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The Effect of Experimental Presentation of Thin Media Images on Body Satisfaction: A Meta-Analytic Review Groesz, Levine, & Murnen, 2002. Critique by Tovah Yanover November 7, 2005. Research Domain.

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The Effect of Experimental Presentation of Thin Media Images on Body Satisfaction: A Meta-Analytic ReviewGroesz, Levine, & Murnen, 2002

Critique by Tovah Yanover

November 7, 2005


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Research Domain on Body Satisfaction: A Meta-Analytic Review

  • Body dissatisfaction is a risk factor for eating disorders as well as one of their cardinal features.

  • It has become so prevalent among females that it has been referred to by some as “normative.”

  • One contributor is the internalization of an unattainable thin ideal.

  • The visual media, have taken much of the blame for establishing and promulgating this ideal.

  • In their meta-analysis, Groesz, Levine, and Murnen examine the effect of presenting thin media images on body dissatisfaction. The primary question of interest in this meta-analysis is whether the presentation of thin media images will have an effect on the body dissatisfaction of females.


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Locating Studies on Body Satisfaction: A Meta-Analytic Review

  • Searched PsycINFO, Medline, and First Search with keywords media, body image, body dissatisfaction, contrast effect, and thin ideal

    • For published and unpublished studies?

  • Eating Disorders, The Journal of Treatment and Prevention, International Journal of Eating Disorders, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and Sex Roles from 1991 to 1999

  • Book chapters, article and dissertation? reference sections


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Hypotheses on Body Satisfaction: A Meta-Analytic Review

  • An overall significant effect such that viewing slender models would increase body dissatisfaction in females.

  • Females with a history of eating disorders or high body dissatisfaction would be more susceptible to the negative effects of viewing slender models.

  • Females younger than 19 would be more susceptible to the negative effects of viewing slender models than females over then 19.

  • A larger dose of exposure to the images will have greater negative effects than a smaller dose.


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Measures on Body Satisfaction: A Meta-Analytic Review

  • 4 types: body satisfaction, weight satisfaction, physical attractiveness, and body size estimation

    • Unitary dependent variable?

    • Subjective and objective measurement combined

  • Examined as a moderator but should have done separate analyses

  • Based conclusions on overall test


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Moderators on Body Satisfaction: A Meta-Analytic Review

  • Only gave hypotheses for 3

    • Participant age, history of dissatisfaction or ED, dose of exposure

  • Also looked at type of design (between vs. within), type of outcome measure, type of control stimuli


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Calculation of Effect Sizes on Body Satisfaction: A Meta-Analytic Review

  • Calculated g

    • Experimental group mean – control group mean/pooled SD

  • Applied correction? to unbias estimates


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Results on Body Satisfaction: A Meta-Analytic Review

  • Hypothesis 1 supported

    • Gave significance test, z-value, confidence interval

  • No variance estimates presented

  • Looked for moderators despite nonsignificant Q-test

    • Claimed moderate variability left but no estimate presented

    • Presented only d-values; no CI, no variability


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Discussion on Body Satisfaction: A Meta-Analytic Review

  • Too strong

    • Claims based on omnibus mean despite lack of unitary dependent variable

    • No reminder that moderator tests were performed despite nonsignificant Q-test


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Concluding Remarks on Body Satisfaction: A Meta-Analytic Review

  • Asked an important question BUT:

    • Problems in the presentation and analyses

    • Confusing wording

    • A lot of detail was omitted that should have been presented

    • Too many quotatations


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