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Are you regretting your Tattoo? : The effects of demographical variables, initial motivations, impulsiveness, tattoo characteristics, daily events and the decision-making process on having regrets about a tattoo

Oosterzee, A.F. van (2009) Are you regretting your Tattoo? : The effects of demographical variables, initial motivations, impulsiveness, tattoo characteristics, daily events and the decision-making process on having regrets about a tattoo.

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Abstract:Background. As our society is becoming more tattoo-acceptant, having tattoos is a growing phenomenon among people of all ages, cultures and ethnic groups. The number of people that have regrets about a tattoo is also increasing. Regretting tattoos causes considerable psychological burden, which could have been avoided or reduced if certain factors had been considered more thoroughly. Unfortunately, there are many gaps in the existing (Dutch) literature about this topic. Therefore, this article covers an explorative research about tattoos and tattoo-related regret. Aim. The purpose of the present study is to examine why and how badly people regret their tattoos, and what factors differ between the regret and the non-regret group. Also, gender-related effects are studied. Method. To answer the research questions by addressing the concepts mentioned above, a Dutch cross-sectional online survey was performed. All participants were Dutch individuals that were over sixteen years of age, who had received a tattoo at least once in their life. The following variables are examined: demographics, characteristics of the tattoo, impulsiveness, initial motivations for having the tattoo, tattoo-related stressors in daily life and the length and the intensity of the decision-making process that participants underwent before making the decision to have a tattoo. Results. Results of the 392 fully completed questionnaires showed that 55 individuals (14.0%) experienced tattoo-related regret. No significant relationship between demographical variables and regret was found, apart from ‘Age’ (the older the individual, the less regret was experienced). More impulsive people generally experienced more tattoo-related regret. Tattoo characteristics such as size, number of colors or location of the tattoo on the body had no significant effect on regret. The length and intensity of the decision-making process proved to be important variables in this context: the no regret group paid more attention to certain facets of the decision-making process, e.g. searching for information about reliable tattoo shops and health risks. Certain initial motivations might cause more chance of regret (e.g. having a tattoo for social/group cohesion reasons, such as ‘wanting to fit in’). The ‘best’ motivations for having a tattoo have to do with conveying a personal message, for example, a spiritual meaning. Tattoo-regretting individuals struggle significantly more with daily tattoo-related hassles, such as changed attributed meaning of a tattoo, and experiencing health problems and insecurity, as well as career-related problems. Conclusion. The decision-making process, initial motivations, impulsiveness and daily tattoo hassles have a strong effect on experiencing regret. These findings could be important when providing the public with information or when designing interventions to reduce or avoid regret. Further scientific research on this phenomenon should be performed in order to fill the gap in tattoo and regret-related literature in the Netherlands and to create more understanding of this problem.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/59660
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