The impact of visual feedback and facial scarring on internal self cognition and self esteem
(2016) The impact of visual feedback and facial scarring on internal self cognition and self esteem, no. 52.
This study explored the impact of simulating facial scars and providing the opportunity for self-viewing in a mirror on self-cognition and self-esteem. Application of theatrical facial scars altered responses to personality questionnaire items; participants became less extraverted, more neurotic and less open to experiences. The mirror and the scar independently damaged participant's state self-esteem for performance and social self-esteem. An important finding was that global self-esteem and state appearance self-esteem was lowered by the mirror and scar independently but the scar had an increased impact on both self-esteem measurements when a mirror was provided for self-viewing the facial scar. Therefore self-viewing amplified this influence. This study thus demonstrates that self-perception of visual change can directly impact self-esteem. It is also discussed how these findings can be practically applied to help understand the psychological effects of visual change in disfigurement and how selfobservation in mirrors may intensify this.