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The Relationship Between Cultivation Theory and Body Image:

COM360 RESEARCH PROJECT
by

Marisa Corradetti

on 14 June 2016

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Transcript of The Relationship Between Cultivation Theory and Body Image:

Talk about the cultural problem or
phenomenon/observation your study is
based on. Why were you interested in this
particular problem or phenomenon?
Research Questions
Our study was guided by two research questions:

RQ1: What media messages about body image are communicated through reality TV shows?
RQ2: How does watching reality TV influence college students' perceptions of their bodies?
Research Design
Media Texts:
Reality TV
Audience:
College-age males
Method:
Survey
This method was chosen because cultivation is accumulative and we cannot study multiple texts, or study this topic through a focus group or experiment.
BODY IMAGE
The Relationship Between Cultivation Theory and Body Image: Reality TV and College- Age Males
Which theory is your study based on?
Why does this particular theory fit your
study so well?
By: Marisa Corradetti, Rachel Casurella, Eileen Ehrlich, and Kayla Babers
Body image is a prevalent issue in our culture.
Previous studies have shown that reality television programs have a negative effect on body image.
Body image is how you view your physical self, including whether you feel you are attractive and whether others like your looks. For many people, especially people in their early teens, body image can be closely linked to self-esteem.
Fun Fact: NEDA says that 10 million men and 20 million women are subject to a clinically significant eating disorder at some point in their lifetime.
Many researchers suggest that body image-related problems may have media causes through cultivation theory.
We wanted to study the relationship body image has with reality TV programs.
Cultivation theory highlights the contribution that TV has on viewers' conceptions of social reality.
The cultivation hypothesis says that the more time you spend watching TV, the more likely you are to perceive the real world in ways that display the most recurrent and common messages in the fictional TV world.
Findings
Previous research shows that TV programs are somewhat responsible for contorting the self-perceptions that men possess.
Mass media tends to be a pervasive force in shaping physical appearance ideals for men.
Heavy reality TV viewers tends to be a lot more affected by what they view on the television screen, because they are exposing themselves to this form of mass media in comparison to lighter viewers.
Heavy-viewers are shown to be more likely to perceive the real world in accordance with what they viewed on TV.
Light-viewers perceptions' of themselves are still likely to be distorted, but are less likely to be affected by reality TV than heavy-viewers.
Our research study would add additional data to emphasize the extent in which males body image are effected by the consumption of reality TV.
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