including their age, race/ethnicity, height, weight, year in college, and major (see Appendix F for demographic questionnaire). Prior research (Cash, Fleming, et al ., 2002) has indicated that answering questions about ones own appearance, particul arly height and weight, can increase anxiety in participants. Therefore, this questionnaire was the last questionnaire administered in the questionnaire packet in order to avoid biasing the study results. Procedure. Participants provided consent and were give a questionnaire packet which contained the imagery instructions a nd measures. They were read the imagery instructions by the researcher, and then asked to close their eyes and imagine themselves in the given situation for 60 seconds. They completed the rest of the measures in the questionnaire packet and were debriefed. Results Cases with missing data on the dependent variables were deleted pairwise (ie, only from analyses which involved those variab les). As can be seen in Table 2, there were significant medium to large differences between the appearance and non-appearance prime groups for the WSC and BISS. While the difference was not significant for the VAS item, the trend was in the expected direction, and the effect size (Cohens d = .31) was between small and medium. The VAS item also correlated .78 with the BISS, which
35 did show an effect. Given that the ma in study was to include a pretest VAS item assessing satisfaction with appearance to be used as a covariate, it was decided that the pilot results provided adequate justification to continue with the main study using the manipulation as piloted. Table 2 Means (standard deviations) and t-tests for the priming manipulation pilot sample Non-appearance prime: telescope situation Appearance prime: dressing room situation t df p Effect Size (Cohens d ) WSC 3.84 (1.81) 6.37 (3.44) -4.28 62.89a.00 -.92 n = 45 n = 43 VAS 61.68 (18.94) n = 50 55.69 (19.25) n = 45 1.53 93 .13 .31 BISS 33.38 (8.85) 29.22 (9.25) 2.27 96 .03 .50 n = 53 n = 45 Note. WSC = Word Stem Completion task. VAS = Visu al Analog Scale. BISS = Body Image States Scale. a df adjusted for unequal variances Main Study Method Participants. Participants were again fema le undergraduate students at the University of South Florida who received extr a credit for their participation. The entire sample contained 227 participants, 58% of whom identified themselves as Caucasian, 17% of whom identified themse lves as African-American/Black, 11% of whom identified themselves as Latino/Hispanic, 8% of whom identified themselves as Asian-American,
36 and 7% of whom identified themselves as Other . The average age of participants in the sample was 20.47 ( SD = 1.74), and the average BMI was 23.22 ( SD = 4.46). Materials The social comparison stimuli were those that had been selected as a result of pilot testing (see above). Fo r each condition, a Powerpoint presentation was compiled consisting of an initial blank slide followed by 10 slides containing either upward or downward comparison photographs, or no photographs for the control stimuli. The photo stimuli sets contained 5 torso/fu ll body shots and 5 face shots in the upward comparison set, and 6 torso/full body shots and 4 face shots in the downward comparison set. The photo stimuli sets each included 1 African-American model, 1 Asian-American model, 1 Hispanic/Latina model, and 7 Caucas ian models. The Powe rpoint presentations were set to show each slide for 10 seconds. Th e presentations were either projected onto a screen using a data projector, or shown on a large television screen connected to a computer. The priming manipulation used was identical to the one that had been piloted (see above). The task asks participants to im agine themselves for 60 seconds in a body image relevant situation that does not involve social comparison trying on bathing suits or a situation that is not relevant to body image looking through a telesc ope at the night sky (see Appendix B for instructi ons given to participants). Measures Participants completed 6 VAS meas ures (Depression, Anxiety, Anger, Overall Satisfaction with Appearance, Overall Dissatisfaction with P hysical Fitness, and Self-Confidence) at both pretest and posttest (see above for further description of VAS measures). In addition, at posttest the part icipants completed an additional VAS item, Intention to diet, which was intended to be used in exploratory analyses and was not
37 part of the original study design. This item was not given at pretest because it was believed to be likely to sensitize participants to the purpose of the study, thus acting as a prime and weakening the priming manipulati on. VAS measures were selected for the dependent variables instead of standard quest ionnaire measures in order to reduce the practice effects and pretest sensitization of the repeated measures. Participants completed the VAS measures immediately prior to th e priming condition, and again immediately after the comparison conditi on. The order of the VAS items was varied between participants. Four different random orders of the VAS items were created, and for both the pretest and posttest one of the four orders was randomly selected. In order to ensure that participants atte nded to the comparison stimuli, they were tested on the content of the stimuli using an attention check ques tionnaire (see Appendix G). Feedback from participants made it clea r that one of the original 4 questions was confusing. Question asked whether any of th e models was wearing a bathing suit, but participants indicated that for the face shot s they were unable to tell whether the models wore a bathing suit, a tank top, or some other type of clothing with thin shoulder straps. Therefore, that question was discarded. Only data from those participants who correctly answered all 3 of the remaining questions we re used. Participants in the no comparison condition did not complete this questionnaire. The final questionnaire completed by participants was the demographic questionnaire that was used in the pr iming pilot study (see Appendix F). The questionnaires were presented in two packets. The first packet included the initial VAS measures and the priming manipulation instru ctions. The second packet contained the
