The Relationship Between Public Self-Consciousness and Individual's Attempts to Compensate for an Unattractive Appearance in Mixed-Sex Dyads

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2004-12-06

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This research tested the hypothesis that unattractive individuals who were high in public self-consciousness would attempt to compensate for their unattractive appearance in order to be more liked in social settings. A pilot study was used to develop stimulus materials for Studies 1 and 2. In Study 1, dyads of one male and one female participant completed a measure of public self-consciousness and then rated each other on physical attractiveness and likeability before and after having a short interaction. As expected, less attractive individuals who were high (versus low) in public self-consciousness became somewhat more likeable over time. Study 2 demonstrated that these effects were stronger for participants who were given explicit instructions about how to appear likeable. The results provide some support for the idea that low public self-conscious participants do not have the necessary ability to create positive impressions on others.

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