Senior Theses


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Publication Date

5-2019

Document Type

Thesis (Linfield Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Department

Psychology

Faculty Advisor(s)

Yanna Weisberg (Thesis Advisor)
Jennifer Linder & Amy Orr (Committee Members)

Subject Categories

Cognition and Perception | Cognitive Psychology | Health Psychology | Mental and Social Health | Personality and Social Contexts | Psychology | Social Media | Social Psychology

Abstract

Fitspiration, or “fitspo,” is a social media trend that claims to help motivate individuals to exercise more or adopt a healthier lifestyle. However, research has shown that fitspo’s focus on measuring physical health and progress through physical appearance and body size could be related to poor mental health, specifically increased risk for eating disorders and body dissatisfaction. However, it is still unclear if there are individual differences that might make someone more or less at risk of reacting negatively to this content, as well as differences in who is more likely to engage with this content to begin with. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine these factors and determine if there is a possible relationship between them and preference for fitspiration content. 69 participants (67 women, 2 non-binary) were asked to choose between a fitspo style body-focused motivational image and a motivational quote. The participants were then given a questionnaire on how often they engage with fitspo content, as well as the BFI-2, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and a modified version of the Frost Multidimensional Personality Scale. No significant results were found. Implications and future directions for research are discussed.

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