Do people avoid sitting next to someone who is facially disfigured?
Article first published online: 22 FEB 2006
Copyright © 1994 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
European Journal of Social Psychology
Volume 24, Issue 2, pages 279–284, March/April 1994
How to Cite
Houston, V. and Bull, R. (1994), Do people avoid sitting next to someone who is facially disfigured?. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 24: 279–284. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.2420240205
- Issue published online: 22 FEB 2006
- Article first published online: 22 FEB 2006
- Manuscript Accepted: 22 FEB 1993
- Manuscript Received: 19 JUN 1992
Most psychological research on the social effects of facial appearance has compared ‘normal’ with attractive faces whereas little work has been concerned with the possible differences in reactions to disfigured and ‘normal’ faces. Yet many cranio-facial surgeons wish to know whether their disfigured patients are reporting reality when they complain that members of the public avoid or react negatively to them. This study finds that people travelling on a suburban railway significantly avoided sitting next to someone who appeared to have a facial port-wine stain. It is concluded that facially disfigured people's accounts of avoidant behaviour towards them are probably the results of correct perceptions.