FSD3499 Everyday Life and Physical Appearance 2016

The dataset is (C) available for research only (including Master's, doctoral and Polytechnic/University of Applied Sciences Master's theses). The dataset may not be used for teaching, study (e.g. seminar papers, essays) or other theses (Bachelor's theses or equivalent).

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Internet, leisure time, mass media use, personal identity, self-esteem, shopping, well-being (health)


The survey charted the role of physical appearance in the respondents' everyday life as well as more generally in Finnish society. The survey was conducted as part of the 'Finland as an appearance society: A population level study of values, attitudes, norms and their changes' research project. The survey continues to study the topics of the Everyday life and Well-being survey collected in 2011.

First, the respondents' consumer habits were examined with questions on how often they had bought products related to physical appearance (e.g. clothes, makeup, perfume) in the past 12 months and whether they had bought any of the products from an online store. The respondents were also asked if they had, for example, ever got a piercing or a tattoo, been on a diet, or used workout supplements. The next questions surveyed the importance of physical appearance to the respondents, how the respondents would evaluate their own appearance when compared to their peers, and whether they had received positive or negative comments about their appearance at different points of their lives. Additionally, the respondents were asked whether they thought their appearance had had a positive or negative effect on different elements of their lives (e.g. finding a partner, getting a job, overall satisfaction in life). Various statements related to physical appearance, such as whether the respondents thought they took good care of their appearance, often took pictures of themselves, and had good posture, were also included in the survey.

Views on the significance and role of physical appearance in Finnish society were examined next. The respondents were asked to what extent they approved or disapproved various actions, such as exercising to achieve better physical appearance or consciously taking advantage of good looks to get a job, when done by men or women. For these questions (20 and 21), the respondents were divided in half using the split ballot method so that half of the respondents were presented with statements about women and half with statements about men. Next, the respondents' media use was examined. Questions included, for example, how often the respondents watched TV, read books or used the Internet, and for what purposes they used the Internet and how often (e.g. email, online shopping, social media). Finally, the respondents' well-being and perceived social status were charted. The respondents were asked how they would describe their happiness, satisfaction in life, health, and self-esteem, how often they met other people during their leisure time, and how often they were in contact with others through the Internet. The respondents' perceived social class and hobbies were also surveyed.

Background variables included, among others, the respondent's year of birth, gender, economic activity and occupational status, level of education, household size, income, and occupation (ISCO-08 classification). Additionally, the occupation of the respondent's spouse/partner and the level of education of the respondent's parents and the parents of their spouse/partner were charted.

Study description in machine readable DDI 2.0 format

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