Research Nugget #4

I am sorry to say that VCU database proved to be not useful in my case because the database does not contain a lot of papers about makeup from the viewpoint that I am trying to analyze it. The search engine is inferior to Google where I am getting much better results. Even when I find the article in the VCU database, I am unable to get the full text of the papers I am interested in. I can request an inter-library loan with options to pick the article at the front desk or have it mailed (by snail mail) to my home for a fee. Neither of these options are acceptable, since I need the publication now. Therefore, for my today’s nugget I have choose the following article that I found on the web.

Article citation :Cosmetics: They Influence More Than Caucasian Female Facial Attractiveness, NASH, REBECCA; FIELDMAN, GEORGE; HUSSEY, TREVOR; LÉVÊQUE, JEAN-LUC; PINEAU, PATRICIA. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. Feb2006, Vol. 36 Issue 2, p493-504.
Link to article:

The primary goal of this paper is to investigate the effect of makeup on the perception of health, confidence, earning potential, and professional class on Caucasian women in their 30’s. Four volunteers aged 31 to 38 were photographed with and without makeup. To make sure that all faces were as similar as possible from the outset, they each wore a white headband to keep their hair away from their face, removed all jewelry, and wore a black bib to mask their clothes. They were also asked to sustain a relaxed, neutral expression while being photographed. 152 men and 171 women were presented with the women’s facial photographs either with or without cosmetics. Women presented wearing cosmetics were perceived as healthier and more confident than when presented without. Participants also perceived women wearing cosmetics with a greater earning potential and with more prestigious jobs than the same women without cosmetics. The study concluded that women can employ cosmetics to manipulate their appearance and reap up possible benefits, such as being successful at a job interview or negotiating higher salary. By wearing makeup they may also benefit from a boost in positive self-perception and well-being that appears to be associated with wearing makeup.

Nugget #1
For analysis, the professions allocated to each image were translated to their social class coding. High, Average, Low, and Unemployed. This converted the results into categorical data, and consequently the results were analyzed using chi-square. Analysis of data revealed that wearing makeup had a significant impact on the rating of a woman’s professional class, chi-square (3, N=1,292)=19.981, p=0.000. The percentage allocation of the four employment categories (Figure 1) revealed that women wearing cosmetics were more likely to be assigned a high- or average-status profession than women without makeup (high status: women With Cosmetics=21.1%, women Without Cosmetics=16.3%; average status: women With Cosmetics 546.9%, women Without Cosmetics=39.8%). By contrast, women without cosmetics were more likely to be assigned a low-status job or unemployed professional status than women with cosmetics (low-status: women Without Cosmetics=37.4%, women With Cosmetics=26.8%; unemployed:
women Without Cosmetics=6.5%, women With Cosmetics=5.2%). Splitting the results by participant sex revealed that the significant effect of cosmetics on the perception of Professional Class was generated by male participants, chi-square (3, N=608)517.645, p=0.001, rather than female respondents, chi-square (3, N=5684) 53.133, p=0.060.

This nugget provides the statistical data from the experiment and informs the reader about the statistics that were employed to analyze the data. The authors also note that a woman wearing a makeup is more likely to be perceived as professional by men than by women.

Nugget #2
In accordance with predictions, wearing cosmetics was found to have a significant impact upon participants’ ratings of female confidence. An intriguing question remains as to whether this effect is genuinely caused by the physical change brought about by the application of makeup or as a consequence
of the general increase in positive self-perception women experience when wearing cosmetics. The volunteers within this study did report feelings of enhanced well-being and improved self-worth when prepared by the beautician. It is possible that this change in self-perception is reflected in the photographs despite the retention of a neutral expression. This question could be resolved by using computer image manipulation to investigate whether makeup renders faces more confident while avoiding the potential confound caused by volunteers’ responses to the application of cosmetics by a beautician. Makeup could be applied digitally onto cosmetic-free female faces, rather than directly onto a volunteer.

In this nugget the authors note that the effect of makeup may also be enhanced by the following effect. A woman wearing make up looks more healthy and more attractive, therefore she feels better about herself. These positive feelings translate in her being more confident, which actually makes her healthier and more attractive.

8 thoughts on “Research Nugget #4”

  1. From the article: “The first aim of this investigation was to
    explore whether images of women wearing cosmetics would be judged to be healthier than images of the same women presented without makeup.” Asymmetry, it turns out, is judged to be “unhealthier,” they said. Did you see this? (p 494)
    The first part of this study (as in all studies) reviews the literature (research) on make-up. I learned a lot by reading this. Make sure you read the introductions of studies, because they will provide you with all of the background research that has already been done on your topic.
    For example, in the introduction I learned this: “women wearing cosmetics were judged to be less
    competent and designated lower salaries than women without makeup.”
    Sometimes researchers set out to prove a “prediction.” One of their predictions was: “It was predicted that women wearing cosmetics would be rated as having
    greater earning potential.” Now you need to read the DISCUSSION section of this article and report in your summary on what the researchers found out!

  2. So true! As someone who has a minimum makeup threshold for herself, I can’t go a day under that threshold without hearing someone ask me what’s wrong, have I been crying, “you look tired,” etc. Interesting to think that makeup might have some kind of placebo effect, where looking nicer makes you feel nicer! I definitely feel better about myself depending on my makeup. If I’ve got full face of slap on, I feel like I could fight a dragon and come out looking flawless.

  3. I think makeup may also help keep up a professional look. It goes with the idea of cleanliness and orderliness. Without makeup women may look unprofessional or unkempt. It would be similar to men’s shaving of facial hair.

  4. I think our article will be really helpful in your final inquiry project. The data the article presents is really interesting. I think it’s great that having makeup on makes women more confident but it’s unfortunate that women are perceived more negatively when they’re not wearing it.

  5. I think the articles statistical information could be a big help to show tangible results on your final inquiry project. Unfortunate as it is, we live in a world where people are judged so easily without understanding the person. People can make their own choices, but anything that can make a person feel better or happier is a good thing to me.

  6. I also suffered the same problem but was able to scrap out a few articles. Maybe you should change up your search terms?

    Wow that is interesting that make up can do all of that! I have heard something that better looking people are more successful. I don’t know if that is true but your writing is supporting it.

    Who knew make up would all this way to make that deep of an impact! Although this wasn’t a scholarly article it provided you with great information!

    Sorry for the late comment.

  7. Your article is very interesting, I feel makeup is a key factor in today’s society because every women wants to have that perfection look. And makeup is fine as long as you know how to use it, I mean we have all seen women just slather makeup on their face and I feel they use it because they are not confident of themselves.

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