Thursday, July 24, 2014

New Facebook Research Indicates Positive Outcomes Associated with Wholesome Profile Pictures

New Facebook Research Indicates Positive Outcomes Associated with Wholesome Profile Pictures

By Lynn Griffith on 23 Jul, 2014

(TRFW News) Many girls and young women post sexy or revealing photos on social media websites such as Facebook. A new study from Oregon State University reveals how these photos may impact the female. (1)

Study emphasizes greater awareness of youth self-concept and self-esteem

Elizabeth Daniels, current assistant professor of psychology at University of Colorado, has been studying the effects of media on girls body image. The studies finding’s are based upon a fictitious Facebook profile established by Daniels. (2)

She reports, "There is so much pressure on teen girls and young women to portray themselves as sexy, but sharing those sexy photos online may have more negative consequences than positive." (1)

Daniel explained the importance of the study, "Social media is where the youth are. We need to understand what they’re doing online and how that affects their self-concept and their self-esteem." (1)

Mock Facebook profiles aid researchers in understanding impact of profile photo

Daniels research was published in journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture. Daniels created two mock Facebook accounts profiling 20 year-old, Amanda Johnson. In both versions, Amanda liked musicians such as Lady Gaga, books such as “Twilight,” and movies like “The Notebook.” The only difference in profiles were the profile photo. The photo’s were contributed by a young woman who allowed use of the photos for the experiment. (3)

In the sexy photo, “Amanda” wears a low-cut red dress with a mid-thigh slit on one leg and a visible garter belt. The non-sexy photo, she is wearing jeans and a short-sleeved shirt with a scarf around her neck, covering her chest. (2)

The participants of the study were 58 teen girls, ages 13-18, and 60 young adult women who were no longer in high school, ages 17-25. Each person was randomly assigned one of the profiles and asked questions regarding that profile. The participants were asked to assess physical attractiveness, social attractiveness, and task competence on a scale from 1-7, with one being strongly disagree and 7 being strongly agree. (1)

In all three areas, the non-sexy profile scored higher, reporting that those who viewed this picture thought Amanda was prettier, would be a good friend and was more likely to complete a task. The largest differential area was task competence suggesting that a young woman’s capabilities could be perceived negatively by a sexy photo. (1)

Photos should focus on the person you are and what you do in the world

The research shows the importance of educating children and young adults of long-term consequences of their online posts and photos. The research also indicated a need for more discussion about gender roles and attitudes regarding girls and young women as well as ongoing education about implications of online behavior. (1)

"Why is it we focus so heavily on girls' appearances?" she said. "What does this tell us about gender? Those conversations should be part of everyday life." (1)

Daniels recommendation, "Don’t focus so heavily on appearance," Daniels said. "Focus on who you are as a person and what you do in the world." (1)

Sources for this article include:




Image source:

No comments:

Post a Comment