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J Am Coll Health. 2008 Mar-Apr;56(5):593-6. doi: 10.3200/JACH.56.5.593-596.

Tattoos can harm perceptions: a study and suggestions.

Author information

1
Psychology Department, Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, NJ 07738, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Health researchers have claimed that perceptions toward a person with a tattoo are more negative than are perceptions toward nontattooed persons. However, support for this has been obtained almost completely by nonexperimental research.

PARTICIPANTS:

In 2 experiments with 158 community college student participants, the authors found that tattoos harmed perceptions.

METHODS:

Students viewed a photograph of a female model with and without a visible tattoo, and rated her on 13 personal characteristics.

RESULTS:

In Experiment 1, ratings of a model with a dragon tattoo were significantly more negative (p < .05) on 5 of the 13 personal characteristics than were ratings of the same model shown without the tattoo. In Experiment 2, which included different participants, a different model, and a different tattoo, the authors found that a dolphin tattoo led to more negative ratings on 2 of the 13 characteristics.

CONCLUSIONS:

The authors discuss possible impacts of tattoos on person perception as well as implications of the results for college student healthcare providers.

PMID:
18400674
DOI:
10.3200/JACH.56.5.593-596
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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