The effect of basic psychological needs and exposure to idealised Facebook images on university students' body satisfaction

Anna L. Brichacek, James T. Neill, Kristen Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Exposure to ideal body types in the media has been consistently linked to reduced body satisfaction. Images posted on social networking sites may also impact body satisfaction by portraying idealised standards of physical attractiveness promoted by peers. This study draws on self-determination theory to examine whether satisfaction of basic psychological needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness) protects against the negative effect of viewing Facebook images depicting an ideal body type on body satisfaction. Female (n = 141) and male (n = 48) university students were randomly assigned to view either a body-ideal image or a travel image presented on a mock Facebook profile. Viewing body-ideal imagery resulted in significantly lower body satisfaction compared to viewing travel imagery (d = -0.37). Satisfaction of the needs for autonomy and competence predicted higher baseline body satisfaction; however, none of the psychological needs protected against the negative effect of viewing body-ideal imagery on body satisfaction. Limitations included brief exposure to a single Facebook image and use of a convenience sample. Future research may benefit from measuring body image-specific rather than general psychological need satisfaction to predict state changes in body satisfaction.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Number of pages12
JournalCyberpsychology
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Cite this

@article{2c180aeeb034434f80eb1ab3ee87c76c,
title = "The effect of basic psychological needs and exposure to idealised Facebook images on university students' body satisfaction",
abstract = "Exposure to ideal body types in the media has been consistently linked to reduced body satisfaction. Images posted on social networking sites may also impact body satisfaction by portraying idealised standards of physical attractiveness promoted by peers. This study draws on self-determination theory to examine whether satisfaction of basic psychological needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness) protects against the negative effect of viewing Facebook images depicting an ideal body type on body satisfaction. Female (n = 141) and male (n = 48) university students were randomly assigned to view either a body-ideal image or a travel image presented on a mock Facebook profile. Viewing body-ideal imagery resulted in significantly lower body satisfaction compared to viewing travel imagery (d = -0.37). Satisfaction of the needs for autonomy and competence predicted higher baseline body satisfaction; however, none of the psychological needs protected against the negative effect of viewing body-ideal imagery on body satisfaction. Limitations included brief exposure to a single Facebook image and use of a convenience sample. Future research may benefit from measuring body image-specific rather than general psychological need satisfaction to predict state changes in body satisfaction.",
keywords = "Body satisfaction, Facebook, social networking sites, psychological needs, self-determination theory, Self-determination theory, Psychological needs, Social networking sites",
author = "Brichacek, {Anna L.} and Neill, {James T.} and Kristen Murray",
year = "2018",
doi = "10.5817/CP2018-3-2",
language = "English",
volume = "12",
journal = "Cyberpsychology",
issn = "1802-7962",
publisher = "Masaryk University Press",
number = "3",

}

The effect of basic psychological needs and exposure to idealised Facebook images on university students' body satisfaction. / Brichacek, Anna L.; Neill, James T.; Murray, Kristen.

In: Cyberpsychology, Vol. 12, No. 3, 2, 2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - The effect of basic psychological needs and exposure to idealised Facebook images on university students' body satisfaction

AU - Brichacek, Anna L.

AU - Neill, James T.

AU - Murray, Kristen

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - Exposure to ideal body types in the media has been consistently linked to reduced body satisfaction. Images posted on social networking sites may also impact body satisfaction by portraying idealised standards of physical attractiveness promoted by peers. This study draws on self-determination theory to examine whether satisfaction of basic psychological needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness) protects against the negative effect of viewing Facebook images depicting an ideal body type on body satisfaction. Female (n = 141) and male (n = 48) university students were randomly assigned to view either a body-ideal image or a travel image presented on a mock Facebook profile. Viewing body-ideal imagery resulted in significantly lower body satisfaction compared to viewing travel imagery (d = -0.37). Satisfaction of the needs for autonomy and competence predicted higher baseline body satisfaction; however, none of the psychological needs protected against the negative effect of viewing body-ideal imagery on body satisfaction. Limitations included brief exposure to a single Facebook image and use of a convenience sample. Future research may benefit from measuring body image-specific rather than general psychological need satisfaction to predict state changes in body satisfaction.

AB - Exposure to ideal body types in the media has been consistently linked to reduced body satisfaction. Images posted on social networking sites may also impact body satisfaction by portraying idealised standards of physical attractiveness promoted by peers. This study draws on self-determination theory to examine whether satisfaction of basic psychological needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness) protects against the negative effect of viewing Facebook images depicting an ideal body type on body satisfaction. Female (n = 141) and male (n = 48) university students were randomly assigned to view either a body-ideal image or a travel image presented on a mock Facebook profile. Viewing body-ideal imagery resulted in significantly lower body satisfaction compared to viewing travel imagery (d = -0.37). Satisfaction of the needs for autonomy and competence predicted higher baseline body satisfaction; however, none of the psychological needs protected against the negative effect of viewing body-ideal imagery on body satisfaction. Limitations included brief exposure to a single Facebook image and use of a convenience sample. Future research may benefit from measuring body image-specific rather than general psychological need satisfaction to predict state changes in body satisfaction.

KW - Body satisfaction

KW - Facebook

KW - social networking sites

KW - psychological needs

KW - self-determination theory

KW - Self-determination theory

KW - Psychological needs

KW - Social networking sites

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85063640990&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.5817/CP2018-3-2

DO - 10.5817/CP2018-3-2

M3 - Article

VL - 12

JO - Cyberpsychology

JF - Cyberpsychology

SN - 1802-7962

IS - 3

M1 - 2

ER -