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Psychological Perception on Weight and Size, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

This study aims to create a specific condition of relationship between the process of human thinking and the effect that the environment has on the matter especially in relation to weight and size perception. Physical attributes often bring about a sense of understanding on how a person should be viewed accordingly by others in the society. In this course, the utilization of weight IAT, a procedural survey approach used to measure mind conditioning and response of human individuals, shall be given particular attention to. This approach in correlation with the theoretical assumptions of other researches on the matter shall be given particular attention to.

Introduction

This research aims to explore the psychological impact of media on people as they intend to see the being of other individuals based on size and weight. To further indicate the path that this research is to take, the following hypotheses shall serve as the basis of this study’s foundation:

H0: Human thinking is influenced by several elements that are present in their environment.

H1: Human individuals strongly believe what they see around them in their common environment; from these conditions of thinking, the individuals become accustomed to perceive on matters according to the commonality of the matter in relation to their understanding of the topic. When it comes to weight and size, humans tend to seek guidance of social acceptance hence deciding to view matters based on others’ most common and popular perception

H2: There is often an uncontrolled process of conditioning that the mind takes into consideration especially in evaluating common matters in the society today. In relation to size and weight, there is an unconscious response that the mind undergoes to envision what is acceptable for them and for the society that they are living along with.

H3: The theory of acceptance is important to humans. This is the reason why it is very important for several individuals to find a way to be accepted even in the manner by which they perceive certain matters that serve as controversial issues in the society. Based on personal pressure, such condition manages to affect the human thinking in a way that would define the pattern of perception that one takes regarding a particular topic including weight and size differentiation among human individuals.

Utilizing this three-point hypothesis for the evaluation of human thinking and perception with regards the difference of weight and size individuals have between each other, it is expected that the psychological impact of several factors in the society would be measured properly. In relation to the theory of acceptance, this series of related hypothetical claims intend to manage the presentation of result relating to how participants would respond to particular stimuli that are to be used to define how their minds work based in the weight IAT survey methodology. Exploring how the mind works and how it affects the entire condition of perception of a person shall be further examined in this course of research.

Literature Review

The way a person sees himself is often affected by several factors. The same thing is true when it comes to the vision that one has towards the others. Among the factors that affect such condition of thinking include personal experiences, cultures and tradition and finally media. In this research, the condition of human thinking in relation to seeing the difference of acceptance between thin and fat individuals shall be given particular attention to. Measuring the impact of the said elements on human thinking with regards the topic on weight and size differences shall be handled through the Weight IAT survey and research procedure. Weight IAT survey and research approach is aimed at exploring the condition of human thinking based on being affected by several factors of influence.  It could be analyzed that it is with this particular measurement that several other studies in the past have resulted to good reflection of how the mind actually thinks basing on background elements that influence the understanding of each individual (Taylor, 2006, 5). According to Zimbardo, 2002), the conditioning of the mind often occurs especially when it comes to making a specific distinction on how the community perceives particular matters and how much they would allow such conditions of perception affect their own way of thinking (134). Supporting this particular claim is Lifton’s  (1989) study on thought reform and psychology which directly provides a good source of understanding on how the actual change in the society affects the thinking of the people. In this case, weight and size of individuals did not matter in the past until the introduction of the new age media, which promoted thinness as related to beauty and goodness. In this study, this particular claim is to given attention to in relation to the proof that could be a garnered from applying the methodology that is described in the section that follows.

Methodology

The variables that are expected to influence this research based on the topic being explored include personal perception of individual on others based on personal conviction and experiences, and the other being the condition of thinking that humans develop based on media influence and presentation. To note, these elements are to be measured and analyzed based on the results that are to be garnered further from this particular research.

Fifteen individuals, 7 male and 6 female, are asked to undergo the weight AIT demonstration test regarding the manner by which they perceive thinness and fatness in a person. Notably, this approach is expected to manifest a sense of personal distinction on how different individuals perceive certain matters in the society in different approaches as well. Examining how media affects their understanding of the issue is expected to make the analysis of the results more relative to the actual situations that are happening in the society today with regards stereotyping based on weight and size.

The fifteen individuals asked to join the survey procedure considered in this study where particularly chosen from a lose-weight forum over the internet. Considering that they all come from different countries, they are assumed to have been brought up in different manners being guided through different sets of culture. Notably, these elements are intended to affect their way of thinking and the manner by which they perceive matters such as weight and size regarding themselves as well as on others. They were asked to participate in the Weight IAT survey and 15 among the 25 invited participants responded to the process and agreed to take the survey.

After the application of the weight IAT survey process, a following interview was considered by the researcher to get the personal opinion of the participant with regards the method itself and how much they think the survey results they took actually mirrored how they perceive weight and size on people. This approach aims to indicate a source of balance in evaluating the results of the survey in relation to the margin of error that might have been incurred in relation to human perception.

