The research problem is to explore the relationships between general media content and pro-anorexia website content, peer influence (general as well as specific influence to view pro-anorexia websites) and the drive for thinness in females, and drive for muscularity in males in the college student population.
The researchers assume that pro anorexia website content will cause internalization (which is; when a thought becomes a belief that (in this case), woman should always be thin and men should always be muscular and that belief would cause excessive dieting and/or exercise).
The population is male and female introductory psychology college students. There were 300 college students that varied from age 18 – 55 years old. About 55.9% were female and 39.5% were male. The average age was 22.37 with a standard deviation of 6.25. About 76.8% of the students were white (non-Hispanic), 6.5% were Latino, 5.5% Asian, 1.9% African American, 1.0% Pacific Islander, 1.3% Native Americans and 2.9% considered themselves to be part of the “other” group.
I see potential bias, as the average college student may be more concerned with how others perceive their body image compared to a higher percentage of the 35+ year old population. I feel this would be a substantially better analysis if this was a random selection study including an equal amount of races, ages, ethnicity and sexuality throughout a specific country (possibly the USA), not just an introductory college level student.
The experiment was completed using online survey software that was not timed. Once the survey was completed the student would get credit towards their psychology class grade. There were 4 surveys; the first survey presented a “Drive for muscularity” survey with questions like “I think I would feel more confident if I had more muscle mass/body tone” with a 1 = strongly agree, 2 = agree, 3 = neither, 4 = disagree and 5 = strongly disagree, survey #2 was a “Internalization of Pro-Anorexia” with website content and showed thin models and muscular thin men. The questions in that survey were like the following; “I like to browse websites that contain pictures of thin celebrities”...