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The effect of personal grooming on self-perceived body image.

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Publication details

JournalInternational Journal of Cosmetic Science
DateE-pub ahead of print - 12 Dec 2014
DatePublished (current) - Feb 2015
Issue number1
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)108-115
Early online date12/12/14
Original languageEnglish


Objective: Grooming behaviours, including application of fragranced products, are
thought to reflect a means of managing social impressions and self-image. While
application of deodorants has previously been shown to make individuals appear more
confident to others, few studies have specifically examined the psychological effects of
such rituals on the wearer. Here we investigated how grooming behaviours affect selfperceived body image, a central component of an individual’s self-image.
Methods: In two separate experiments, using a psychophysical forced choice task, male and female participants with a normal body mass index (BMI) indicated whether
projected life-size images of their own body were bigger or smaller than their actual
size. In the experimental condition participants applied a fragranced deodorant before
performing the task, while in the control condition no product was applied. Our
dependent measures were the Point of Subjective Equality (PSE), the size at which
participants report their body is subjectively equal to their actual body size, and the
Difference Limen (DL), the amount of change in body size distortion necessary for it to
be reliably detected. These measurements provide an index of attitudinal and perceptual components of body image respectively.

Bibliographical note

© 2014 Society of Cosmetic Scientists and the Societe Francaise de Cosmetologie. This is an author produced version of a paper accepted for publication in International Journal of Cosmetic Science. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.

    Research areas

  • body image, deodorant, deodorantgrance, grooming, del

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