The effects of mortality salience and body-related social norms on attitudes towards diet pills: A terror management health model perspective


Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology, Turkey

Approval Date: 2013

Student: BURÇİN CİHAN

Supervisor: ÖZLEM BOZO ÖZEN

Abstract:

According to the terror management health model (TMHM), when mortality concerns are unconsciously activated, health related decisions are expected to be shaped by cultural values that are internalized by individuals. Depending on the norm, this could result in health defeating or facilitating outcomes. The aim of the current research was to use TMHM as a theoretical framework to investigate reasons behind using diet pills, one of the most popular and unhealthy weight control methods. Therefore, firstly, a scale measuring attitudes towards using diet pills (SADP) was developed. Then, the main study was conducted. According to the results of the main study, after mortality salience was unconsciously primed, women, who indicated more tendecy to evaluate their physical appearence by body relavent social norms, showed more positive attitudes towards using diet pills as compared to women, who reported less tendecy to evaluate their physical body by body relavent social norms. The results provided evidence for health defeating outcomes due to the interaction between unconscious mortality awareness and internalized cultural values. Additionally, the effects of conscious mortality awareness and perceived body-related social norms on attitudes towards using diet pills will be presented. Finally, factors associated with using diet pills will also be demonstrated in this study.