38 second set of VAS measures, the attention chec k questionnaire (except for participants in the no comparison condition), and the demographics questionnaire. Procedure. So as to reduce possible social comparison to other participants, the participants were administered the expe riment individually. They were randomly assigned to either the appearance or non-a ppearance prime manipula tion and either the upward, downward, or no comparison conditions. The participants were informed that the study would investigate th e effects of imagery and photographic images on peoples thoughts and feelings. The procedure of the experiment was explained, and participants read and signed consent forms. They comple ted the first set of VAS items and then were guided through the imagery exercise by the res earch assistant. The researcher read the imagery exercise instructions to the participan t, then directed her to close her eyes and imagine herself in the given situation, stati ng that she would be told when to open her eyes and stop. After 60 seconds the exercise was ended and the comparison stimuli were shown. Participants were informed that th ey would be shown a Powerpoint presentation containing 11 slides, with the first slide blank. They were told that they might or might not see photos on the slides, that if they di d not have photos they should sit quietly until the presentation was finished, and that if th ey did have photos they should pay attention to them because they would be asked questi ons about them afterwards. The photo stimuli Powerpoint presentation was shown, with each photo (or blank slide) appearing for 10 seconds. Participants then completed the second set of VAS measures, the attention check (for the upward and downward conditi ons), and the demographic questions. Participants were debriefed, asked not to discuss the study with anyone, and then
39 released. A researcher was av ailable at all times during admi nistration of the experiment to answer any questions. Design and Analyses Data from 50 participants were double ente red to determine the error rate of data entry. Only 1 error was found, which was considered an acceptable error rate. The study design was a 2 X 3 MANCOVA, with two levels of priming (control and appearance related) and 3 levels of social comparison (upw ard target, downward target, and no comparison). Following the suggestion of Rausch, Maxwell, and Kelley (2003) the pretest VAS scores we re entered as covariates in order to increase the power of the test. The dependent variables were the overall appearance satisfaction, dissatisfaction with physical fitness, ange r, depression, anxiety, and self-confidence posttest VAS measures. A significant omnibus MANCOVA test was followed by a series of ANCOVAs, with follow-up ttests with a Bonferroni correction. A separate 2X3 ANOVA was conducted on the Intention to Diet posttest VAS item, as this item was added specifically for ex ploratory analyses and was not part of the original study design. Additionally, there wa s no covariate corresponding to the posttest item, as discussed above. A significant main effect was to be follo wed by posthoc t-tests with a Bonferroni correction. A power analysis was conducted accord ing to procedures suggested by Cohen (1988) for a between subjects factorial ANOVA. Based on the results of Birkeland and colleagues (2005) and the findings of Groesz Levine, and Murnen (2002) for between subjects designs, a medium effect size was posited for the comparison main effect. The effect size for the priming condition was found in the pilot study to be small to medium
40 for the satisfaction with overall appearan ce VAS item, medium for the body image state measure, and large for the Word Stem Comple tion task. Given that the main study would also include a pretest appearance satisfaction VAS item to be used as a covariate, the effect size for the priming manipulation was pr ojected to be medium. Effect size for the interaction was also estimate d as medium. The minimum sample size for power of .80 for the main effects and interactions in this design was found to be 162 participants, or 27 participants per cell. Results Fifteen participants were excluded from an alyses because they failed the attention check questionnaire, leaving a final samp le of 212 participants. Participant characteristics across condition were examined for equivalence. Means and standard deviations for age and BMI can be found in Table 3, and frequencies for race can be found in Table 4. The conditions were compared on age and BMI using 2 (Priming condition) X 3 (Comparison condition) ANOVAs which revealed no main effects or interaction among the variables on age. There was a significant main effect of Priming condition for BMI, however, such that partic ipants in the appearance priming condition ( M = 22.45, SD = 4.17) had a significantly lower BM I than those in the nonappearance priming condition ( M = 23.85, SD = 4.42), F (1, 205) = 5.68, p = .018. While this is a significant difference, it is very small, and both groups are well within the normal weight range for BMI. However, the analyses on the dependent variable s were run both with and without BMI as an additional covariate to ensure that BMI did not affect the results. The results were nearly identical, and BMI was not a significant covariate. Therefore, the results reported below do not include BMI as a covariate. Finally, Chi-square analysis
41 was conducted to test the equivalence of race across condition, and no significant differences were found. Table 3 Descriptive statistics for age and BMI by condition Age BMI Prime condition Comparison condition M SD M SD Dressing room Upward 20.40 1.72 22.13 3.54 Downward 20.41 1.94 21.60 4.27 Control 20.66 1.59 23.59 4.51 Telescope Upward 20.28 1.70 23.68 4.26 Downward 20.69 1.80 24.01 4.58 Control 20.64 1.82 23.86 4.53 Table 4 Descriptive statistics for race by condition Prime condition Comparison condition African American/ Black AsianAmerican Caucasian Latino/ Hispanic Other Dressing room Upward 2 (6%) 5 (14%) 22 (63%) 3 (9%) 3 (9%) Downward 5 (15%) 2 (6%) 20 (59%) 3 (9%) 4 (12%) Control 2 (6%) 2 (6%) 24 (69%) 5 (14%) 2 (6%) Telescope Upward 8 (22%) 2 (6%) 16 (44%) 5 (14%) 5 (14%) Downward 6 (17%) 4 (11%) 23 (64%) 3 (8%) 0 Control 9 (25%) 1 (3%) 21 (58%) 5 (14%) 0 The data were examined following pro cedures suggested by Stevens (2002) to verify that the assumptions for multivariate analysis of covariance were met. Descriptive information was computed (see Table 5 for desc riptive statistics), and distributions of each of the variables in each of the cells were examined for normality and outliers. No extreme outliers were found and no participan ts were removed from the dataset. Variables were tested for univa riate normality, which is generally considered sufficient to satisfy the multivariate normality assumption (Stevens, 2002). Shapiro-Wilks tests and
42 skewness and kurtosis statistics were examined for each variable in each of the 6 cells (see Table 6), and indicated that the pre a nd post measures of depression, anger, and anxiety demonstrated significant non-normality. Skew and kurtosis, and platykurtosis in particular, have been noted to affect bot h the power of MANOVA and Boxs test for homogeneity of covariance matrices, which is us ed to evaluate one of the assumptions of MANOVA. Therefore, square root transfor mations were performed on these variables, which resulted in distributions that were sufficiently norm al to carry out the MANCOVA (see again Table 6). Means and standard devi ations of the transfor med variables can be seen in Table 5. Table 5 Descriptive statistics for pretest and posttest VAS items N Minimum Maximum M SD Pre Satisfaction with Appearance 212 1.00 100.00 56.37 21.07 Post Satisfaction with Appearance 212 .00 100.00 57.38 23.17 Pre Dissatisfaction with Fitness 212 .00 100.00 47.19 26.16 Post Dissatisfaction with Fitness 212 .00 100.00 46.76 26.72 Pre Depression 212 .00 99.00 20.24 21.08 Sqrt Pre Depression 212 .00 9.95 3.75 2.50 Post Depression 212 .00 94.00 18.98 20.90 Sqrt Post Depression 212 .00 9.70 3.57 2.50 Pre Anxiety 212 .00 100.00 35.50 24.82 Sqrt Pre Anxiety 212 .00 10.00 5.43 2.47 Post Anxiety 212 .00 100.00 28.74 24.55
43 Table 5 (Continued). N Minimum Maximum M SD Sqrt Post Anxiety 212 .00 10.00 4.69 2.61 Pre Self-Confidence 212 6.00 100.00 63.68 20.08 Post Self-Confidence 212 .00 100.00 60.38 22.39 Pre Anger 212 .00 100.00 15.24 19.84 Sqrt Pre Anger 212 .00 10.00 3.03 2.47 Post Anger 212 .00 85.00 15.62 19.91 Sqrt Post Anger 212 .00 9.22 3.09 2.47 Post Intention to Diet 209 .00 99.00 41.86 30.91
44 Table 6 Normality tests for original and transformed variables Condition Skewness Kurtosis Kolmogorov-Smirnov Shapiro-Wilk Prime Comparison Dependent variable n Statistic SE Statistic SE Statistic df p Statistic df p Dressing room Upward Pre Satisfaction with Appearance 35 -.691 .398 -.400 .778 .162 35 .020 .932 35 .033 Post Satisfaction with Appearance 35 -.522 .398 -.588 .778 .091 35 .200 .940 35 .057 Pre Dissatisfaction with Fitness 35 .186 .398 -1.015 .778 .135 35 .107 .950 35 .110 Post Dissatisfaction with Fitness 35 .087 .398 -1.282 .778 .121 35 .200 .932 35 .033 Pre Depression 35 1.293 .398 .720 .778 .198 35 .001 .820 35 .000 Sqrt Pre Depression 35 .298 .398 -.661 .778 .089 35 .200 .950 35 .116 Post Depression 35 1.301 .398 .998 .778 .201 35 .001 .848 35 .000 Sqrt Post Depression 35 .211 .398 -.534 .778 .092 35 .200 .967 35 .372 Pre Anxiety 35 .883 .398 .990 .778 .157 35 .028 .916 35 .011 Sqrt Pre Anxiety 35 .022 .398 -.152 .778 .148 35 .051 .966 35 .343 Post Anxiety 35 .876 .398 -.152 .778 .219 35 .000 .863 35 .000 Sqrt Post Anxiety 35 .366 .398 -1.175 .778 .181 35 .005 .922 35 .016 Pre Self-Confidence 35 -1.092 .398 .690 .778 .155 35 .032 .900 35 .004 Post Self-Confidence 35 -.434 .398 -.669 .778 .132 35 .126 .958 35 .197 Pre Anger 35 1.636 .398 2.127 .778 .238 35 .000 .778 35 .000 Sqrt Pre Anger 35 .562 .398 -.488 .778 .119 35 .200 .935 35 .039 Post Anger 35 1.351 .398 .709 .778 .208 35 .001 .801 35 .000 Sqrt Post Anger 35 .402 .398 -.606 .778 .088 35 .200 .945 35 .080 Post Intention to Diet 34 .042 .403 -1.344 .788 .138 34 .099 .928 34 .027
45 Table 6 (Continued). Condition Skewness Kurtosis Kolmogorov-Smirnov Shapiro-Wilk Prime Comparison Dependent variable n Statistic SE Statistic SE Statistic df p Statistic df p Downward Pre Satisfaction with Appearance 34 -.323 .403 -.667 .788 .125 34 .197 .966 34 .366 Post Satisfaction with Appearance 34 -.434 .403 -.389 .788 .096 34 .200 .969 34 .430 Pre Dissatisfaction with Fitness 34 .201 .403 -1.165 .788 .135 34 .122 .941 34 .067 Post Dissatisfaction with Fitness 34 .515 .403 -.668 .788 .127 34 .185 .950 34 .123 Pre Depression 34 1.384 .403 1.505 .788 .173 34 .012 .838 34 .000 Sqrt Pre Depression 34 .120 .403 -.698 .788 .126 34 .192 .940 34 .060 Post Depression 34 .905 .403 .064 .788 .162 34 .024 .880 34 .001 Sqrt Post Depression 34 .031 .403 -1.201 .788 .108 34 .200 .938 34 .056 Pre Anxiety 34 .474 .403 -.908 .788 .135 34 .118 .925 34 .023 Sqrt Pre Anxiety 34 -.344 .403 -.656 .788 .085 34 .200 .960 34 .246 Post Anxiety 34 .760 .403 -.436 .788 .163 34 .023 .905 34 .006 Sqrt Post Anxiety 34 -.028 .403 -.953 .788 .102 34 .200 .969 34 .430 Pre Self-Confidence 34 -.573 .403 .071 .788 .077 34 .200 .972 34 .515 Post Self-Confidence 34 -.077 .403 .173 .788 .112 34 .200 .964 34 .307 Pre Anger 34 1.727 .403 2.610 .788 .247 34 .000 .743 34 .000 Sqrt Pre Anger 34 .727 .403 -.555 .788 .158 34 .032 .890 34 .003 Post Anger 34 1.370 .403 .925 .788 .224 34 .000 .788 34 .000 Sqrt Post Anger 34 .449 .403 -.919 .788 .140 34 .087 .910 34 .008 Post Intention to Diet 33 .125 .409 -1.338 .798 .123 33 .200 .916 33 .014
46 Table 6 (Continued). Condition Skewness Kurtosis Kolmogorov-Smirnov Shapiro-Wilk Prime Comparison Dependent variable n Statistic SE Statistic SE Statistic df p Statistic df p Control Pre Satisfaction with Appearance 35 -.579 .398 -.088 .778 .098 35 .200 .956 35 .179 Post Satisfaction with Appearance 35 -.370 .398 -.643 .778 .137 35 .096 .958 35 .203 Pre Dissatisfaction with Fitness 35 .371 .398 -.978 .778 .111 35 .200 .946 35 .086 Post Dissatisfaction with Fitness 35 .328 .398 -.973 .778 .093 35 .200 .949 35 .103 Pre Depression 35 1.415 .398 1.809 .778 .177 35 .007 .844 35 .000 Sqrt Pre Depression 35 .111 .398 -.779 .778 .166 35 .016 .929 35 .027 Post Depression 35 1.756 .398 2.585 .778 .215 35 .000 .766 35 .000 Sqrt Post Depression 35 .506 .398 -.358 .778 .123 35 .197 .929 35 .027 Pre Anxiety 35 .197 .398 -1.338 .778 .120 35 .200 .919 35 .013 Sqrt Pre Anxiety 35 -.507 .398 -.984 .778 .138 35 .091 .911 35 .008 Post Anxiety 35 .339 .398 -1.187 .778 .145 35 .061 .905 35 .005 Sqrt Post Anxiety 35 -.319 .398 -1.360 .778 .137 35 .092 .897 35 .003 Pre Self-Confidence 35 -.875 .398 .496 .778 .120 35 .200 .936 35 .044 Post Self-Confidence 35 -.515 .398 -.476 .778 .123 35 .196 .956 35 .175 Pre Anger 35 1.442 .398 .880 .778 .245 35 .000 .758 35 .000 Sqrt Pre Anger 35 .571 .398 -.721 .778 .131 35 .133 .904 35 .005 Post Anger 35 1.810 .398 2.342 .778 .235 35 .000 .717 35 .000 Sqrt Post Anger 35 .725 .398 -.162 .778 .121 35 .200 .908 35 .006 Post Intention to Diet 34 -.236 .403 -1.333 .788 .153 34 .043 .905 34 .006
47 Table 6 (Continued). Condition Skewness Kurtosis Kolmogorov-Smirnov Shapiro-Wilk Prime Comparison Dependent variable n Statistic SE Statistic SE Statistic df p Statistic df p Telescope Upward Pre Satisfaction with Appearance 36 -.237 .393 -.815 .768 .150 36 .039 .966 36 .337 Post Satisfaction with Appearance 36 -.376 .393 -.481 .768 .122 36 .199 .966 36 .321 Pre Dissatisfaction with Fitness 36 -.022 .393 -1.146 .768 .123 36 .185 .956 36 .160 Post Dissatisfaction with Fitness 36 .015 .393 -.719 .768 .116 36 .200 .973 36 .527 Pre Depression 36 .760 .393 -.576 .768 .176 36 .006 .877 36 .001 Sqrt Pre Depression 36 -.028 .393 -1.239 .768 .116 36 .200 .930 36 .025 Post Depression 36 .897 .393 -.722 .768 .224 36 .000 .803 36 .000 Sqrt Post Depression 36 .298 .393 -1.359 .768 .131 36 .120 .892 36 .002 Pre Anxiety 36 .395 .393 -1.296 .768 .144 36 .058 .907 36 .005 Sqrt Pre Anxiety 36 -.260 .393 -.974 .768 .114 36 .200 .950 36 .104 Post Anxiety 36 .793 .393 -.691 .768 .187 36 .003 .867 36 .000 Sqrt Post Anxiety 36 .062 .393 -1.174 .768 .079 36 .200 .945 36 .075 Pre Self-Confidence 36 -.236 .393 -.421 .768 .071 36 .200 .983 36 .827 Post Self-Confidence 36 -.458 .393 -.293 .768 .096 36 .200 .967 36 .350 Pre Anger 36 1.440 .393 1.153 .768 .229 36 .000 .771 36 .000 Sqrt Pre Anger 36 .571 .393 -.797 .768 .136 36 .091 .907 36 .005 Post Anger 36 1.395 .393 .860 .768 .255 36 .000 .761 36 .000 Sqrt Post Anger 36 .596 .393 -.903 .768 .159 36 .022 .883 36 .001 Post Intention to Diet 35 .142 .393 -1.428 .768 .154 36 .031 .907 36 .005
48 Table 6 (Continued). Condition Skewness Kurtosis Kolmogorov-Smirnov Shapiro-Wilk Prime Comparison Dependent variable n Statistic SE Statistic SE Statistic df p Statistic df p Downward Pre Satisfaction with Appearance 36 -.096 .393 -.976 .768 .109 36 .200 .963 36 .274 Post Satisfaction with Appearance 36 -.556 .393 -.107 .768 .095 36 .200 .954 36 .144 Pre Dissatisfaction with Fitness 36 -.186 .393 -.981 .768 .125 36 .168 .953 36 .133 Post Dissatisfaction with Fitness 36 .036 .393 -.842 .768 .096 36 .200 .966 36 .337 Pre Depression 36 1.812 .393 3.514 .768 .264 36 .000 .795 36 .000 Sqrt Pre Depression 36 .571 .393 .086 .768 .175 36 .007 .960 36 .217 Post Depression 36 2.563 .393 7.873 .768 .208 36 .000 .725 36 .000 Sqrt Post Depression 36 .698 .393 1.492 .768 .124 36 .174 .946 36 .081 Pre Anxiety 36 .217 .393 -.777 .768 .080 36 .200 .973 36 .518 Sqrt Pre Anxiety 36 -.702 .393 .441 .768 .123 36 .183 .961 36 .233 Post Anxiety 36 .702 .393 -.295 .768 .179 36 .005 .918 36 .011 Sqrt Post Anxiety 36 -.049 .393 -.895 .768 .118 36 .200 .972 36 .494 Pre Self-Confidence 36 -.276 .393 -.664 .768 .092 36 .200 .965 36 .304 Post Self-Confidence 36 -.149 .393 -1.294 .768 .140 36 .073 .939 36 .047 Pre Anger 36 3.638 .393 17.219 .768 .226 36 .000 .629 36 .000 Sqrt Pre Anger 36 .885 .393 2.465 .768 .115 36 .200 .921 36 .014 Post Anger 36 2.648 .393 7.841 .768 .280 36 .000 .679 36 .000 Sqrt Post Anger 36 .903 .393 1.196 .768 .152 36 .035 .925 36 .018 Post Intention to Diet 36 .174 .393 -1.422 .768 .138 36 .082 .909 36 .006
49 Table 6 (Continued). Condition Skewness Kurtosis Kolmogorov-Smirnov Shapiro-Wilk Prime Comparison Dependent variable n Statistic SE Statistic SE Statistic df p Statistic df p Control Pre Satisfaction with Appearance 36 -.353 .393 -.323 .768 .109 36 .200 .976 36 .596 Post Satisfaction with Appearance 36 -.184 .393 -.585 .768 .080 36 .200 .968 36 .379 Pre Dissatisfaction with Fitness 36 -.001 .393 -.838 .768 .109 36 .200 .976 36 .595 Post Dissatisfaction with Fitness 36 -.211 .393 -1.004 .768 .094 36 .200 .958 36 .190 Pre Depression 36 1.256 .393 1.114 .768 .162 36 .018 .869 36 .001 Sqrt Pre Depression 36 .138 .393 -.400 .768 .099 36 .200 .975 36 .566 Post Depression 36 1.504 .393 1.991 .768 .172 36 .009 .833 36 .000 Sqrt Post Depression 36 .240 .393 -.412 .768 .078 36 .200 .962 36 .250 Pre Anxiety 36 .192 .393 -.556 .768 .117 36 .200 .955 36 .147 Sqrt Pre Anxiety 36 -.711 .393 -.225 .768 .152 36 .034 .932 36 .030 Post Anxiety 36 .191 .393 -1.131 .768 .121 36 .200 .947 36 .086 Sqrt Post Anxiety 36 -.734 .393 -.054 .768 .105 36 .200 .928 36 .022 Pre Self-Confidence 36 -.592 .393 -.142 .768 .124 36 .174 .949 36 .097 Post Self-Confidence 36 -.417 .393 -.174 .768 .086 36 .200 .965 36 .295 Pre Anger 36 1.511 .393 1.467 .768 .211 36 .000 .787 36 .000 Sqrt Pre Anger 36 .512 .393 -.520 .768 .113 36 .200 .943 36 .062 Post Anger 36 1.576 .393 1.687 .768 .203 36 .001 .781 36 .000 Sqrt Post Anger 36 .496 .393 -.403 .768 .089 36 .200 .945 36 .072 Post Intention to Diet 36 .193 .393 -1.051 .768 .129 36 .135 .935 36 .035
50 In order to ensure that a multivariate approach was appropriate, the correlations between the dependent variables were examined, and can be seen in Table 7. In general, the correlations are small to medium, w ith Self-Confidence and Satisfaction with Appearance slightly higher than the others. Overall, however the pattern of mostly small to medium correlations among the variable s makes the use of MANOVA appropriate. Table 7 Correlations among the dependent variables Post Satisfaction with Appearance Post Dissatisfacti on with Fitness Sqrt Post Depression Sqrt Post Anxiety Post SelfConfidence Sqrt Post Anger Post Satisfaction with Appearance Post Dissatisfaction with Fitness -.543** Sqrt Post Depression -.275** .330** Sqrt Post Anxiety -.180** .147* .557** Post SelfConfidence .645** -.527** -.351** -.255** Sqrt Post Anger -.209** .191** .671** .563** -.260** Note. N = 212 p < .05. ** p < .01. Assumptions for analysis of covariance were also examined and verified. The pretest covariates were found to be signifi cantly correlated with the posttest dependent variables (see Table 8). The assumption of homogeneity of regression planes was evaluated by conducting a MANOVA in which th e interactions between the covariates and the independent variables were treated as an effect. The interactions were not significant (Wilks Lambda = .3341; approximate F (180, 981.65) = 1.114, p = .16),
51 suggesting that the assumption of homogeneity of regression planes was not violated. Finally, Boxs test of the equality of th e covariance matrices was nonsignificant, F (105, 67935.53) = 1.090, p = .25, indicating that th e pattern of variances and covariances did not differ across groups. Table 8 Correlations among the pretest covariates and posttest dependent variables. Pretest Measures Posttest Measures Satisfaction with Appearance Dissatisfaction with Fitness Sqrt Depression Sqrt Anxiety SelfConfidence Sqrt Anger Satisfaction with Appearance .656** -.462** -.180** -.085 .485** .004 Dissatisfaction with Fitness -.456** .811** .290** .147* -.414** .006 Sqrt Depression -.314** .215** .825** .485** -.325** .530** Sqrt Anxiety -.140* .102 .484** .790** -.221** .457** Self-Confidence .594** -.479** -.274** -.231** .799** -.084 Sqrt Anger -.192** .138* .584** .467** -.223** .748** Note. N = 212 p < .05. ** p < .01. A multivariate analysis of covariance was then conducted, with the 6 pretest covariates, Comparison condition, Prime conditi on, and their interaction as independent variables, and the 6 posttest measures as dependent variables. The multivariate tests indicated that each of the covariates contribut ed significantly to the model (see Table 9). In addition, there was a signifi cant main effect of type of comparison (Wilks Lambda = .839, F (12, 390) = 2.99, p = .001, partial 2 = .08). However, neither the prime main effect nor the interaction between prim e and comparison were significant.
52 Table 9 Multivariate tests Effect Wilks Lambda F Hypothesis df Error df p Partial 2 Intercept .897 3.74 6 195 .002 .10 Pre Appearance Satisfaction .712 13.12 6 195 .000 .29 Pre Dissatisfaction with Fitness .428 43.44 6 195 .000 .57 Sqrt Pre Depression .491 33.70 6 195 .000 .51 Sqrt Pre Anxiety .480 35.26 6 195 .000 .52 Pre SelfConfidence .526 29.29 6 195 .000 .47 Sqrt Pre Anger .584 23.11 6 195 .000 .42 Prime .961 1.31 6 195 .255 .04 Comparison .839 2.99 12 390 .001 .08 Prime Comparison .933 1.14 12 390 .326 .03 Follow up univariate ANCOVAs adjusting for pretest covariates were conducted to determine which of the dependent variables contributed to the multivariate effect. As can be seen in Table 10, there was a signi ficant difference across Comparison condition for Satisfaction with Appearance, F (2, 200) = 11.42, p < .001, partial 2 = .10, and for Self-Confidence, F (2,200) = 9.64, p < .001, partial 2 = .09. The adjusted means, standard errors, and confidence intervals fo r all the dependent variables by Comparison condition appear in Table 11.
53 Table 10 Univariate ANCOVA results Dependent Variable df F p Partial 2 Post Satisfaction with Appearance 2 11.421 .000 .103 Post Dissatisfaction with Fitness 2 1.959 .144 .019 Sqrt Post Depression 2 .993 .372 .010 Sqrt Post Anxiety 2 1.768 .173 .017 Post Self-Confidence 2 9.641 .000 .088 Sqrt Post Anger 2 1.626 .199 .016
54 Table 11 Adjusted means of dependent variables for Comparison conditions 95% Confidence Interval Dependent variable Comparison condition M a SE Lower Bound Upper Bound Post Satisfaction Upward 52.0711.92448.27755.865 with Appearance Downward 64.6571.93360.84568.470 Control 55.3971.92551.60159.192 Post Dissatisfaction Upward 48.4211.81144.84951.993 with Fitness Downward 43.8231.82040.23447.413 Control 48.0071.81244.43451.580 Sqrt Post Upward 3.749.1613.4324.066 Depression Downward 3.533.1623.2143.851 Control 3.435.1613.1183.752 Sqrt Post Anxiety Upward 4.690.1874.3205.059 Downward 4.438.1884.0674.809 Control 4.937.1874.5685.307 Post SelfUpward 56.9201.47354.01459.825 Confidence Downward 65.5971.48162.67768.516 Control 58.6681.47455.76261.575 Sqrt Post Anger Upward 3.281.1842.9173.644 Downward 2.824.1852.4593.190 Control 3.155.1842.7923.519 a Evaluated at covariates appeared in the m odel: Pre Satisfaction with Appearance = 56.3726, Pre Dissatisfaction with Fitness = 47.1887, Sqrt Pre Depression = 3.7459, Sqrt Pre Anxiety = 5.4270, Pre SelfConfidence = 63.6840, Sqrt Pre Anger = 3.0310.
