This study attempts to fill the gap of scientific knowledge on the effect of “thin ideal” television commercials on body dissatisfaction. According to Hargreaves and Tiggemann previous studies done were limited to college age girls and boys (367). The author’s found the need to investigate the said phenomenon with young adolescent boys and girls as they believed that early adolescence is the period wherein watching television and body image are most important (Hargreaves and Tiggemann 368).
The study is experimental in nature, since it involves the manipulation and controlling of the independent variables to bring about the desired effects to the dependent variables (McGuigan 8). The research design is appropriate for the present study since the main focus of the study is the impact of TV commercials to body dissatisfaction, and which can only be reliably measured using this design, since prior knowledge of participants of the variables could confound the results of the study.
Other than establishing that participants of the study belonged to the period of early adolescence, the author’s did not establish the sampling methods used in identifying the participants of the study and that the group selected was limited to a specific school and socioeconomic status thus restricting the generalizing ability of the results of the study. The materials used in the study include paper and pencil inventories, word completion and videotapes.
The main variable in the study is effect of TV commercial to body dissatisfaction and it should be noted that the duration of the videotape exceeds that of the usual commercials shown in TV in regular programming. Moreover, the videotapes showed commercials of girls more than that of boys, and yet the same videotape was used to measure its effects to body dissatisfaction for the male participants.
The use of correlation in analyzing the data is acceptable but correlating weight dissatisfaction and overall appearance dissatisfaction is like forcing the issue when it is common knowledge that weight dissatisfaction largely causes appearance dissatisfaction, moreover correlation measures the relationship of two factors and does not measure cause and effect Part 1. Evaluation of Article 2 (McGuigan 237). The use of ANOVA in this study further investigates the interrelationships of the variables in the study.
A separate ANOVA for boys and girls was appropriate since previous studies have indicated that girls tend to have higher body dissatisfaction than boys. As an experimental study, the authors made use of deception to be able to carry out their experiment. Since prior knowledge of what the study is could have an effect on the responses of the participants. However, ethics requires that participants should be debriefed right after the experiment and this was not clearly stated in the article.
In summary, the author’s presented their study and its findings coherently and it has attempted to contribute knowledge to a facet of adolescence that nonetheless needs to be investigated and studied. However, there are aspects of the study that could be improved so as to be in keeping with the systematic and scientific quest for knowledge. Thus, one can observe that a lot of findings in the study are limited and this leads to the question of the reliability of its results.