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Cosmetic Creams From A Psychologist’s Point Of View

17.08.2007
An unusual investigation was carried out by researchers from the Institute of Psychology (Russian Academy of Sciences) under the guidance of Tatiana Rebeko. They showed interest in beauty aids or more precisely – creams used by women.

The researchers assumed that a lady’s preference to creams with certain properties is connected with her personality strains. The assumption has been confirmed. The psychologists have determined that referred properties of creams can tell something about how their owner copes with stresses, finds the way out of conflict situations and also about the person’s self-appraisal. The researchers call it the “structure of feminine identity” (i.e., realization of oneself as a woman).

The investigation involved 28 women, their ages varying from 22 through 65. Before asking them questions, the psychologists studied sites and catalogues of the leading cosmetic companies to single out basic useful properties of creams produced by them. 39 various useful properties were united into six groups: protection, purification, treatment, nourishment, antistress and ageing prevention.

It was impossible to ask questions directly for fear of getting wrong answers on such a delicate subject. Therefore, the women were required to represent “a unique cosmetic cream” by describing its properties “on behalf of a well-known cosmetician” in a game situation. It was important to understand what merits, in their opinion, “an ideal cream” should possess.

Then the outcomes of this “presentation” were brought into correlation with results of psychological tests, which had been offered to the women under investigation. The tests were intended to assess ways of getting out of a conflict situation, means of coping with fear and the self-appraisal. Here are the outcomes.

Preference to the category of “protection” properties is the evidence of psychological vulnerability and internal proneness to conflict, emotional response to arising problems and impossibility to apply for help to other people.

The women who prefer the “purification” category are disposed to move their personal problems outside as if “purifying” from them.

The ones who believe that “antistress” properties are important, would get particular pleasure from relaxation after fatigue.

The “treatment” category is particularly important for women of advanced age.

The women who consider “nutrition” to be the most important are rational and successfully cope with resolving problems in a stressful situation.

The researchers acknowledge that results interpretation has some limitations. Along with that, as they believe, the method allows to consider the attitude towards the skin to be a self-definition feature and reflection of relations with the outer world. The skin (being the border of our body) is the boundary between our “self” and “non-self”. As for a woman, the attitude towards her skin reflects the attitude towards herself and other people.

Nadezda Markina | alfa
Further information:
http://www.informnauka.ru

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