Personal Factors Affecting Oral Hygiene

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Heather,N Sloan (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
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Abstract: When it comes to dating and social interaction people use different levels of self-presentation to avoid awkward situations. Self-presentation is used to display a certain image of oneself to others and make certain, often positive, qualities appear more prominent for an individual (Tsee_lon, 1992). The concerns of self-presentation are motivated by social interaction, namely friendship, mating, and generally being accepted into society at large (Barber, 1996). / Humans have adapted certain grooming tasks, many relating to cleanliness, to signal that they are in search of a new mate (Buss, 2012). Oral hygiene is often understated in social psychology research, specifically related to mating. Our hypothesis states that if people are made to think that oral hygiene is important to mating success they will be more likely to maintain a regular dental hygiene regimen than the control condition. / The participants for this study were eighty introductory psychology students from ECU. These students volunteered for the study for two weeks in exchange for partial credit towards course completion. / The participants were given questionnaires to fill out confidentially to measure subject variables, then randomly assigned to one of our three conditions. For one condition we gave the students an article about the health benefits of good oral hygiene. For the second condition the article was about the mating advantages associated with good oral hygiene and the third read an article strictly about general dental hygiene care and statistics. At the end of the session they were given a tube of toothpaste, to use for the next two weeks. At the debriefing session we asked for the items back, to measure them. They were also given instructions on how to get to and fill out self-reports and journals every day, for additional data gathering. We debriefed the participants on the experiment in its entirety and our hypothesis to the participants in our final session. / Our results were not supportive of our main hypothesis. This may have been due to the difficulty in changing a behavioral trait, such as our dependent variable, the amount the participant brushed their teeth.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2014
Oral hygiene, Dating, Mating, Social psychology

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