PSYC1420 : Experimental Psychology Human Behavior


The method section should explain the study.

The reader should be capable of reproducing your experiment once they have read your method.

They should be able do it anywhere they are (e.g.

UCLA. Don’t mention 200B.

It doesn’t matter if you say everything.

Your text will show that method sections can often be divided into sections on participants and materials.

Participants – How Many were there?

Could you give any additional details to the reader that could help them get a better understanding of your sample?

(e.g., students in an experimental psychology class) Do they have any information on their age (mean and standard deviation, range is helpful, etc.) or gender?

Procedure – Just like the lab reports before, there aren’t enough “materials” to warrant a separate Materials Section.

It is important to mention whether the study was performed on paper or electronically.

You should describe the conditions that you used. Also, specify whether they were different between subjects or within subjects.

If you used scales from your prior research, be sure to cite the source.

Briefly describe any steps taken (e.g., piloting), to determine their validity and reliability.

If your IV or DV were not explicitly mentioned in your Introduction, please do so here.

If you have calculated summary variables (e.g. the mean of 5 mood questionnaires), please explain this calculation here or in the Results section.

The procedure should be sufficiently detailed that someone unfamiliar with your study can understand what it was like for them.


You will be describing the relevant findings to your hypothesis in this section.

Surprising results can be reported (e.g. data mining to discover significant effects in your data). However, you should report your results for all the hypotheses you discussed earlier, even though your results were not significant (null).

You must report the t-value and r-values (or F-value if you did an ANOVA), as well as the p value for all hypotheses, even if it was higher than 0.05.

In this section, you should refer to your figures and/or table (e.g.


There will be a discussion section in which you can summarize your findings and discuss their implications.

You might ask questions like: Does your research support your hypotheses and what are the implications?

What are your implications?

What are the alternatives to your results?

Is there another way to interpret your results if no significant results are found?

Are there confounds?

What were the problems with the sample’s characteristics?

Is there any way this study could be improved?

How can this study be expanded in future research (taken into new directions?)?

What are the practical applications?



The study’s author conducted a survey to find out how Instagram and other social networks affect the wellbeing of the millennial generation, particularly in school.

A person’s obsession with their body and photos can lead to a negative obsession. They may have to adhere to certain body image standards in order to be accepted by their social circle.

The survey was completed among 38 Columbia University students, with a mean age 22.3 years.

Seventy-four percent of total participants were female, with 28 students being female.

Participants from both genders were required to be between 18 and 29 years of age in order to complete the study.

This was done because the researcher needed data from all genders to investigate the effects of his research question.

These were psychology students studying experimental psychology.


Through google forms, all participants received a written questionnaire. It took them around six minutes each to answer.

The questionnaire used two scales, including the Social Media Use Scale by Gardner Jappe, Gardner, and Gardner (2009). This was to explore the hypothesis.

Fredrickson and Roberts (1997) also created a scale for body objectification.

This proved crucial in the collection of the results.

Social Media Use Scale

These questions were used for the following:

Participants were asked to answer a question about their use of social media.

Asking participants if they had an Instagram account.

They spent hours on Instagram each day.

What do they think of their appearance compared to celebrities or models?

The survey’s first two questions were used to determine whether the participant uses SNS. This included questions that asked yes/no.

The predictor variable, Instagram time spent in a given day, was indicated using a 12-point scale.

Body Objectification Scale

McKinley et al. measured objectified body image to determine the predicted variable.

Objectified Body Consciousness Scale. (OBSC) – a scale that measures objectified body consciousness. It has a range of 1-7.

It used a seven point response format, with values ranging between’strongly disagree’ (1) and’strongly agree’ (7) (Szymanski Moffitt & Carr, 2011).

A 23-item Body-esteem Scale BESSA can also be used to assess Instagram habits.

Researchers used composite scores as well as the scoring method from the questionnaire scales to compare.

Graph 2 OBCS Data Results

The decrease in body esteem scores, OBCS and Instagram usage were linked to an increase in Instagram usage.

Also, there is a gender discrepancy in OBCS scores and body esteem scores.

Study results showed significant negative correlations between OBCS, time, and body esteem scores.

Additionally, significant negative correlations were found between OBCS scores and Body Esteem Scores when compared to content that was related to appearance.

Figure 1 Statistical Significance results

These results were expected to show a positive correlation in the amount of time spent on Instagram and how students view their bodies.

These results will be evident regardless of which content is being used, as the effects are mostly correlated with how much time you spend on Instagram.

Our hypothesis that gender would have been the most damaging factor was confirmed by data.

