Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Why people put themselves under the knife: Plastic surgery makes people happy

Date:
March 11, 2013
Source:
Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum
Summary:
Scientists have investigated the psychological effects of plastic surgery on approximately 550 patients. Patients demonstrated more enjoyment of life, satisfaction and self-esteem after their physical appearance had been surgically altered.

In a long-term study, Prof. Dr. Jόrgen Margraf, Alexander von Humboldt Professor for Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy at the RUB, investigated the psychological effects of plastic surgery on approximately 550 patients in cooperation with colleagues from the University of Basel. Patients demonstrated more enjoyment of life, satisfaction and self-esteem after their physical appearance had been surgically altered.

Related Articles


The results of the world's largest ever study on this issue are reported by the researchers in the journal Clinical Psychological Science.

The aim of the research

The researchers examined whether patients who undergo plastic surgery are systematically different from other people, what goals they set themselves before the surgery, and whether they achieve these afterwards. The researchers compared 544 first-time surgery patients with two other groups: on the one hand with 264 people who had previously wanted plastic surgery and then decided against it, and on the other hand, with around 1000 people from the general population who have never been interested in such operations. The desire for a better appearance for aesthetic reasons usually occurs in younger people with slightly above-average incomes. Women represent 87 % of all patients who opt for cosmetic surgery. Overall, there were no significant differences among the three groups studied in terms of psychological and health variables, such as mental health, life satisfaction and depressiveness.

Most patients do not expect the impossible from surgery

Using a psychological instrument, the so-called "Goal Attainment Scaling," the researchers examined what goals the patients wanted to achieve with cosmetic surgery. Alongside open questions, ten standard goals were offered, also including two which were clearly unrealistic: "All my problems will be solved" and "I'll be a completely new person." Only 12 % of the respondents specified these unrealistic standard goals. In the open questions, the patients answered on the whole more realistically, expressing wishes such as to "feel better," "eliminate blemishes" and "develop more self-confidence."

Long-term improvements in psychological variables after surgery

The psychologists tested the patients before surgery, as well as three, six and twelve months afterwards. On average, the participants claimed to have achieved their desired goal, and to be satisfied with the results in the long-term. Compared to those who had chosen not to have plastic surgery, the patients felt healthier, were less anxious, had developed more self-esteem and found the operated body feature in particular, but also their body as a whole, more attractive. No adverse effects were observed. Thus, the researchers were able to establish a high level for the average treatment success of the cosmetic surgery, also in terms of psychological characteristics.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. Margraf, A. H. Meyer, K. L. Lavallee. Well-Being From the Knife? Psychological Effects of Aesthetic Surgery. Clinical Psychological Science, 2013; DOI: 10.1177/2167702612471660

Cite This Page:

Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum. "Why people put themselves under the knife: Plastic surgery makes people happy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130311091121.htm>.
Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum. (2013, March 11). Why people put themselves under the knife: Plastic surgery makes people happy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130311091121.htm
Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum. "Why people put themselves under the knife: Plastic surgery makes people happy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130311091121.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) — A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) — Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) — Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) — Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:  

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile iPhone Android Web
    Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins