Could make-up help boost your exam results?
31st July 2017 – Wearing make-up may make you feel smarter and could even help students achieve better exam marks, say psychologists.
Recent studies have shown how sales of beauty products have defied recessions and economic downturns because of the way they can boost self-esteem in troubled times.
This has led to the notion coined by journalists as the 'lipstick effect'.
As psychologists have shown that positive emotions can improve academic performance, a team from Harvard Medical School in the US and the D'Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara in Italy set out to test whether make-up could directly enhance academic performance.
The researchers recruited 186 female first-year university students and divided them into 3 groups.
Cosmetics, colouring and music
All the participants sat a simulated multiple-choice university exam about general psychology. Before the test:
Those in the first group were invited to apply make-up as they might normally do before going out.Members of the second group were asked to colour in a black-and-white drawing of a face as though they were applying cosmeticsParticipants in the third group listened to Mozart's Eine Kleine Nacht Musik – music previously linked to boosting mood – and copy some of the notes on a xylophone
The study, published in the journal Cogent Psychology, found a significant improvement in test results among the group who listened to the 'positive sounding' music compared to those who coloured in the face. However, those in the make-up group performed best.
Those in the make-up group also self-reported feeling more beautiful than those in the other 2 groups.
Asked about their mood, analysis showed a higher score for the make-up and the listening to music group compared to the face-colouring group.
"All together, these results, could lead [us] to speculate that wearing make-up could have increased the participants' level of self-beauty perceived, consequently enhancing self-esteem, resulting in improvement of cognitive performance compared to the other groups", the authors conclude.
They say further research is needed to test whether make-up has longer lasting effects on cognitive performance and what methods might work to boost academic performance among male students.
SOURCES: Women's Mag
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