||The micro cosmetic surgery industry in Taiwan has prospered rapidly in recent years. Despite the risks involved, numerous people have positive attitudes toward micro cosmetic surgery because of relevant demands in their career and personal life, as well as social perceptions. By contrast, some people have always been indifferent or opposed to micro cosmetic surgery. The primary objective of this study was to clarify the relationship between differing opinions regarding micro cosmetic surgery and the third-person effect, and the possible factors that influence people’s future intentions to undergo micro cosmetic surgery.|
We investigated positive and negative news reports about micro cosmetic surgery to explore whether news reports produce a third-person effect. In addition, we examined whether people’s future intentions to undergo micro cosmetic surgery are influenced by optimistic bias, social desirability, message involvement, and third-person effects. This study was based on a 2 x 2 (intentions: intentions to undergo micro cosmetic surgery or not; message types: positive and negative news reports regarding micro cosmetic surgery) 2-factor experimental design. Optimistic bias, social desirability, and message involvement were used as intervening variables. Moreover, we adopted a between-subjects research design, that is, the participants were evenly divided into those who had read positive news reports of micro cosmetic surgery and those who had read negative news reports. Overall, 421 daytime university students participated in this study.
The results showed that the third-person effect produced by negative messages regarding micro cosmetic surgery did not exceed that produced by positive messages regarding micro cosmetic surgery. A significant relationship was observed between optimistic bias, social desirability, message involvement, and third-person effects. Furthermore, message desirability and perceptions of third-person effects can be used to effectively predict people’s future intentions to undergo micro cosmetic surgery. We recommend that future studies examine the messages presented in various media and explore other possible factors that influence people’s intentions to undergo micro cosmetic surgery.