The Balanced Objectification Hypothesis: The Effects of Objectification Valence and Body Sentiment on Source Sentiment

Sarah J. Gervais, Jill Allen, Abigail R. Riemer, Marco Gullickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this work, we introduced and tested the balanced objectification hypothesis (BOH). Derived from an integration of balance theory and objectification research, the BOH suggests that people seek psychological balance during objectifying interactions with others. Corresponding with the BOH, men and women perceived objectification sources as higher in warmth and intended to approach the objectification source more when they experienced complimentary objectification in conjunction with positive body sentiment (vs. negative body sentiment) and critical objectification in conjunction with negative body sentiment (vs. positive body sentiment) across four experiments. Self–other congruency emerged as a mediator and inconsistency between the content of the objectification experience and body sentiment (whether they were both focused on weight or sex appeal or not) emerged as a boundary condition, in line with the BOH. Theoretical implications and critical next steps for testing the BOH are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)571-586
Number of pages16
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019

Keywords

  • balance theory
  • consistency
  • gender
  • sexual objectification
  • social perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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