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Social Comparison and the Idealized Images of Advertising


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  • Richins, Marsha L
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    This article reviews theories that might explain how advertising causes dissatisfaction with the self. It is hypothesized that consumers compare themselves with idealized advertising images. Exposure to such images may change consumers comparison standards for what they desire or lower perceptions of their own performance on relevant dimensions; the result is lowered satisfaction. Explanatory and experimental research examined these hypotheses in the context of idealized images of physical attractiveness in ads targeted at young women. Evidence for comparison was found. Results suggest that idealized images raised comparison standards for attractiveness and lowered satisfaction with one's own attractiveness. Copyright 1991 by the University of Chicago.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Consumer Research.

    Volume (Year): 18 (1991)
    Issue (Month): 1 (June)
    Pages: 71-83

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:v:18:y:1991:i:1:p:71-83

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    Cited by:
    1. Chyong-Ling Lin, 2008. "Sexual Issues: The Analysis of Female Role Portrayal Preferences in Taiwanese Print Ads," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 83(3), pages 409-418, December.
    2. Iris Vermeir & Dieneke Sompel, 2014. "Assessing the What Is Beautiful Is Good Stereotype and the Influence of Moderately Attractive and Less Attractive Advertising Models on Self-Perception, Ad Attitudes, and Purchase Intentions of 8–13," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 205-233, June.
    3. Philip Law, 2010. "Examination of the actual turnover decisions of female auditors in public accounting: Evidence from Hong Kong," Managerial Auditing Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 25(5), pages 484-502, June.
    4. Wan, Fang & Ansons, Tamara L. & Chattopadhyay, Amitava & Leboe, Jason P., 2013. "Defensive reactions to slim female images in advertising: The moderating role of mode of exposure," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 120(1), pages 37-46.
    5. Heather Honea & Sharon Horsky, 2012. "The power of plain: Intensifying product experience with neutral aesthetic context," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 223-235, March.
    6. Diego Rinallo & Suman Basuroy & Ruhai Wu & Hyo Jeon, 2013. "The Media and Their Advertisers: Exploring Ethical Dilemmas in Product Coverage Decisions," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 114(3), pages 425-441, May.
    7. K. Janssens & M. Pandelaere & K. Millet & B. Van Den Bergh & I. Lens & R. Keith, 2009. "Can Buy Me Love: How Mating Cues Influence Single Men’S Interest In High-Status Consumer Goods," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 09/570, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    8. Pyun, Do Young & James, Jeffrey D., 2011. "Attitude toward advertising through sport: A theoretical framework," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 33-41, February.
    9. Giacomantonio, Mauro & Mannetti, Lucia & Pierro, Antonio, 2013. "Locomoting toward well-being or getting entangled in a material world: Regulatory modes and affective well-being," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 80-89.
    10. Hogg, Margaret K. & Banister, Emma N. & Stephenson, Christopher A., 2009. "Mapping symbolic (anti-) consumption," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 148-159, February.
    11. Chyong-ling Lin & Jin-Tsann Yeh, 2013. "Modeling religious involvement: a qualitative integration based on female role visualization consumption," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 561-566, January.
    12. Brett Martin & Ekant Veer & Simon Pervan, 2007. "Self-referencing and consumer evaluations of larger-sized female models: A weight locus of control perspective," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 197-209, September.
    13. C. Defever & M. Pandelaere & K. Roe, 2008. "The Impact Of Associative Advertising On Personal Values And Behavior," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 08/548, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    14. Cagri Yalkin & Richard Rosenbaum-Elliott, 2014. "Talking Fashion in Female Friendship Groups: Negotiating the Necessary Marketplace Skills and Knowledge," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 301-331, June.
    15. Martin Eisend & Jana Möller, 2007. "The influence of TV viewing on consumers' body images and related consumption behavior," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 101-116, June.
    16. Denis Guiot, 2001. "Antecedents Of Subjective Age Biases Among Senior Women," Post-Print halshs-00169445, HAL.


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