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Studies find that emotion, self-awareness affect interest in plastic surgery

Atefeh Yazdanparast Ardestani, College of BusinessNew research looking into what motivates a person to undergo plastic surgery has found that gender is not a significant factor.

“In my testing, the impact of emotion and the self-comparison against popular images of beauty was shown for both sexes,” said Atefeh Yazdanparast Ardestani, a marketing and logistics student who earned a doctoral degree from the College of Business.

In one study, Yazdanparast found that inducing feelings of shame increased a person’s interest in plastic surgery, and inducing feelings of pride decreased a person’s interest in plastic surgery.

“The most exciting part for me was finding out that if individuals are induced to experience pride, their motivation to undergo plastic surgery procedures is diminished,” she said. “Reminding individuals of their qualifications and supporting positive emotions is very beneficial.”

Public service announcements from nonprofit organizations and governmental institutions would do well to develop strategic marketing campaigns which couples ordinary appearance with success to help reshape societal standards, Yazdanparast said.

“Pride and shame are social self-conscious emotions, these are emotions that are induced and created in individuals through their interactions with other people. So we now can see how providing positive social support in our society can reduce a person’s sense of being flawed,” she said.

In another study, Yazdanparast worked with participants randomly assigned to either a room equipped with a full-length mirror or no mirror.

“When individuals become the target of their own attention, they will start thinking about themselves, their features and their appearance,” Yazdanparast said. “One way to create this is to expose individuals to a full-length mirror and create a sense of self awareness.”

Participants were asked to review pictures of models of their gender or of irrelevant pictures, and then were asked questions including some relating to their likelihood of undergoing plastic surgery.

Her results revealed that when individuals are able to see themselves at the same time they see a beauty model, they are more likely to make a comparison between themselves and that model’s appearance.

- Leslie Wimmer, News Promotions

Posted on: Tue 10 July 2012