The advertisers apparently have us over a barrel filled with pure profit. Researchers from the University of Bath, in England, and the Qatar University report intriguing findings about beauty treatments: the worse they work, the more likely women are to continue using them. Hmm...
Professor Brett Martin and Dr. Rana Sobh studied 297 women between 27 and 65 years of age. They looked at the women's motivation and use of beauty enhancing products and treatments, including creams, vitamins, special diets, and plastic surgery. They were especially interested in the impact of a lack of success on the women's desire to continue the treatments.
Surprisingly, they found that women are more motivated to continue treatments if they believe they are not yet working. The researchers explain the basis of this motivation as being a strong desire to avoid a "feared self."
"How women imagine themselves in the future has a strong effect on how motivated they are to keep using a product or service such as creams or other treatments for ageing," said Dr Sobh. "When people dwell on a negative future, they are motivated by fear, yet as they move away from this feared state - say a wrinkled skin - they become less motivated to carry on using a product or service."
Odd, isn't it? Apparently the perfect product, from the advertiser's perspective, is one that holds great promise, but offers few tangible results.
The phenomenon is not restricted to women and the pursuit of beauty. Men, fearing a pathetic looking future version of themselves, have the same attitude about working out at a gym.
"This doesn't just apply to women - men have a similar psychology about using a gym to get fit and look good," said Professor Martin.
...The research provides yet one more good argument for turning off the television and picking up a good book.To read more about the study, see this from ScienceDaily. For a quick list of ten ways to develop a positive self image, see this from Women Fitness.