Study Evaluates Effects of Facial Rejuvenation Surgery on Personality Traits

Facial Rejuvenation SurgeryThe desire to look more attractive and youthful is universal and that’s why facelift surgery has become such a popular option. The procedure can improve the signs of aging such as wrinkles and sagging and result in a more youthful, well-defined facial contour. Recent surveys have shown that social media, the selfie trend, workplace competition and peer pressure (especially among teens) are the main factors influencing the cosmetic surgery decision. A new study published online in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery reveals that facial rejuvenation surgery change the way people see you. The study looked at the impact of the procedure on perceived attractiveness, femininity, and personality.

The authors used ‘facial profiling’, a term they introduced to describe the act of determining personality attributes through visual observation. It highlights the fact that others judge you based on not just how young you look, but on the basis of other characteristics and the personal qualities that your face conveys.

The study involved a retrospective evaluation of 60 before and after (preoperative and postoperative) photographs of 30 white female patients who underwent facial rejuvenation surgery between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2013. The procedures they had included rhytidectomy (face-lift), upper and lower blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), eyebrow-lift, neck-lift, and/or chin implant.

The 60 photographs (30 preoperative and 30 postoperative) were put in 6 groups, each with 5 preoperative and 5 postoperative photographs. The photographs were then shown to a group of individuals who rated each photograph for 8 personality traits:

  • Aggressiveness
  • Extroversion
  • Likeability
  • Trustworthiness
  • Risk seeking
  • Social skills
  • Attractiveness
  • Femininity

When the researchers compared the preoperative and postoperative scores assigned by the raters, they found significant improvements in likeability, social skills, attractiveness, and femininity. There was no statistically significant improvement in scores for perceived trustworthiness, aggressiveness, extroversion and risk seeking.

The researchers say that their study shows that while facial rejuvenation surgery generally focuses on providing patients with a more youthful look, it can also influence other dimensions – likeability, social skills, attractiveness, and femininity.

In many contexts, how other people perceive you is important. Now that research shows that other people tend to think more highly of a person whose appearance improved with facial cosmetic surgery, this will surely enhance the popularity of this already accepted aesthetic procedure.