Clothing style preference of working women related to self- image/clothing-image congruity and public self-consciousness
Park, Jae Ok
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The purpose of the study was to extend knowledge concerning the influence of self-image congruity and public self-consciousness on clothing behavior from the symbolic consumption perspective. Thus, relationships among the three major constructs, public self-consciousness (PSC), self-image/clothing-image congruity (actual self-congruity, ASC and ideal social-congruity, ISSC) and clothing-style preference (CSP), were examined. The five objectives that guided the study were to discover whether 1) a specific CSP is related to ASC or ISSC; 2) differences in respondents' CSPs among four different clothing styles exist; 3) individual differences in PSC are related to CSPs; 4) individual differences in PSC result in differences in ASC or ISSC; and 5) the Direct Method of measuring ASC or ISSC is more predictive of CSP than the Indirect Method. A 7-point Likert Scale was utilized to elicit responses to the four line drawn clothing-styles depicting the dramatic, sporty, feminine, and classic image. The actual- and ideal social-self were the two referential images of the self. Data were obtained via a mailed self-administered questionnaire from 229 working women who were faculty (75) and staff (154) members of two universities. The instrument includes the two Self-image/Clothing image Congruity Measures, Indirect and Direct Measures, the ClothingStyle Preference Measure, Public Self-consciousness Measure, and Demographic Information. T-tests and Pearson correlations confirmed that working women's clothing style preferences are related to their ASC or ISSC states. One-Way Within Analysis-of-Variance showed that certain clothing styles were considered more socially appropriate than others, and they are, in order of preference, sporty, classic, feminine and then dramatic. Significant and positive relationships were also found between the PSC and Ase (and ISSC) state with the outfits considered to be socially appropriate (sporty and classic), but only by the Direct Method (t-tests and Pearson correlations). Comparing the two methods in predicting the hypothesized relationships, the Direct Method performed better than the Indirect Method. Interpretations of the data were made from the perspective of self-image/product-image congruity theory and self-consciousness theory. Overall results provide further empirical support to the self-image congruity theory.
- Doctoral Dissertations