Physical Attractiveness Contrast Effect and the Moderating Influence of Self-Consciousness1

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Abstract

Separate studies provided evidence of a moderating effect of public selfconsciousness (trait) and public self-awareness (state) on the physical attractiveness contrast effect involving social comparison between the self and others. Generally, when exposed to photographs of attractive women with idealized physiques, women's self-perceptions of their own physical attractiveness, social physique anxiety, and social self-esteem were each negatively affected. However, these negative contrast effects were most apparent among women with high public self-consciousness (trait assessment, Study 1) or high public self-awareness (state inducement, Study 2). Implications of these findings are considered.

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