The Role of Facial Appearance Concern and Appraisal Perspective in the Experience of Task-Irrelevant Intrusions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: The current study experimentally tested the hypothesis that elevated facial appearance concern is characterised by an elevated tendency to experience task-irrelevant intrusions (i.e., intrusions which serve to interfere with task performance) concerning an appearance-related event. Additionally, the study examined potentially interactive roles of facial concerns and the appraisal perspective adopted during this appearance-related event. Methods: Sixty-six females, reporting either low or high facial concerns, were exposed to a standardised appearance-related event, which involved a photoshoot and the subsequent appraisal of the resulting photographs. Participants were induced to appraise these photographs from the perspective of either self or other. Following this, participants completed a task designed to assess subsequent task-irrelevant intrusions about the appearance-related event. Results: Results revealed that high facial concern participants experienced both a greater frequency of, and more distressing, task-irrelevant intrusions about the appearance-related event than did their low facial concern counterparts. These group differences in task-irrelevant intrusions were equally evident, regardless of initial appraisal perspective. Conclusions: The current findings are consistent with the hypothesis that elevated facial appearance concerns are underpinned by highly frequent and distressing task-irrelevant intrusions about past appearance-related experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Nov 2020

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