Yanzhuo (Amy) Niu , PhD candidate of Educational Psychology, member of Peer Relations Research Group , and Felix Zhan just collaborated on a study examining the effect of virtual make-over use on college students’ self evaluation.

Selfie apps (e.g. Snapchat, VSCO) have been increasingly popular among young people. These selfie apps usually provide a variety of tools that improve selfie appearance. For example, they could make lips plumper, skin smoother, eyes bigger or face thinner. However, it is still unknown whether virtual make-over use distorts individual’s self-evaluation.

Building upon social comparison theory, self-discrepancy theory and self-objectification, this study explores: (1) the effects of virtual make-over use on college students’ self-esteem and on evaluation of one’s physical appearance; (2) individual characteristics (e.g. gender, self-schema) that might moderate such effects. This study is the foundation of the project – investigation of cultural differences in the effects of virtual make-over use on self evaluation.