55 The univariate analyses were fo llowed by pairwise comparisons of the Comparison groups for Satisfaction with App earance and Self-Confidence. A Bonferroni correction was applied, such that the significance level criterion was set to = .05/6 = .008, in order to control experiment-wise error. The pairwise comparisons on Satisfaction with Appearance a nd Self-Confidence appear in Table 12, and indicate that for both variables the Upward and Downward conditions differed significantly, as did the Downward and Control conditions, but that there was not a significant difference between the Upward and Control conditions. Table 12 Pairwise comparisons across comparison condition Comparison condition Comparison condition Mean difference SE p Post Satisfaction with Appearance Upward Downward -12.586* 2.729 .000 Upward Control -3.325 2.731 .225 Downward Control 9.261* 2.731 .001 Post Self-Confidence Upward Downward -8.677*2.090 .000 Upward Control -1.749 2.091 .404 Downward Control 6.929* 2.091 .001 Note. Based on estimated marginal means. The mean difference is significant at the p < .008 level.
56 As mentioned above, the Intention to Diet item was analyzed separately because its inclusion was highly explor atory. The distribution of th is item was examined for outliers and extreme skewness and kurtosis, and no problems were found. However, three participants failed to provide answers to the posttest Intention to Diet VAS item. Since these participants answered all the othe r items, the three cases with missing data on Intention to Diet were deleted from the analysis on this item only. The univariate ANOVA with Intent to Diet had nonsignificant main effects for prime condition, F (1,203) = .52, p = .47, partial 2 = .003, for comparison condition, F (2,203) = .43, p = .65, partial 2 = .004, and for their interaction, F (2,203) = .18, p = .83, partial 2 = .002.
57 Discussion The results of the current study provid ed mixed support for the hypotheses. It was hypothesized that there would be an effect of comparis on condition on mood and body image, with participants who viewed the photos of highly attractive women showing the lowest satisfaction with th eir appearance and most negative mood, participants who viewed the photos rated as highly unattract ive being most satisfied and have the lowest levels of negative mood, a nd the blank slide cont rol condition being in the middle of these two extremes. A signifi cant main effect for priming condition was also hypothesized. It was expected that participants who underw ent the appearancerelated imagery prime would show lower sati sfaction and more negative mood. Further, an interaction between comp arison condition and priming c ondition was hypothesized. We proposed that participants who imagined themselves in a dressing room trying on bathing suits and who then viewed photos of highly attractive wo men would have the highest levels of body dissatisfaction and affec tive distress. However, participants given the same appearance prime but who then viewed photos of not-a ttractive women were expected to have the lowest levels of body image disturbance and negative mood. Participants in the other c onditions we expected to fall somewhere between these two conditions on the dependent variables. There was in fact an effect of comp arison condition on both overall satisfaction with appearance and self-confidence. The pattern of means indicated that for both
58 dependent variables, the downward compar ison condition resulted in a better outcome, i.e. greater satisfaction and self-confidence, compared to both the upward comparison condition and the blank slide control condition. The diffe rence between the downward and upward comparison conditions is in agreem ent with the well-esta blished finding that viewing media images of highly attr active women causes increases in body dissatisfaction compared to viewing less at tractive women (Groesz, Levine, & Murnen, 2002). However, the upward comparison and control conditi ons did not differ significantly in the curre nt investigation. This is an in teresting result given the review and meta-analysis of media exposure studies conducted by Groesz et al. (2002), which found an effect of viewing ideal images. Howe ver, there are other studies that also found no difference between ideal images and contro l (no model) images (Stice & Shaw, 1994). One possible, though perhaps unlikely, expl anation for the findings here is that the effect found in the literat ure is not in fact due to the upward comparison condition resulting in increased distre ss, but to the downward compar ison condition resulting in decreased distress. However, the findings of numerous studies in which increases in body dissatisfaction and negative affect afte r exposure to ideal images were found (Cattarin, Thompson, Thomas, & Willia ms, 2000; Heinberg & Thompson, 1995; Thornton & Maurice, 1997) would ar gue against this interpretation. Motive for social comparison may help expl ain the variability in the outcomes of social comparison studies such as the curre nt investigation. Some researchers have proposed that if individuals are comparing themselves to ideal images in order to evaluate their own appearance, as is assumed in most social comparison and media exposure studies, then the likely outcome is decreased satisfaction. However, if an individuals
59 motive for comparing is self-improvement, perhaps using the thin media images as models or goals, then the expected result is no decrease in satisfaction and perhaps even increased satisfaction (Martin & Gentry, 1997) Several studies (Mills, Polivy, Herman, & Tiggemann, 2002; Joshi, Herman, & Polivy, 2004) have found support for this hypothesis by examining exposure to thin-ideal images in restrained eaters, who are more likely to have a self-improvement motive, a nd unrestrained eaters. Restrained eaters were unaffected by exposure to ideal imag es, whereas unrestrained eaters showed decreased satisfaction. Halliw ell and Dittmar (in press) experimentally manipulated social comparison motive, as was done by Ma rtin & Gentry (1997), and confirmed that self-improvement-motivated comparison to thin media images led to no change in appearance anxiety. While there may be a sign ificant overall negative effect of viewing thin media images, the current findings, in th e context of the above studies, suggest that motive for social comparison might be an importa nt variable to include in future social comparison and media exposure studies. As regards the priming manipulation, the la ck of a significant priming effect in the current study is disappointing. This findi ng is in agreement with the results reported by Birkeland et al. (2005), w ho did not find that images of beauty products led to any more body image or mood disturbance than im ages of everyday household products. However, it was hoped that by developing and piloting a stronger prime than was used by Birkeland et al., activation of participants appearance-rela ted self-schemata might be achieved. Unfortunately, the data did not support this. There was no difference on any of the dependent variables between those pa rticipants who were given the appearance prime and those who were given the non-appearance prime.