Results

The results of the weight IAT reveals that more people prefer thin from fat individuals. The perception they have on size and weight as reflected from the test results specifically indicate such bias of attention especially that the responses from the participants show such convincing idealism on how they portray the relative meaning of thinness to several other ‘good’ concepts. Subconsciously, the participants specifically find thinness more acceptable due to the assumed effect of media into the thinking of the participants. The simulation of the weight IAT survey approach provided a great source of competence in the foundation of the backbone that this study is specifically dependent upon. Relatively, such manner of survey inquiry allows the chance for the researcher to find distinctive commonalities among the participants as they are given the same pattern of questionnaire and a mind-directive that specifically defines the thinking capacities of the people involved in the research. The psychological conditioning of the mind through the utilization of correlation method between figures and words has provided a good source of understanding as to how the perception of human individuals become duly affected by the manner they get accustomed to the common values that the society accepts to be realistic, normal and particularly acceptable.

Most often than not, when directly asked, human individuals tend to think not only of the actual answer they have regarding the question presented, but also on the perception that the person interviewing them might have on them later on. This often causes human error hence tainting the results of the research. Through utilizing the correlation method, the unconscious mind works and the focus on the evaluation of actual human perception becomes possibly available for more accurate measurement. A relative part of the weight IAT survey procedure includes the conditioning of the mind through figure and word relations. It basically sets the attention of the participant on the words and the figures flashed on the screen as they are asked to press their choices as fast as possible. This supports the idealism over random response which indicates that the faster the mind responds under pressure, the more accurate the answer becomes. This idealism basically supports the fact that when under pressure, the mind is able to eliminate unnecessary data and only the important information remains intact hence is used as a random response to a random question.

Discussion

With the participants’ responses to the activity, there are three particular points that have been realized accordingly.

One: the weight IAT results presented that most people view goodness alongside being thin and badness alongside being fat; this reflects that most people tend to correlate thinness with a positive condition of thinking and fatness in a less acceptable manner.

Two: People tend to stereotype individuals based on their personal perception on weight and size. For instance, if they themselves are fat, then they might as well view others who are fat to be simply acceptable and likely easier to get along with; however, when they are thin, they think otherwise and perhaps even see the other people who are different from their size and weight to be a bit different in personality. Relatively, this aspect of thinking becomes a source of the growing discrimination as if putting a sense of separation between people who are fat and people who are not.

Three: When asked in the interview that followed the survey response procedure, most individuals believed that the test was effective and little did they know that they would receive a score-analysis that they did. They assume that their unconscious response to the questions may have affected the results so much. When asked why, they responded that they may have been unconsciously affected by the television programs they see, the magazines they read and the images over the internet that they usually get engaged with everyday which often relates thinness to being acceptable and pleasant in many ways.

In consideration with the correlation of the survey results with the actual thinking conditions that the participants believe they use in perceiving matters about the difference of being fat and being thin, it could be understood that it is most often than not that the media and the environment alter the thinking of a person even in an unconscious state. This is the reason why several industries selling weight-loss products [may it be real or illusionary] win the battle over the ideal consideration of people among themselves in relation to being healthy and beautiful.

Conclusion

Human thinking is affected by the conditions of their environment and their living condition. Based from the research results garnered from this study, five primary matters could be considered as basis of human thinking regarding size and weight. These indications include the following five-point summary of the entire study:

  1. Humans relate thinness with goodness and fatness with less acceptable matters due to the fact that the media presentation of thinness is often related to being healthy, beautiful and pleasant.
  2. The mind accepts information in a way that a person is able to perceive a matter based on experience and social conditioning.
  3. The alteration of the conscious thinking with unconscious thinking often results to more accurate results hence suggesting that there are instances when humans think differently on matters as they believe they do.
  4. The modern society and the manner by which it represents values and morality to the society affects the thinking of the people directly as to what they should view as something acceptable and what they should consider to be outrageous.
  5. Weight and size are two among the most common elements of human physique that is used today to stereotype the being of a person. Relating both elements to whether or not a person is good is relatively unethical but is the most common source of perception regarding human identity at present.

The truth is almost hard to accept, nevertheless, it has been shown through this research that altering the condition of human thinking often results to a relative condition of presenting the reality about how one perceives matters. In relation to weight and size, it has been imposed that it has become common among humans to think of goodness in relation to thinness and think otherwise about being fat because of the conditional representation of both elements of physical characteristic in media.

References

Ellul, Jacques. (1999). Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes. Trans. Konrad Kellen & Jean Lerner. New York: Knopf. New York: Random House/ Vintage.

Lifton, RJ (1989) [1961]. Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism; a Study of “Brainwashing” in China. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Taylor, Kathleen (2006). Brainwashing: The Science of Thought Control. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 5.

Zimbardo, Philip G. (November 2002). “Mind Control: Psychological Reality or Mindless Rhetoric?”. Monitor on Psychology.

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