The Effect of Priming a Thin Ideal on the Subsequent Perception of Conceptually Related Body Image Words

Connor T. McLennan, Cleveland State University

Abstract

Our research examined the effects of thin ideal priming on the perception of body image words in participants without an eating disorder. Half of the participants were primed by viewing thin models, and half were primed with gender-neutral shoes. Subsequently, all participants (N=56) completed a Stroop task for three categories of words: neutral (BOOKS), shoe (CLOGS), and body (THIGHS). Lastly, all participants completed a body dissatisfaction questionnaire. We predicted that body dissatisfaction scores would be correlated with the Stroop effect. We found a significant correlation between body dissatisfaction and the body effect of slower color naming times for the body related words compared to the neutral words. Our study demonstrates that body dissatisfaction and a brief priming with thin models results in subsequent differences in performing a Stroop task in a non clinical population of female participants.