Master of Arts (MA)
Faculty of Science
According to objectification theory, females are socialised to internalize a third person perspective of their own physical appearance (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997), which in turn serves to decrease well-being (Sands & Wardle, 2003). In our culture, one of the biggest culprits for portraying a negative perspective of women's bodies is media (Thompson & Heinberg, 1999). In an effort to combat the harmful effects of media, researchers have suggested that being able to critically evaluate (i.e., media literacy) such messages may be helpful (Tiggeman, Gardiner, & Slater, 2000). Past research has failed to measure trait self-objectification (TSO: high, low) and its interaction with media literacy videos. Thus, the present study investigated the effectiveness of two media literacy interventions designed to decrease internalization of the thin ideal and increase well-being. First year university women were pre-selected on their level of TSO. At Time 1, those low and high in TSO completed measures of internalization, awareness, self-esteem, positive and negative affect, and depression. At Time 2, they viewed media literacy videos that varied in their level of state self-objectification (SSO; high, low), completed the same measures as Time 1, and open-ended questions about their reactions to the videos. At Time 3, they completed the same measures as Time 1, and open-ended questions about their reactions to the videos. Although no three-way interactions between TSO, SSO, and time were found, profile analyses of general well-being measures found that high TSO women reported lower well-being compared to low TSO women. Further, qualitative results showed that women experienced a number of positive changes in well-being such as feeling better about oneself and body. Implications for future research on the interaction between TSO and SSO are discussed.
Choma, Becky L., "A media literacy intervention: Using self-objectification as a tool for identifying changes in well-being and internalization" (2004). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 752.