The Effect of Certainty on the Relationship between Body Image and Behavior
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Psychology Honors Theses; 2009
When people hold attitudes with a high degree of certainty they are more likely to follow through with related behaviors than when they are uncertain about their attitudes (Fazio & Zanna, 1978). This relationship should also hold for other types of beliefs, such as objectified body consciousness (OBC), which includes body surveillance, internalization of beliefs about the body, and beliefs about body control (McKinley & Hyde, 1996). That is, OBC should be more predictive of body esteem, or feelings about the body, and behaviors related to disordered eating and excessive exercise when people hold their beliefs about their body with certainty than with uncertainty. To examine this issue, participants were primed with certainty or uncertainty and asked to complete questionnaires about the body. We replicated the finding that high OBC predicts negative body esteem and an increased likelihood of engaging in related behaviors. The effect of certainty on these relationships was not significant, however. Instead, there was a main effect of manipulated certainty on body esteem.