Tattooing; stereotyping and social acceptance

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Johnston, Sandra
Issue Date
BA (Hons) Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The object of this study was to ascertain whether tattooing is more socially acceptable in this decade than ever before. It also aimed to discover whether the typical stereotype of the heavily tattooed individual holds any merit in today’s culture. Therefore tattoo numbers were correlated against levels of social conformity, self-esteem and risk-taking behaviour. Qualitative questions were also asked to ascertain feelings towards heavily tattooed individuals. It was discovered that over 60% of 78 participants believed that any level of tattooing is now socially acceptable and only 1 participant believed that tattooing was not acceptable. Tattooed individuals were less likely to be recreational risk-takers but there was no difference between tattooed and non-tattooed individuals in any other domain tested. Author keywords: Tattooing, attitudes, self-esteem, risk-taking behaviour, social conformity, individualism, social acceptance