How Beauty Type and Social Comparison Motives Impact on Negative Affect


Highly attractive models (HAMs) have been popularly used in advertising to impact psychologically on the message receiver in the hopes of increasing the advertisement’s effectiveness. The marketing literature is replete with evidence of the positive effects of using HAMs in advertisements. However, support for their effectiveness is somewhat conflicted. The present research attempts to add to the body of knowledge, specifically through exploring individual difference variables (types of social comparison motives, model characteristics, product type/body part and culture) impact on negative affect. In addition, this research investigates whether advertising skepticism determined by cultural variations has an impact on negative affect as a result of a HAM comparison.

The results supported almost the hypotheses. Specifically, model characteristics, comparison motives, cultural variation and skepticism have impacts on negative affect; while an independent variable (product type/body part) shown having no impact on dependent variable (negative affect). Further, the research also found that there are interrelationships between culture and skepticism.

These research findings have implications regarding the potentially negative influence of advertising including HAMs for both practitioners, academics and as well as public policy makers.

Keywords: negative affect, comparison motive, beauty type, malleability, across-cultural, advertising skepticism.

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This was cited in Teresa L. Heiland, Darrin S. Murray & Paige P. Edley (2008). Body image of dancers in Los Angeles: the cult of slenderness and media influence among dance student, Research in Dance Education, Volume 9, Issue 3, pages 257-275.

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