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I feel bad and look worse than you: Social comparisons moderate the effect of mood on face health judgement

Mirams, LR and Poliakoff, E and Zandstra, EH and Hoeksma, M and Thomas, A and El-Deredy, W (2016) I feel bad and look worse than you: Social comparisons moderate the effect of mood on face health judgement. Acta Psychologica, 168. pp. 12-19. ISSN 1873-6297

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Abstract

Mood can bias the judgements people make about themselves and how people compare themselves to others. However, it is not yet clear whether mood also affects appearance-based self-evaluations and social comparisons. Given the importance of perceived health status for well-being, we investigated the effect of mood on self-image and social comparisons of healthiness during two versions of a face health judgement task. Thirty participants judged how they felt compared to healthy and unhealthy looking versions of their own (self version) and a stranger’s face (stranger version), after a positive, negative and neutral mood induction. The effect of mood was dependent on self/stranger task order. Although mood did not affect face health judgement for participants who initially judged themselves against their own face, it did affect face health judgement for participants who initially judged themselves in comparison to a stranger’s face. After the positive and negative mood inductions, these participants judged themselves as equivalent to healthier/unhealthier looking versions of their own and stranger’s faces, respectively. Thus, social comparisons of facial healthiness could provide a perceptual measure of state well-being.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1701 Psychology, 1702 Cognitive Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2016 08:43
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2016 10:10
DOI or Identification number: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2016.04.002
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3492

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