When will larger-sized female models in advertisements be viewed positively? The moderating effects of instructional frame, gender, and need for cognition

Joann Peck, Barbara Loken

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

A variety of negative consequences for girls and women have been associated with women's and men's viewing unrealistic portrayals of women in advertising. However, research on the positive consequences of presenting larger-sized women in advertisements, and the conditions under which they are effective, has been lacking. The present research examined such positive effects and found that larger-sized female models in ads were rated as more attractive when an instructional frame activated nontraditional beliefs (a new women's magazine that features larger-sized models) than when it activated traditional beliefs (a traditional women's magazine). These effects were more pronounced for women than for men, and particularly for women who scored higher in their need for cognition. The degree to which women generated positive thoughts about themselves in response to the ads tended to correspond with their ratings of increased attractiveness of the models in the ads. Implications of findings for using positive larger-sized female models in ads are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-442
Number of pages18
JournalPsychology and Marketing
Volume21
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2004

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