Comparing and modeling via social media: The social influences of fitspiration on male instagram users’ work out intention

Cheng Ting Peng, Tai-Yee Wu*, Yaxuan Chen, David J. Atkin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines the effects of Instagram fitspiration images on male viewers' work out intention by integrating the processes of social comparison and social cognitive theory. The results from 1428 Instagram users in Taiwan, with the directions of comparison (upward, lateral, and downward) manipulated, indicate that upward comparisons with attractive models would strengthen self-improvement motives related to working out. In addition, pleasant affective responses to the images and one's self-efficacy for working out were also significant predictors. However, model attractiveness revealed a negative, direct effect on work out intention, suggesting that a seemingly rewarding model behavior itself discourages viewer imitation. Implications are discussed to contribute the understanding about male audiences' reactions to the same-sex body images associated with physical training. The findings verifying both the psychological and behavioral impacts of social influence also help demonstrate a more comprehensive picture about promoting exercise as a positive outcome of fitspiration imagery exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-167
Number of pages12
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume99
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2019

Keywords

  • Fitspiration
  • Model attractiveness
  • Self-efficacy
  • Self-improvement
  • Social cognitive theory
  • Social comparison

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