Science University Research Symposium (SURS)

Publication Date

Fall 11-29-2023


Sciences and Mathematics, College of


Psychological Science, Department of

SURS Faculty Advisor

Timothy Schoenfield

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation


Self-esteem has been shown to play a role in overall health. A previous study explained that humans are self-motivated to protect and enhance self-esteem and when self-esteem is enhanced, psychological wellbeing shows improvements. With that, another study evaluated depression and facial fixation and found that those who had depression looked at the mouth region more so than the eye region. By keeping prior research in mind, we aimed to evaluate how self-esteem plays a role in how one views themselves compared to a stranger. Thus, we hypothesized that those who exhibit lower self-esteem will demonstrate fixations on the mouth more so than the eyes. We also expect that those who show lower self-esteem will have more specific fixation on their own face, compared to the faces of others. This study is a within-group experimental design with the independent variable being a photo of each participant placed into a mix of other faces pulled from the Chicago Face Database. This allowed us to compare the visual attention on strangers compared to their own face by drawing areas of interest on specific facial features such as the eyes, nose, and mouth. Our participants were Belmont students aged 18 years or older and excluded anyone who depend on glasses to see.



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