CSUF Researchers Study the Use of Makeup by Women

Does a face full of makeup suggest a woman will be perceived as beautiful? Does a woman perceived as beautiful have a higher probability of being offered a job or a promotion? Does makeup affect whether a woman is perceived as a better leader? Are women who do not wear makeup putting themselves at a disadvantage?

Cal State Fullerton Associate Professor of Psychology Jessie Peissig is working to answer these questions and more.

“Women spend a great deal of time and money on makeup,” she said. “If you pick up nearly any women’s magazine, there will be at least one article on makeup. As a psychologist, I’m interested in understanding why women engage in this behavior and why we place so much importance on it.”

Peissig – with three undergraduate and one former graduate CSUF psychology students – is researching visual recognition and attractiveness in relation to women wearing makeup.

They are studying the “halo effect,” a psychological phenomenon that states the manner in which others perceive an individual – i.e., how attractive they believe the person to be – influences how they view the individual’s character or abilities.

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