We expected that Instagram time spent by all participants should be at least 2 points on the scale (15-30 minutes), according to the questionnaire.

People were most likely to place 10 on the range (8-9hrs).

There were also extremes in scale of the predictor variable.

This is consistent with the expected results that an increase of time spent on Instagram resulted in a decrease in self-body image.

Accordingly, OBSC found that most participants lied between 6-7.

This confirms the hypothesis.

There is also the possibility that the research results may not support the hypothesis.

This happens if the Instagram time is not reflecting a negative body image as analyzed by OBSC.

Instagram is a popular social media platform used by the young generation, commonly known as millennials.

Wagner (2016) claims that this generation is obsessed about taking photos and uploading them to the android app. Other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat allow users to share, like, comment and share these photos.

Dissatisfaction with one’s body, shape, or size is called negative body image (Furnham Badmin, Sneade and Sneade (2002)

Recent research shows that most social media sites are used by college-aged students.

Research also shows that social media sites can be addictive (Cash,2002).

This study suggests that Instagram usage and body image are linked.

Media is an important factor in determining the social perception of a good body image. This has lead to concerns about body image and dieting among young adults.

Champion (2012) performed a correlational survey, structure modeling and survey investigation.

Furthermore, appearance surveillance occurs constantly when using body-image centered media that set the cultural or social standard for body image (Dittmar and 2009).

Due to its use of the term “millennial generation”, it has become a popular term for people who were born between 1981-97.

Fry (2016) explains that every generation shares common traits and characteristics. This is due to the fact that they have similar social and historical experiences.

This study was conducted on the target population, as they are the only ones to have experienced the digital age.

When the author speaks of body image, it refers the way individuals perceive their bodies.

Radio broadcasts were the main means of socialization in the early 21st century. This was followed by media television that allowed family viewing.

Because of this, most of the population can now access the internet via smartphones, tablets and laptops. The result is a bedroom culture.

Boyd & Ellison (2007) state that social networks are growing in popularity and other avenues allow people to express themselves through interactions with virtual friends.

Grabe and Ward (2008) suggest that such ventures can sometimes require hard decisions like fasting or food to meet the high standards set by their followers.

Body image refers primarily to the attitudes and perceptions people have about themselves.

This is often done to compare different cultural expectations. Body images include assessments that are made about an individual depending on various factors.

These could include skin tone and proportions, along with the size of the hips and waists.

Particularly for college-aged women, body image is important. In modern society, the beauty of a person’s body is defined by their thinness.

These could be slim or lanky, or athletic.

These expectations have various repercussions on people’s confidence in their bodies.

As the body of females is more diverse in appearance and weight than the rest of the population, there are potential negative consequences.

The current study’s author reported that college students are capable of reaching extreme heights in order to maintain their Instagram-based image.

The majority of these college students and females are unhappy about their bodies, which is between 11 and 16 percent of the population.

The number of women who felt low self-esteem and lack of confidence was higher than that of the men.

Bergstrom R.L., Neighbors C., Malheim J.E.

Media comparisons and the threat to body images: Seeking evidence for self-affirmation.

Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. Vol. 28, No. 2, pp.

Cognitive behavioral perspectives of body image, In Cash (T. F.) and Pruzinsky (T.

The handbook of theory, research and clinical practice on body image.

Philosophy of Photography, 3(1), pp.

The relationship between Facebook, Instagram and body image concerns among young women.

Body Image, 23 (3): 183-187.

How does media portray a ‘perfect body’?

Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 28 pp.

Fredrickson B.L. and Roberts T.A.

Objectification theory. Toward understanding women’s lived experiences, and mental health risk, Psychology of Women Quarterly. 21(2). pp.

Furnham A., Badmin N., and Sneade I.

Body image dissatisfaction. Gender differences in eating habits, self-esteem, exercise motivations, Journal of Psychology. 136(6). pp.

Gardner, R.L.

A new figural drawing scale to assess body-image: Development and validation of the BIAS BD, Journal of Clinical Psychology 65(1), pp.

A meta-analysis combining correlational and experimental research to examine the role of the media in women’s body image concerns:

Psychological Bulletin 134(3), 476-476.

Hass C.J. Pawlow L.A. Pawlow J.Pettibone J. and Segrist D.J.

An intervention to counter the negative impact of media on body self-esteem, College Student Journal, 46(2) pp.

Szymanski D.M. Moffitt L.B. and Carr E.R.

Sexual objectification in women: Research and theory, Counseling Psychologist, 39(1) pp.

The relationship between Instagram selfies, body image, and young adult women.

First Monday 21(9).

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