Social Comparison Theory

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A study has shown that Internet appearance exposure and magazine reading exposure were correlated with higher internalization of thin ideals, appearance comparison, weight dissatisfaction, and drive for thinness in adolescent girls of mean age of 14.9 years. (Tiggemann & Miller, 2010). As mentioned in lecture, an average American watches 5.13 hours TV per day. (K.Dalrymple, personal communication, October 26,2015). This data shows that television is a dominant media that plays a great deal in our lives. In addition, according to Sparks(2013), young females tend to compare their own bodies with those that are frequently depicted in the media to the extent that they may start to develop various eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia nervosa. …show more content…
Social comparison theory refers to the constant self-judgments against others in order to see how we measure up due to the need for self-evaluation.(Andsager,J.L., 2011). There are two types of comparison. Firstly, downward comparison refers to the process where individuals compare to others who are less than themselves to feel better about themselves. This will result in a boost of self-esteem and aiding individuals to keep their status quo. Secondly, upward comparison refers to the process where individuals compare themselves to someone better. This will in result in either self-dissatisfaction or motivation for self-improvement. According to Andsager (2011), exposure to thin ideal in media may lead to social comparison, where media consumers compare themselves to people in the media (E.g. diet product ads) using mostly upward comparison, which would lead to an increase in body dissatisfaction and a decrease in …show more content…
According to Sparks (2013), Alan Roberts and Emily Good reported that the harmful effects of media images might not be as widespread as what we used to believe. In fact, recent research suggested that the harmful effects of media exposure to thin body images seemed to happen mainly for women who are high in neuroticism. This implies that the majority of women would not be affected by media exposure to thin body images. This may be a potential problem for my proposed media research because it would be difficult to identify my research participants into groups that are characterized with high neuroticism or low neuroticism. It also affects the external validity and ecological validity of my proposed research, because each individual are characterized with different levels of neuroticism. And thus, would be difficult to generalize the result of the research to other

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