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“Too thin is no longer in” : The influence of exposing ‘healthy vs. too thin’ models on body discrepancy, attitude and purchase intention.

Wijk, S.J. van (2013) “Too thin is no longer in” : The influence of exposing ‘healthy vs. too thin’ models on body discrepancy, attitude and purchase intention.

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Abstract:The present study examined the effects of exposure to model types (healthy vs. too thin) on women’s body discrepancy level, attitude towards advertisement and purchase intention. It was argued that next to the type of model, the congruence between the model and the product was important as well. Within this present study, the interaction (congruence) between the model and product was therefore added as an extra dependent variable. In line with other researches, we set up hypotheses. Unfortunately, in our study we were not able to find significant evidence to support any of our hypotheses and we were therefore not able to claim that the model type (too thin vs. healthy) had an influence on body discrepancy, attitude, buying intention or congruence. Results did show that a large part of the samples evaluated themselves with a high body discrepancy rate, meaning that they wanted to lose one body size or more. This led to a higher intention to do sports and work on a healthy body. Furthermore, significant results were found for the effect between the type of model and the perceived attractiveness. Participants perceived a healthy model as more attractive and ‘healthy looking’ compared to the thin model. We could also confirm that the type of product had an effect on buying intention. Participants were more willing to buy a healthy product than an unhealthy product. Additionally, this present research claims that congruence between the model and the product plays an important role in the effectiveness of the advertisement, however, follow up research should examine this more thoroughly and focus more on whether or not participants actually notice the congruence or non-congruence within the advertisement. The study (n=111) was mainly conducted within the cafeteria of a University where women were randomly assigned to one of the four conditions (1. thin model vs. healthy product, 2. thin model vs. unhealthy product, 3. healthy model vs. healthy product, 4. healthy model vs. unhealthy product).
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/64375
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