Self-Complexity and Physiological Responses to Facial Self-Reflection: An Investigation into Women's Self-Image

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In this study, effects of facial self-reflection and complexity of self on physiological responses were investigated. Skin conductance levels were measured during baseline and neutral conditions, then under a self-focusing condition provided by mirror reflection of the face. Subjects completed measures of self-complexity, depressive affect, self-esteem, anxiety and body image satisfaction. Eye tracking data was collected during the mirror condition. Results showed a significant effect of mirror self-reflection on physiological reactivity as measured by differences between mirror and baseline mean responses. Pre-test depressive affect was correlated with low self-esteem but not with self-complexity. Self-complexity was negatively correlated with orientation to ... continued below

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vi, 191 leaves: ill.

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Baldwin, Carol L. (Carol Louise) December 1996.

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  • Baldwin, Carol L. (Carol Louise)

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In this study, effects of facial self-reflection and complexity of self on physiological responses were investigated. Skin conductance levels were measured during baseline and neutral conditions, then under a self-focusing condition provided by mirror reflection of the face. Subjects completed measures of self-complexity, depressive affect, self-esteem, anxiety and body image satisfaction. Eye tracking data was collected during the mirror condition. Results showed a significant effect of mirror self-reflection on physiological reactivity as measured by differences between mirror and baseline mean responses. Pre-test depressive affect was correlated with low self-esteem but not with self-complexity. Self-complexity was negatively correlated with orientation to physical appearance and positively correlated with greater differences between baseline and mirror mean reactivity. Self-complexity and depressive affect did not significantly predict physiological reactivity, although a trend was found for the influence of each variable. Post-hoc analyses showed significant group differences for both self-complexity and depressive affect on physiological reactivity, although the influence of self-complexity was in the unexpected direction. Results of this study are consistent with general findings that negative self-esteem, anxiety and depression are strongly correlated. In addition, a strong correlation was found between negative self-esteem and dissociative symptoms. Exploratory analyses of eye tracking data found no significant relations among personality variables and percent of time looking at facial image, although some trends were found. Trends for a relation of self-complexity with time looking at facial image, negative evaluation of appearance in the mirror, and less focus on physical appearance suggest a component in the domain of self-complexity related to physical appearance. Clearly, self-complexity has a number of interrelated dimensions and remains a challenging area of study. In addition, the combination of eye tracking and physiological measurement is a relatively new area of study that shows promise for continued investigation.

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vi, 191 leaves: ill.

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  • December 1996

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  • March 24, 2014, 8:07 p.m.

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  • July 15, 2015, 1:10 p.m.

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Baldwin, Carol L. (Carol Louise). Self-Complexity and Physiological Responses to Facial Self-Reflection: An Investigation into Women's Self-Image, dissertation, December 1996; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278327/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .