A recent study (Halliwell et al., 2010) suggests that young girls can be protected against the negative effects of ultra-thin models on their body image. One group of 10-13 year old girls were shown a video about the tricks used to unrealistic portrayals of models. When this group were later shown pictures of ultra-thin models they didn’t rate their body satisfaction and confidence as low as girls not exposed to the video. This suggests that understanding the tricks of the advertising trade may be useful in inoculating girls (and boys) against the potential effects on eating disorders.
Posts published during October, 2011
Here’s a useful resource if you want to practice qualitative research with your students. There are five interviews with undergraduate students along with a users guide, all prepared by The Higher Education Academy Psychology Network.
One of the topics of A2 Media Psychology concerns the question of whether computers have positive or negative effects on behaviour. In our new A2 spreads we have provided evidence that shows the use of facebook may have both effects. One study of students found increased stress in Facebook users (Charles et al., 2011) whereas another study found that facebook users had increased self-esteem (Gonzales et al., 2011) . You can read the details of these studies if you download out new A2 spreads from here.
It seems that facebook research is a hot topic. One 2009 study found that American student users of facebook had lower grade averages than non-facebook users. However another study published this year has found that not all facebook activities are associated with poor academic performance. This study aimed to use improved methodology, for example previous studies had not controlled for prior academic ability whereas the new study did. This new study found that time spent on status updates and using Facebook chat was linked to lower grade averages. Checking to see what friends were up to and sharing links was associated with higher grades.
The WJEC AS Revision Companion is out at the end of November. The guide is part of The Complete Companions for WJEC course and provides essentional information and preparation for the exam. Plus, it is endorsed by WJEC and matched to the specification to give course-specific support.
A recent study by Ramona Scotland (just published) is described on a recent edition of Healthcheck (listen here). The study did involve animals but points clearly to significant gender differences – females have stronger immune systems which means they become less ill and recover faster. There is a downside because women are also more susceptible to more autoimmune diseases because their immune systems are more sensitive.
Such differences are important because most research is conducted using men and the assumption is made that the findings apply to all people. For example if a drug is tested on men it may not function in the same way with women.