60 There are several possible explanations for this result. First, of course, is the possibility that appearance self-schemata do not in fact exist, and thus were not primed by the imagery exercise, resulting in no diffe rence between the two priming conditions. However, the substantial literature showing information processing biases (Williamson, 1996; Williamson, Muller, Reas, & Thaw, 1999) makes this explanation unlikely. Alternatively, it could be that the imagery manipulation was not in fact an effective enough prime to activate participants appearan ce self-schemata. However, the clearly significant results obtained on the BISS and the Word Stem Completion task in the pilot study argue against this explanation. One possibility is that the lack of an effect is due to the choice of dependent variables, the VAS measures of body image and mood. These measures may not be sensitive enough to detect the e ffect. Or it may be that condu cting a multivariate analysis reduced power. This may be the case if th e effect of the prime was confined to body image outcomes only (Stevens, 2002). La vin and Cash (2000) found that having participants listen to information regard ing appearance stereo typing, for instance, affected body image but not mood outcomes. On the other hand, one of the three studies by Altabe and Thompson (1996) showed an effect of appearance priming on mood but not on body image. The priming manipulation in the current study was piloted with only body dissatisfaction measures as outcome variables, so we conducted an additional exploratory analysis of the main study da ta using only the overall satisfaction and physical appearance dissatisfaction VASs. In this analysis there was an appearancepriming effect for overall satisfaction with a ppearance. Of course, this is post hoc and informed by the data, so this finding must be verified in a separate study. It would be
61 beneficial to include dependent variables other than just a ppearance satisfaction in such a study. It might also be advisable in fu ture studies to group the mood and body image variables separately and conduct separate analyses. Future studies might also include an ev en stronger priming manipulation, or at least a prime that is detected by VAS measur es. Currently VAS measures of appearance and body dissatisfaction are the least likely to in themselves prime self-schemas, and so are better suited to a pr iming study than other measures of body image. It would appear that any prime which will be used in a singl e session pretest-posttest study will likely be assessed with VAS items, so it is important to test a prime which is clearly detected by VAS items. In addition to developing an even stronger priming manipulation, researchers might also develop severa l different VAS items which assess body dissatisfaction. These items could then be summed them to form a composite, which may be more reliable and perhaps more sensitive to priming. Another potential explanation of the lack of a priming effect is that the priming may be very short-lived and have degraded substantially during the time that the photos or blank slides were shown. It might be helpful to test the effect of the priming manipulation across time in future pilot studies, perhaps with a distracter task in between assessments. Alternatively, we could have in cluded the Word Stem Completion task as an additional dependent variable in the main study to assess whether participants were primed at the same level after the social comparison condition as participants in the pilot study were immediately after the manipulation. One additional issue that was not addressed in the current study is that of possible moderators of the priming effect. Most of the studies of information processing biases
62 involved comparisons between groups sc oring high and low on eating or body image related measures. For example, Fuller, Williamson, and Anderson (1995) found differences on a lexical decision task between participants with higher and lower body dissatisfaction. Jones-Chesters, Monsell, and Cooper (1998) demonstrated differences between eating disordered and non-eating diso rdered groups on a modified Stroop test, while Tantleff-Dunn and Thompson (1998) f ound that participants with higher body anxiety interpreted videotaped scenarios of ambiguous feedback regarding appearance more negatively than those with lower body a nxiety. In addition, seve ral studies included dispositional level of appearance schematic ity or another cogni tive body image related variable as a moderator of a priming or media exposure effect. Cash, for example, has conducted several studies in which a priming e ffect was found in all groups, but was also found to be strongest for participants with higher levels of pr e-existing appearance schematicity (Cash, Fleming et al., 2002; La barge, Cash, & Brown, 1998; Lavin & Cash, 2001). Since simply assessing participants di spositional levels of body dissatisfaction, appearance schematicity, or internalization of sociocultural appearance norms would in itself most likely have primed appearance self-schemas, we did not include these variables in the current investigation. Howe ver, future studies of appearance priming and social comparison might assess body image relate d dispositional characteristics in such a way as to not prime the participants app earance self-schemata, whether that be by burying the relevant questionna ire among many others, conducti ng a longitudinal study in which Time 1 measures include dispositional variables but the priming manipulation does not occur until later, or some other technique.
63 Intention to Diet at posttest was a highl y exploratory analysis, so its results should be taken with caution. The finding of no main effects or interactions could be due to a variety of design issues, incl uding low power due to the fact that there was no pretest covariate for this measure. The suggesti ons above regarding pr etest assessment of dispositional characteristics also are relevant here. Using a more complete measure of eating behaviors would also strengthen future re search. In general, further investigation of the behavioral consequences of exposur e to upward or downw ard comparison targets would be a useful addition to the literatur e on the cognitive and affective outcomes of comparison. Overall the results of the current stud y support previous research that has not found an effect of priming on body image dist urbance, when compared with viewing idealized images of women (Birke land et al., 2005). If future studies also replicate this result, then it would appear that viewing idealized imag es is a much more powerful influence on body image than is simply priming appearance self-schemas. The social comparison results are in agreement with the substantial literature showing the important role of social comparison in body dissa tisfaction (Cattarin, Thompson, Thomas, & Williams, 2000; Martin & Gentry, 1997; Stormer and Thompson, 1996; van den Berg, Thompson, Obremski-Brandon, and Coovert, 2002). In addition to the weaknesses discusse d above, the current study also possessed several characteristics that contributed to its streng th. Primary among these is the piloting of the priming manipulation, which s uggested that the imagery exercise was a significant and, for the Word Stem Completion task, a potent activat or of participants self-schemas. Also, the inclusion of a downward comparison condition allowed for a
64 more complete test of the social comparis on theory of body dissatisf action. The adequate sample size adds to validity of the results as well. In summary, the current study suggests th at viewing idealized images of women leads to a greater level of body dissatisfacti on than viewing images of less attractive women. In the context of this study, priming of appearance schemas does not appear to be a significant cause of mood or body image di sturbance. Modificat ions to the design and the conduct of additional studies would help to furthe r explain these findings and lead to greater understanding of the role of appearance self-schemas and social comparison in body dissatisfaction in women.
