Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

McLennan, Conor

Subject Headings

Body image in men, Men -- Psychology, Self-perception in men, Masculinity, Body image -- Research, males body image muscular prime media ideal


Research has shown that body dissatisfaction (BD) is prevalent among males and is associated with unhealthy outcomes (Karazsia & Crowther 2009). Muscular ideal internalization and social comparison are predictors of BD in males. However, the majority of body image research has focused on females, with limited research having been conducted with males. In particular, little research has been aimed at understanding the internal mechanisms associated with male BD. In the current study, I examined the effect of priming an extreme muscular body and a moderate muscular body on the subsequent perception of positive and negative feeling words and positive and negative body-related words in traditional college-aged males. At least 24 hours prior to the in-lab portion of the study, male participants completed an online survey that asked basic demographic information (including their height and weight), the Male Bodies Attitude Scale questionnaire, and the Sociocultural Attitudes Towards Appearance Questionnaire. One-third of the participants viewed extreme muscular male models, one-third viewed moderate muscular male models, and one-third viewed plant pictures (control group). All participants completed a lexical decision task including six categories of word stimuli: body positive (BICEPS), body negative (UGLY), feeling positive (PROUD), feeling negative (ASHAMED), neutral (CHAIN), and nonword (JUPER). Stimuli were presented one at a time and participants were asked to determine as quickly and accurately as possible whether each stimulus was a real American English word or a nonword. Based on past research (Barlett, Smith, & Harris, 2006), I predicted that those primed by t e extreme muscular male models would respond significantly more slowly to body and feeling positive words and significantly more quickly to body and feeling negative words compared to those primed with the control or moderate muscular male models. In contrast to these predictions, males in the extreme muscular prime group responded significa

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Psychology Commons