October 2012 Archives

"Mirror, mirror" A study done on body image.

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I found an interesting article on research findings regarding body image. There are sections about motives, images and reactions to those images, how age relates to body image as well as how the media impacts body images. Here is a direct link to the article summarizing the findings of the article:

http://www.sirc.org/publik/mirror.html

First of all, I like how the article was separated and spent time discussing all of the various factors affecting body image and related each individual factor to the findings of the originals study. I found it particularly interesting how they mentioned attractive people actually have been found to have an advantage in our society. Our motives to be beautiful people reflect how attractiveness is actually favored. The study's results show that attractive people are favored by others and teachers, they are more likely to receive a higher salary, they are found guilty less often in court cases and that in general we respond more positively to attractive people to name a few of the findings.

I find this very interesting because as much as I wouldn't agree with this right away, as I reflect I find that it is true at least to some extent. Even if we don't hold biases based on how attractive someone is in the end, our first impression is higher of more attractive people because first impressions are based off of how someone presents themselves to others.

The study goes on to explain very specific variables including sex orietation, age, etc. that can impact body images people have of themselves and others. I would definitely recommend this article to anyone as it puts a great amount of issues into a certain perspective with actual research findings laid out in statistics. Even if this doesn't change how you view body images, it would at the very least bring some issues to mind that are not commonly discussed.

National Weight Control Registry

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Below is a direct link to the National Weight Control Registry and their continuous study to obtain information on people trying to lose weight.

http://www.nwcr.ws/Research/default.htm

I found this study interesting because it is an ongoing study to find out different qualities people who are trying to lose weight, or are successfully doing so, have in common. One flaw I see with it right away is that in order to provide information you have to register, which may result in non-response bias because the people who are going to take the time to register themselves and provide the information are people who care about losing weight or are proud of how much weight they have lost or are currently using. The study is missing out on more people who are not being successful or do not care enough to share their practices with others.

Forbes posted a new article in their Pharma and Healthcare section today reporting that research from four separate studies shows that smoking is, in fact, very bad for you. All of the studies were done a little differently which provides a good example of how various tactics can be used in order to find a reliable and valid discovery. The fact that all four studies show the same end result through different methodologies proves how reliable the claim "smoking is bad for you" truly is. Below is a link to the original article on Forbes.com:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryhusten/2012/10/29/the-research-agrees-smoking-is-really-bad-for-you/

I found it interesting that there were different exact conclusions from each individual study but the overall the results are the same: smoking is bad. One study calculated that smoking takes ten years off a person's life while another concluded that stopping smoking habits before the age of 35 eliminated almost all risks associated with smoking. The smoke-free legislation in Minnesota was one of the research studies analyzed showing results of significantly lower risks when the smoking ban was put in place. Overall, true validity is shown by the different approaches to the same issue discussed in this article reinforcing the impact reliability has on how much people believe the studies brought to public attention.

The Presidential Race and Social Media

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According to research conducted by eMarketer, the 2012 election is the first truly "social" presidential race. Initial research conducted on this topic in the form of surveys filled out by social media users showed that users did not believe a candidate's presence on social media influenced their opinions. However, a new study conducted by eMarketer goes against this initial finding.

A more recent study conducted by AYTM Market Research that surveyed US Internet users showed more than a quarter said social media had in some way or another influenced their opinions on the presidential campaigns. There was a significant amount of respondents that reported learning information about the campaigns via Twitter.

The link to the survey information is below:

http://www.marketresearchworld.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5146&Itemid=2

I find this study interesting as I am currently also taking a Media and Politics course where we have been discussing the role of media, specifically social media, in the 2012 presidential campaigns. I believe that the self-reported surveys would show a lower percentage of social media users saying they are influenced by candidates' social media presence because it is happening somewhat subconsciously. Until I was told to pay attention to it, I hadn't realized how large the candidates' presence truly was through social media. Reports of debates and conferences are all over social media. Therefore, when the study was done by surveying and observing consumers' difference in opinions about the campaigns following social media use I believe the results would be more accurate. People are influenced by what they see on social media every day whether they realize it or not, it is almost impossible to avoid but it is important to take the time and recognize what is influential and what is not.

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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