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79 Appendix A: Sample items fr om Stimuli Rating Questionnaire DIRECTIONS: For each photo please complete the correspondi ng set of questions. Use the scales below indicate your answer by ci rcling the correct number. Photo Number: 1 Please rate the model's appearance using the scale below (please circle one). 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 |----------------|---------------|----------------|---------------|----------------|----------------| Very Underweight Moderately Underweight Slightly Underweight Average Slightly Overweight Moderately Overweight Very Overweight Please rate the model's attractiveness using the scale below (please circle one). 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 |----------------|---------------|----------------|---------------|----------------|----------------| Very Attractive Moderately Attractive Slightly Attractive Average Slightly Unattractive Moderately Unattractive Very Unattractive Please rate the model's mood using the scale below (please circle one). 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 |----------------|---------------|----------------|---------------|----------------|----------------| Very Positive Mood Moderately Positive Mood Slightly Positive Mood Neither Positive nor Negative Mood Slightly Negative Mood Moderately Negative Mood Very Negative Mood Please rate the models age using the scale below (please circle one). 1 2 3 4 |----------------| ----------------|----------------| Under 18 18-25 26-35 36 or older Are there any problems with this photo (clarity, content, etc. ) that we should address?
80 Appendix B: Instructions for the appearan ce and non-appearance priming manipulations We would like you to close your eyes and imagine yourself in the following situation: Please concentrate on maki ng the situation as real as possible in your mind. For instance, think about: what you would see what you would feel the sounds you might hear It is often easiest to imagi ne yourself in someplace you have been before, and that y ou can easily call to mind. You will have approximately 1 minut e to imagine this situation. [Looking through a telescope at the night sky.] OR [Trying on bathing suits in the dressing room of a department or clothing store.]
81 Appendix C: Adapted version of the Word Stem Completion Task (Tiggemann et al., 2004) Word Stem Completion Task Please complete the following word st ems with whatever word comes to your mind first. For example: EXA EXA mple or EXA mination or EXA... FRE FRE eze or FRE e or FRE 1. PRE 23.BEA 45. CUT 2. CAL 24.ADO 46. TRI 3. BIN 25.ATT 47. BUS 4. SCA 26.WEI 48. HEA 5. GOR 27.FIG 49. TAL 6. DIE 28.STO 50. SHO 7. THI 29.LAR 51. FAC 8. SLE 30.BEL 52. EXE 9. PLU 31.MOD 53. OVE 10. SLI 32.MIR 54. GAR 11. SKI 33.FAS 55. WOR 12. HAN 34.FAT 56. APP 13. BLO 35.GLA 57. STY 14. GRO 36.AER 58. MAS 15. OBE 37.FIT 59. COS
82 Appendix C: (Continued) 16. PET 38.CHU 60. JAC 17. CHE 39.FLA 61. PUD 18. MUS 40.BUT 62. UNA 19. CEL 41.CLO 63. BIK 20. WAI 42.HAI 64. BRE 21. SHA 43.LEG 65. UND 22. LOO 44.DRE
83 Appendix D: Body Image States S cale (Cash, Fleming, et al., 2002). For each of the items below, check the box beside the one statement that best describes how you feel RIGHT NOW AT THIS VERY MOME NT. Read the items carefully to be sure the statement you choose accurately and ho nestly describes how you feel right now. 1. Right now I feel Extremely dissatisfied with my physical appearance Mostly dissatisfied with my physical appearance Moderately dissatisfied with my physical appearance Slightly dissatisfied with my physical appearance Neither dissatisfied nor satisfied with my physical appearance Slightly satisfied with my physi cal appearance Moderately satisfied with my physical appearance Mostly satisfied with my physi cal appearance Extremely satisfied with my physical appearance 2. Right now I feel Extremely dissatisfied with my body size and shape Mostly dissatisfied with my body size and shape Moderately dissatisfied with my body size and shape Slightly dissatisfied with my body size and shape Neither dissatisfied nor satisfied with my body size and shape Slightly satisfied with my body size and shape Moderately satisfied with my body size and shape Mostly satisfied with my body size and shape Extremely satisfied with my body size and shape 3. Right now I feel Extremely dissatisfied with my weight Mostly dissatisfied with my weight Moderately dissatisfied with my weight Slightly dissatisfied with my weight Neither dissatisfied nor satisfied with my weight Slightly satisfied with my weight Moderately satisfied with my weight Mostly satisfied with my weight Extremely satisfied with my weight 4. Right now I feel Extremely physically attractive Very physically attractive Moderately physically attractive Slightly physically attractive Neither attractive nor unattractive
84 Appendix D: (Continued) Slightly physically unattractive Moderately physically unattractive Very physically unattractive Extremely physically unattractive 5. Right now I feel A great deal worse about my looks than I usually feel Much worse about my looks than I usually feel Somewhat worse about my looks than I usually feel Just slightly worse about my looks than I usually feel About the same about my looks as usual Just slightly better about my looks than I usually feel Somewhat better about my looks than I usually feel Much better about my looks than I usually feel A great deal better about my looks than I usually feel 6. Right now I feel that I look A great deal better than the average person looks Much better than the average person looks Somewhat better than the average person looks Just slightly better than the average person looks About the same as the average person looks Just slightly worse than the average person looks Somewhat worse than the average person looks Much worse than the average person looks A great deal worse than the average person looks
85 Appendix E: Example of VAS item Overall Appearance Satisfaction. Instructions: Place a mark through the area of the line that matches your current level of feeling for the following emotion: Satisfaction with your Overall Appearance: None Extreme
86 Appendix F: Demographics Questionnaire. Age : ___________ Race (circle one): African-American/Black Asian-American Caucasian Latino/Hispanic Native American Other (specify): ___________________________ Weight : __________________________ ________ Height : __________ Year in College : ___________________________ Major : _____________________ ______________
87 Appendix G: Attention Check Questionnaire. 1. I saw image/s of men. ___ True ___ False 2. Some of the images I saw had several people in them. ___ True ___ False 3. I saw image/s of African-American women. ___ True ___ False 4. I saw image/s of a woman in a bathing suit. ___ True ___ False
About the Author Patricia van den Berg received her B. A. in Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1994, and entered th e Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at the University of South Florida in 1995. She earned her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from USF in 2001. While in the Ph.D. program at the Univ ersity of South Florida, Ms. van den Bergs primary area of interest was soci ocultural factors in body image and eating behaviors. She coauthored several publica tions in various journals, and made poster presentations at the Academy of Eating Diso rders and Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy annual conferences. She ta ught courses in resear ch methods, tests and measurements, and child psychology, as well as serving as a teaching assistant for several courses.