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Effect of Thin vs. Plus-Size Models: A Comparison of Body Image Ideals by Gender
Unformatted Document Text:  Ideal Body Image, 21 In contrast to the gender differences in perceptions of the ideal, which, at least on the surface, lends credence to the position that men might not be as focused on the thin female ideal, data from Table 1 reveal a different pattern. In Table 1, it can be seen that despite their preference for a heavier ideal, men found thinner models more attractive than plus-size models, whereas reported no differences, and in one case a reversal of this pattern, at least fro the models evaluated in this study. This difference was one of the items pursued in the follow-up experiment. Experiment 2 Encouraged by the findings from Experiment 1, in a follow-up study we decided to examine the body image elasticity hypothesis stated in H6 by using a pre-post design, with the addition of actual body shape as another dependent variable for the female participants. The results from Experiment 1 were based on perceptions of ideal body shape. These results could be strengthened if the effect could be extended to one’s actual body shape. Further, our goal was to examine “body image elasticity” observed by Myers and Biocca (1992), which requires pre- and post-exposure measures of actual body image. Hence, in Experiment 2 all body shape estimates were obtained twice: pre- evaluations were obtained a week before the experiment and post-evaluations were obtained immediately after exposure. Another concern from Experiment 1 was the biasing of social norms, which could have been contaminated after exposure to thin and plus-size models. By obtaining assessments of social norms a week before the experiment, the issue of contamination was addressed. In short, the purpose of Experiment 2 was to replicate Experiment 1, with two additions: (1) baseline evaluations of actual, ideal, and social norms that were assessed a

Authors: Prabu, David., Liu, Kaiya. and Cortese, Juliann.
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Ideal Body Image, 21
In contrast to the gender differences in perceptions of the ideal, which, at least on
the surface, lends credence to the position that men might not be as focused on the thin
female ideal, data from Table 1 reveal a different pattern. In Table 1, it can be seen that
despite their preference for a heavier ideal, men found thinner models more attractive
than plus-size models, whereas reported no differences, and in one case a reversal of this
pattern, at least fro the models evaluated in this study. This difference was one of the
items pursued in the follow-up experiment.
Experiment 2
Encouraged by the findings from Experiment 1, in a follow-up study we decided
to examine the body image elasticity hypothesis stated in H6 by using a pre-post design,
with the addition of actual body shape as another dependent variable for the female
participants. The results from Experiment 1 were based on perceptions of ideal body
shape. These results could be strengthened if the effect could be extended to one’s actual
body shape. Further, our goal was to examine “body image elasticity” observed by Myers
and Biocca (1992), which requires pre- and post-exposure measures of actual body
image. Hence, in Experiment 2 all body shape estimates were obtained twice: pre-
evaluations were obtained a week before the experiment and post-evaluations were
obtained immediately after exposure. Another concern from Experiment 1 was the
biasing of social norms, which could have been contaminated after exposure to thin and
plus-size models. By obtaining assessments of social norms a week before the
experiment, the issue of contamination was addressed.
In short, the purpose of Experiment 2 was to replicate Experiment 1, with two
additions: (1) baseline evaluations of actual, ideal, and social norms that were assessed a


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