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Effects of upward and downward social comparison information on the efficacy of an appearance-based sun protection intervention: a randomized, controlled experiment.

Mahler HI, Kulik JA, Gerrard M, Gibbons FX - J Behav Med (2010)

Bottom Line: Of more interest, while the basic intervention increased sun protective behavior during the subsequent 5 weeks relative to controls (d = .44), the addition of downward comparison information completely negated this benefit.Upward comparison information produced sun protection levels that were only slightly (and nonsignificantly) greater than in the basic intervention condition and, as such, does not appear to be a cost-effective addition.Possible mechanisms that may have reduced the benefits of upward comparison information and contributed to the undermining effects of downward comparison information are discussed.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology 0109, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA. hmahler@ucsd.edu

ABSTRACT
This experiment examined the impact of adding upward and/or downward social comparison information on the efficacy of an appearance-based sun protection intervention (UV photos and photoaging information). Southern California college students (N = 126) were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: control, intervention, intervention plus upward social comparison, intervention plus downward social comparison. The results demonstrated that all those who received the basic UV photo/photoaging intervention reported greater perceived susceptibility to photoaging (d = .74), less favorable tanning cognitions (d = .44), and greater intentions to sun protect (d = 1.32) relative to controls. Of more interest, while the basic intervention increased sun protective behavior during the subsequent 5 weeks relative to controls (d = .44), the addition of downward comparison information completely negated this benefit. Upward comparison information produced sun protection levels that were only slightly (and nonsignificantly) greater than in the basic intervention condition and, as such, does not appear to be a cost-effective addition. Possible mechanisms that may have reduced the benefits of upward comparison information and contributed to the undermining effects of downward comparison information are discussed.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

CONSORT Flow Diagram
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Related In: Results  -  Collection


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Fig1: CONSORT Flow Diagram

Mentions: Approximately 5 weeks later (M = 36.11, SD = 4.58 days), experimenters who were blind to condition contacted 99% of the original participants by telephone (only one participant was not reached) to assess sun exposure and protection behaviors since the intervention (described below). Participants provided oral informed consent at the time of telephone contact. After completing the telephone follow-up, participants were fully debriefed. All study procedures were reviewed and approved by one of the university’s institutional review boards (Fig. 1). Fig. 1


Effects of upward and downward social comparison information on the efficacy of an appearance-based sun protection intervention: a randomized, controlled experiment.

Mahler HI, Kulik JA, Gerrard M, Gibbons FX - J Behav Med (2010)

CONSORT Flow Diagram
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2967703&req=5

Fig1: CONSORT Flow Diagram
Mentions: Approximately 5 weeks later (M = 36.11, SD = 4.58 days), experimenters who were blind to condition contacted 99% of the original participants by telephone (only one participant was not reached) to assess sun exposure and protection behaviors since the intervention (described below). Participants provided oral informed consent at the time of telephone contact. After completing the telephone follow-up, participants were fully debriefed. All study procedures were reviewed and approved by one of the university’s institutional review boards (Fig. 1). Fig. 1

Bottom Line: Of more interest, while the basic intervention increased sun protective behavior during the subsequent 5 weeks relative to controls (d = .44), the addition of downward comparison information completely negated this benefit.Upward comparison information produced sun protection levels that were only slightly (and nonsignificantly) greater than in the basic intervention condition and, as such, does not appear to be a cost-effective addition.Possible mechanisms that may have reduced the benefits of upward comparison information and contributed to the undermining effects of downward comparison information are discussed.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology 0109, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA. hmahler@ucsd.edu

ABSTRACT
This experiment examined the impact of adding upward and/or downward social comparison information on the efficacy of an appearance-based sun protection intervention (UV photos and photoaging information). Southern California college students (N = 126) were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: control, intervention, intervention plus upward social comparison, intervention plus downward social comparison. The results demonstrated that all those who received the basic UV photo/photoaging intervention reported greater perceived susceptibility to photoaging (d = .74), less favorable tanning cognitions (d = .44), and greater intentions to sun protect (d = 1.32) relative to controls. Of more interest, while the basic intervention increased sun protective behavior during the subsequent 5 weeks relative to controls (d = .44), the addition of downward comparison information completely negated this benefit. Upward comparison information produced sun protection levels that were only slightly (and nonsignificantly) greater than in the basic intervention condition and, as such, does not appear to be a cost-effective addition. Possible mechanisms that may have reduced the benefits of upward comparison information and contributed to the undermining effects of downward comparison information are discussed.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus