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Objectification limits authenticity: Exploring the relations between objectification, perceived authenticity, and subjective well-being.

Authors
  • Cheng, Lei1
  • Li, Zifei1
  • Hao, Mingyang1
  • Zhu, Xueli1
  • Wang, Fang1
  • 1 Beijing Key Laboratory of Applied Experimental Psychology, National Demonstration Center for Experimental Psychology Education (Beijing Normal University), Faculty of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China. , (China)
Type
Published Article
Journal
The British journal of social psychology
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2022
Volume
61
Issue
2
Pages
622–643
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/bjso.12500
PMID: 34532868
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Five studies (total valid N = 834) examined whether objectification (i.e., being treated as a tool or an object to achieve others' goals) reduces people's perceived authenticity and subjective well-being. Participants who experienced more objectification (Studies 1a and 1b), imagined being objectified (Study 2), or recalled a past objectification experience (Study 3) felt less authentic and reported lower levels of subjective well-being than their counterparts. Moreover, perceived authenticity mediated the link between objectification and subjective well-being (Studies 1a-3). In addition, offering objectified participants an opportunity to restore authenticity could enhance their well-being (Study 4). Taken together, our findings highlight the crucial role of authenticity in understanding when and why objectification decreases subjective well-being and how to ameliorate this relationship. Our findings also imply the effect of authenticity in understanding various psychological outcomes following objectification. © 2021 The British Psychological Society.

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