Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts - Psychology



First Advisor

Sarah Savoy

Second Advisor

Lauren Brewer

Third Advisor

Catherine Pearte

Fourth Advisor

Nina Ellis-Hervey


Despite positive intentions, research suggests that fitspiration causes a multitude of negative effects on body image. This study will expand on previous work by examining the effects of fitspiration on body dysmorphic concerns, appearance-based rejection sensitivity (appearance-RS), and intentions to exercise, as well as the differences in these effects by sex. The first hypothesis is that participants will report more body dysmorphic concerns and appearance-RS following exposure to fitspiration compared to travel images. Second, it was hypothesized that compared to males, females will be more prone to the negative impact that fitspiration images have on body dysmorphic concerns and appearance-RS. Third, it was hypothesized that participants will report higher intentions to exercise following exposure to fitspiration compared to travel images. Lastly, it was hypothesized that exposure to fitspiration images will be associated with higher levels of intentions to exercise for males compared to females. Participants were randomly assigned to view fitspiration images or travel images. Following exposure, all participants completed a series of self-report measures to assess appearance-RS, exercise intentions, dysmorphic concerns, and demographics. Results indicate that exposure to fitspiration images may increase consumers’ perceived intention to engage in aerobic and strength training, regardless of sex. Neither males nor female’s state-level dysmorphic concern or appearance-RS varied with exposure to fitspiration.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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