Year of Publication

2010

Season of Publication

Summer

Paper Type

Master's Thesis

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Arts in General Psychology (MAGP)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Teresa Tuason

Second Advisor

Dr. Erin Richman

Department Chair

Dr. Michael Toglia

College Dean

Dr. David Fenner

Abstract

The researcher investigates the effect of viewing positive and negative cosmetic surgery images, with short descriptive scenarios, on acceptance of cosmetic surgery. Two hundred ninety-nine participants were assigned to view one of three conditions: positive before/after cosmetic surgery pictures and an accompanying scenario, negative pictures and scenario, or no pictures or scenario (control), followed by the Acceptance of Cosmetic Surgery Scale (ACSS, Henderson-King & Henderson-King, 2005), the Body Parts Satisfaction Scale (Berscheid, Walster, & Bohrstedt, 1973), and the Physical Self Description Questionnaire (Marsh, Richards, Johnson, Roche, & Tremayne, 1994). There was a significant relationship between ACSS Intrapersonal subscale and picture/scenario type, specifically that the positive picture/scenario type participants had a higher Intrapersonal Acceptance of Cosmetic Surgery score. There was also a significant relationship between picture/scenario type & physicality, with four of the 11 subscales, physical activity, sport competence, strength, and endurance, being significantly related to acceptance of cosmetic surgery. Results show significant bivariate correlations between cosmetic surgery acceptance and the physicality aspect of body image as measured by the PSDQ, and total body image as measured by the BPSS. Ethnicity and gender were also significant indicators of cosmetic surgery acceptance. The researcher expects that these results could generalize to society as a whole because of the many people that view cosmetic surgery makeover shows on television. Viewing cosmetic surgery images in the media could possibly decrease body image and alter intrapersonal beliefs toward cosmetic surgery.

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