is generally recognized by the medical community that excessive, unprotected,
exposure to ultraviolet light (UV) radiation is harmful to one's skin (e.g.,
American Academy of Dermatology, 1988). Despite the ample media attention
to this effect, millions of Americans continue to deliberately engage in
behaviors that increase their exposure to UV radiation. As a result, there
has been an epidemic growth of skin cancers over the past decade (e.g.,
Fears & Scotto, 1982). Given this trend, it is particularly disturbing
to see an increase in intentional exposure to UV radiation due to frequent
sunbathing and the use of indoor tanning beds in young people.
|Tables and Figures|
Attitudes Drive Behavior
Social Psychology: Actions and Attitudes
Tanning Salon Exposure Can Lead to Skin Cancer
Sun Caused Skin Conditions
To Professor Finn, you have helped me to become proud of myself, when I thought it was not possible. It has been an honor to learn from your incredible knowledge. You are not professor, but an educator. You have not been a role model; rather, you have been an inspiration. Without your encouragement, your endless time, and your ability to help me recognize my own unique worth, the completion of this study would never have been possible.
To my family, there are not enough words to accurately describe my gratefulness for your unconditional love and assurance in me that any obstacle can be conquered. Mom, you are the purpose of this study and my proof of this claim Keri, you understood your footprints were too hard for me to follow; thanks for helping me travel my own path. I am grateful to have such an accomplished guide. Andy, you have gone beyond the definition of being the greatest big brother. I bet you never thought your "monster" would be so smart. Dad, I have been quite an expense; thank you for providing me with an education; I, too, will make you proud.
Last, to Katie Faro, Katie Lamonde and Kristin O’Leary, my arms are just not wide enough to embrace you with the hug you deserve; I love you guys. To Red, Trace, Ryan and all other psych majors, we did it, and we survived! These are the good old days we are going to miss in the years to come.
Perceptions of health risk associated with tanning, appearance motivation, and frequency of tanning behavior was assessed among tanners and non tanners before and after their exposure to dissonance inducing material. In the present study, two types of dissonance resulting from incompatible goals are identified: cognition based dissonance (accompanied with disagreements with the message) and affect-based dissonance (dissonance accompanied with negative emotions). Consistent with expectations derived from cognitive dissonance theory, results indicated dissonance increases when participants’ prior intentions to engage in tanning behavior are incompatible with health and appearance risk messages. Because sample size was too small, test scores of tanners and non tanners had to be analyzed together. As a result, contrary to the expectations of the present study, differences in scores among tanners and non tanners in the dissonance group could not be examined.