(NewsGlobal.com)- Young women often focus on the bodies of their peers in images they see on social media, according to The Epoch Times. The outlet reports that a recent study published in August titled, “Thinstagram,” shows that females concentrate on thinner bodies and physical features more so than faces. But often, the images they are looking at are not real.
The study was published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior. Researchers studied young women and had them rate images on a scale from under-to-over-weight. The images were then used in the final study and shown to women, whose eye movements were observed and recorded.
The analysis found that women were more selective toward bodies rather than faces, and toward those with under and average body types than overweight types. They also tended to avoid looking at bodies that they felt mirrored their own.
Graham G. Scott of the University of the West of Scotland, who conducted the study, told The Epoch Times that “both bottom-up (a feature of the stimulus) and top-down (the participant’s own beliefs/views)” can influence one’s gaze behavior when looking at social media images. He added that he hopes the study can be used in the future to have guidelines around filters and algorithms.
Dr. Thea Gallagher, a psychologist and co-host of the “Mind in View” podcast, called Instagram a “landmine” of unrealistic images, edited with filters, suggesting that seeing these fake images can lead to negative cognitive emotions.
She works with adolescents and people of all ages with anxiety and disorders, saying that younger women are more vulnerable to receiving content that is in line with their ideas.
“If images of other people in our cohort are similar in shape but somewhat thinner, we tend to be drawn to compare what we think is better and thinner,” said Gallagher, adding that young women will try to “make sense” out of images that are not actually real.