Date of Completion


Degree Type

Honors Thesis - Campus Access


Psychology (PSYC)

First Advisor

Ricardo Machón


This study explored perceptions of appearance toward oneself and others. Researchers investigated how people view their own appearance differently than images of others, and how gender may influence these perceptions. Researchers hypothesized that people would perceive their own body image negatively in comparison to the ways in which strangers viewed their appearance. Three college-age males and three college-age females were selected and gave consent to be the main participants in the study, which consisted of three distinct phases. In the first phase, each selected individual was photographed and asked to write perceptions of his or her own appearance on a mirror while looking into it. In the second part of the study, people passing by were asked to write comments about how they perceived the appearances of the main six participants in the photos. Last, the main participants met with researchers, who revealed what commenters wrote about their appearance. Their reactions were filmed. The study confirmed the research hypothesis, and also found that others’ comments on an individual’s appearance tended to be more personality-driven than physicality-driven. Researchers also found a slight variation in results by gender, with males reporting more positive comments toward their own bodies than females. After explaining the findings, this paper goes on to discuss the findings’ relationship with the literature on body image, as well as implications with regard to future research and the goals of the capstone course.