Vanity could help save young women from malignant melanoma

New research published in Cogent Psychology, examines the way sun safe messages are conveyed to young women, and reveals their vanity could play a vital role in protecting them from harmful UV light.

Fair skinned young women are the most at risk group for malignant melanoma, a type of cancer most attributable to UV, and they often don’t realise the extent of the risk. This new research looks at the differences between text-based and visual messages and examines whether warning about future appearance has an impact on changing behaviours.

‘Malignant melanoma is on the increase yet young women often don't protect themselves by using sun screen,’ said Jane Ogden of the University of Surrey, one of the authors of the study.  ‘Our study explored the best way of framing messages to change their attitudes and promote healthier behaviour. The results showed that appearance based messages that used imagery to emphasise sun ageing were the most effective.  The sun ageing technology could be used more widely to increase sun screen uptake by young women.’

The research concluded that young women are most concerned about the immediate damage to their skin, and that messages about future skin aging were not effective in prompting a change in behaviour. A visual, personalised message that illustrated skin damage had more impact than text based messages.

To find out more, visit Cogent Psychology. The open access article “Enhancing sun safety in young women: The relative impact of format and temporal framing on beliefs and behaviour” is freely available for anyone to read via this permanent link: https://www.cogentoa.com/article/10.1080/23311908.2016.1210069
 

New psychology research published in Cogent Psychology

Read some of the latest research published in Cogent Psychology. All of our articles are free to read, downloads and share. 

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