According to Objectification Theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997), when women are exposed to sexually objectifying images, such as those in advertising and television, they begin to value themselves based on their physical appearance and internalize an observer’s perspective of the self. This is called self-objectification and has been linked to many negative consequences. The present study seeks to gain a greater understanding of this phenomenon and to determine whether different types of non-objectifying stimuli may eliminate these negative consequences and possibly even improve the lives of women. Women were shown images or given a scrambled sentence task to prime them with sexual objectification, body competence, social competence, or a control. Self-objectification was measured, and cognitive performance was assessed using the color/word Stroop task. It is hypothesized that women primed with social competence stimuli will perform better on the Stroop task than those primed with body competence or sexual objectification stimuli, and that self-objectification will mediate this relationship. Additionally, Subjectification Theory is introduced as a framework in which to understand the non-objectified, agentic experiences of women.
Brown, Fiona J., "Objectification vs. Subjectification: Effects of Priming Sexual Objectification, Body Competence, or Social Competence on Cognitive Function in Women" (2015). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 6763.
Social and Behavioral Sciences
objectification, self-objectification, subjectification, cognitive function, women
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
© Copyright 2015 Fiona J. Brown