The Quest for Perfect Appearance: an Examination of the Role of Objective Self-awareness Theory and Emotions

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Quality of appearance is important in nature and individuals have a basic need to establish the normality of appearance to confirm their acceptability to others. In daily inter-relationships of the same species, for instance, normal-appearing members of a species group reject or kill other members who appear abnormal. In human society, appearance is considered as one of the most direct sources of information about other people, and unattractiveness is often accompanied by negative judgments, which can cause emotional distress and isolation. Accordingly, humans tend to pay great attention to their personal appearance and make improvements to enhance their self-representations. The ... continued below

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Yazdanparast Ardestani, Atefeh August 2012.

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This dissertation is part of the collection entitled: UNT Theses and Dissertations and was provided by UNT Libraries to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 986 times , with 25 in the last month . More information about this dissertation can be viewed below.

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  • Yazdanparast Ardestani, Atefeh

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Quality of appearance is important in nature and individuals have a basic need to establish the normality of appearance to confirm their acceptability to others. In daily inter-relationships of the same species, for instance, normal-appearing members of a species group reject or kill other members who appear abnormal. In human society, appearance is considered as one of the most direct sources of information about other people, and unattractiveness is often accompanied by negative judgments, which can cause emotional distress and isolation. Accordingly, humans tend to pay great attention to their personal appearance and make improvements to enhance their self-representations. The growth of the beauty and cosmetic surgery industries is an indication of an increasing willingness to enhance physical appearance. However, despite the growing demand for cosmetic procedures, the consumer research literature on this topic is extremely sparse. In fact, little is known about the attitudinal and motivational drivers that facilitate undergoing such procedures. This dissertation enriches our understanding of factors that affect consumers’ motivation to pursue cosmetic procedures and examines the role of emotions in such decisions. To that end, objective self-awareness (OSA) theory is applied and the interplay between the state of public OSA, beauty standards, and self-conscious emotions of shame and pride is explored. The results of two experimental studies indicate that access to beauty standards coupled with the state of public OSA generates self-standard comparison thoughts that may yield self-standard discrepancies. Negative emotions experienced due to such discrepancies move individuals into a self-regulatory cycle with the purpose of discrepancy reduction and impact their motivation to undergo cosmetic procedures. Pride and shame, two central self-conscious emotions, influence self-regulatory strategies and differently impact the approach to discrepancy reduction. These findings contribute to the research advocating the role of emotions in decision making and provide more insights about self-conscious emotions and their role in regulating goal pursuit behavior. The findings provide practical implications for marketers of cosmetics products and services, social marketers trying to encourage or discourage certain behaviors, and public policy makers. Moreover, the results have wide-ranging implications for structuring programs designed to contribute to consumer welfare.

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UNT Theses and Dissertations

Theses and dissertations represent a wealth of scholarly and artistic content created by masters and doctoral students in the degree-seeking process. Some ETDs in this collection are restricted to use by the UNT community.

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  • August 2012

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  • March 4, 2013, 2:02 p.m.

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  • Nov. 16, 2016, 12:05 p.m.

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Yazdanparast Ardestani, Atefeh. The Quest for Perfect Appearance: an Examination of the Role of Objective Self-awareness Theory and Emotions, dissertation, August 2012; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149692/: accessed April 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .