The effects of model size and race on Chinese consumers' reactions: A social comparison perspective

Hean Tat Keh, Il Hye Park, Sarah Jane Kelly, Xiaomeng Du

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Previous research on women s reactions to female body images in advertisements has been restricted to same race target women and models, and typically conducted among Western participants. The present research examines the combined effects of model race and size for the first time, and extends inquiry to Chinese consumers. Results across four experiments demonstrate that model race and size are potent informative cues that influence Chinese consumers self-esteem and advertising effectiveness. Studies 1a and 1b suggest that model race is an informative trigger predicting differential social comparison and subsequent self-esteem judgments for Chinese women, but has no effect on Chinese men s self-esteem. In addition, model size exerts differential impacts on Chinese women s and men s self-esteem. Study 2 shows that manipulation of the social comparison mechanism may outweigh that of race as an informative cue. Study 3 examines the relationship between model size and Chinese women s evaluative responses to advertisements. These findings not only contribute to the literature, but also offer practical guidelines for marketers advertising in China.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177 - 194
Number of pages18
JournalPsychology and Marketing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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