Oxford Handbook of the Psychology of Appearance

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We live in a society in which messages associating physical attractiveness with success and happiness are pervasive. There is an epidemic of appearance concerns amongst teenagers and adults in westernised countries and body image dissatisfaction is now considered normative. Large numbers of people experience negative impacts on wellbeing and, for many adolescents, adults, and even children, appearance concerns are influential in choices about a range of health behaviours. The challenges facing them include difficulties with social encounters and the problem of having to cope with negative self perceptions. The Oxford Handbook of the Psychology of Appearance is a comprehensive reference text written by experts in the field. It examines how people feel about the way they look, and why it is that some people are happy with their appearance whilst increasing numbers are troubled by the way they look - reporting that these appearance-related concerns affect many aspects of their lives including relationships, health and well-being. It considers the influence of other people and how the media affects thoughts and behaviours related to appearance. It explores the experiences of people living with a disfigurement in a society that seems to be increasingly focussed on appearance and the pursuit of an idealised image of beauty, size and weight. Exploring a topic that has been often neglected in the psychological literature, this book will be invaluable for health, clinical, and social psychologists, health professionals working with patients with visible differences, and those in the field of public health and education.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The start of an overall affirmation has been made by the editors of this book. Nichola Rumsey and Diana Harcourt have done a necessary and excellent job in the creation of The Oxford Handbook of the Psychology of Appearance, and one hopes for sequels. Yes, the psychology of appearance should have a place in the sun." — PsycCRITIQUES
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199580521
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 7/26/2012
  • Pages: 736
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Nichola Rumsey, VTCT Professor of Appearance Psychology, Centre for Appearance Research, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK,Diana Harcourt, Reader in Health Psychology, Centre for Appearance Research, University West England, Bristol, UK

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Table of Contents

Introduction, Nichola Rumsey and Diana Harcourt
Setting the Scene
1. Section Overview
2. Appearance and Society, Hannah Frith
3. Embodiment and Appearance, Malcolm MacLachlan, Grainne Ni Mhaille, Pamela Gallagher and Deirdre Desmond
4. Cross-cultural Differences, Hannah Falvey
5. Challenges in Health Care Provision in the UK, Esther Hansen and Peter Butler
6. Challenges in Health Care Provision in the USA, Valerie Lamaine and Andrea Pusic
7. Challenges in Health Care Provision in Resource Poor Countries, Tom Potokar and Patricia Price
8. A Social Perspective in Biomedical Technologies and Appearance, Julie Kent
9. Section Summary and Synthesis
Who is affected, in what way, and why?
10. Overview
Across the lifespan
11. Appearance in Childhood, Lina Smolak
12. Appearance in Adulthood, Marika Tiggemann and Julie Slevec
13. Appearance in Later Life, Lucie Baker and Eyal Gringart
Individual differences in adjustment and distress
14. Gender, Helen Falkner
15. Lesbian, Gay and Bisexualities, Appearance and Body Image, Caroline Huxley and Nikki Hayfield
16. Culture and Ethnicity, Habib Nqvi and Krysia Saul
17. Influence of the Media, Emma Halliwell and Phillippa Diedrichs
18. The Role of the Family, Rebecca Bellew
19. Influence of Peers, Lina Ricciardelli and David Mellor
20. Individual Differences in Adjustment, Timothy Moss and Ben Rosser
Consequences of appearance concerns
21. Appearance and Exercise, James Byron-Daniel
22. Eating Behaviour, Irmgard Tischner and Helen Malson
23. Appearance Concerns, Dietary Restriction and Disordered Eating, Victoria Lawson
24. Cosmetic Procedures, Canice E. Crerand, Leanne Magee and David B. Sarwer
Experiences of people who have a visible difference
25. Congenital Conditions, Kristin Billaud-Feragen
26. Trauma - with special reference to burn injury, Julie Wisely and Sarah Gaskell
27. Visible Difference Associated with Disease: Skin conditions, Christine Bundy
28. When Treatment Affects Appearance, Heidi Williamson and Melissa Wallace
29. Summary and Synthesis
What needs to change and how can change be achieved
30. Section Overview
Societal Interventions
31. Role of the Media, Barry Gunter
32. Persuading the Public: New face values for the 21st Century, James Partridge
33. Changing the Provision of Care in Health Settings, Julia Cadogan
34. Interventions for Families and Health Care Professionals, Susan Brown
35. Regulation of Cosmetic Surgery, Alexandra Clarke
Interventions at an individual or group level
36. School Based Interventions, Phillippa Diedrichs and Emma Halliwell
37. Therapeutic Interventions: Evidence of effectiveness, Elizabeth Jenkinson
38. Computer Based Psychosocial Interventions, Alyson Bessell
39. Using Appearance Concerns to Promote Health, Sarah Grogan and Daniel Masterson
40. Summary and Synthesis
Research Issues
41. Section Overview
42. Methodological Issues in the Study of Body Image and Appearance, Ross Krawczyk, Jessie Menzel and J. Kevin Thompson
43. Gaining Insights from Population Studies, Martin Persson
44. Mixed Methods: The best of both worlds, Emma Dures
45. Online Research, Neil S. Coulson
46. Using Novel Methods in Appearance Research, Diana Harcourt
47. Promoting Participation and Involvement in Research, Amanda Bates
48. Summary and Synthesis
49. The Psychology of Appearance: The future, Nichola Rumsey and Diana Harcourt

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