Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Cosmetic surgery refers to an extreme form of appearance modification whose sole purpose is to improve the appearance of the chosen area. Despite psychological concerns associated with repeated perform of cosmetic surgery, rates of cosmetic procedures are likely to increase in the coming years (American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 2020) and it warrants the need to study the potential motivators that encourage someone to opt for such procedures. Motivators of cosmetic surgery explored in this study are social media usage and self-esteem through the lens of Social Comparison Theory. Social comparison theory can explain the mechanisms behind one’s desire to get cosmetic surgery by proposing that excessive use of social media will perpetuate upwards social comparison. Particularly, it is hypothesized that an individual’s self-esteem will mediate the relationship between social media usage and desire to get cosmetic surgery. Three hundred and twenty-two participants were asked to finish the following measures using the Amazon Mechanical Turk online platform: Acceptance of Cosmetic Surgery Scale, the State Self-Esteem Scale, and MTUAS- General Social Media Usage Subscale. The results show that all variables are positively related to one another, and that self esteem is a partial mediator of the relationship between social media usage and consideration of cosmetic surgery. This study will add to the literature on predictors of cosmetic surgery. The results will also have implications in clinical settings by supporting the psychological screening of patients opting for aesthetic surgery.


Dr. April Park

Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type



© 2024 Noriene Verma


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