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Social Comparison and the Idealized Images of Advertising

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  • Richins, Marsha L

Abstract

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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  • Richins, Marsha L, 1991. " Social Comparison and the Idealized Images of Advertising," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 71-83, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jconrs:v:18:y:1991:i:1:p:71-83
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/209242
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