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The thin fantasy : An examination of a potential factor in mass media's self-enhancing effects on restrained eaters

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Item Summary

Title:The thin fantasy : An examination of a potential factor in mass media's self-enhancing effects on restrained eaters
Authors:Talesfore, Carrie M.
Date Issued:2008
Description:Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2008.
The present investigation was a partial replication and extension of the research conducted by Mills, Polivy, Herman, and Tiggemann (2002) in which self-enhancing effects were noted among restrained eaters following exposure to media images of thin women. Mills et al. proposed the "thin fantasy"---a cognitive process in which an individual envisions herself in the position of a thin idealized image, perceives it as attainable, and is thus motivated to pursue it---as a potential mediator of these inspirational effects. The current study directly examined the thin fantasy construct and its associations with eating-, shape-, and weight-related indices through both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. As predicted, restrained eaters judged themselves as larger and had lower appearance self-esteem, social self-esteem, and total self-esteem than unrestrained eaters. Also as predicted, restrained eaters were more likely to engage in a thin fantasy than unrestrained eaters, and the tendency to engage in a thin fantasy was associated with eating disorder symptomatology and internalization of the thin ideal. As expected, mood was not affected by exposure to media images. Contrary to hypotheses, unrestrained eaters rated themselves as more similar to the models than did restrained eaters. Also contrary to hypotheses, restrained eaters did not show evidence of self-enhancement or a tendency to engage in a thin fantasy following exposure to thin idealized images. The thin fantasy theory and its implications are discussed with reference to both the current investigation and the previous related research.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves xxx-xxx).
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206 leaves, bound 29 cm
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Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Psychology

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