Embodiment and Appearance

Malcolm MacLachlan, Grainne Ni Mháille, Pamela Gallagher and Deirdre M. Desmond

in Oxford Handbook of the Psychology of Appearance

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199580521
Published online December 2012 | | DOI:
Embodiment and Appearance

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This article introduces embodiment in relation to the psychology of appearance. It describes the concept of embodiment, its philosophical foundations, and psychological significance. While appearance is often about an ‘outer-image’, embodiment is concerned with how people sense themselves, both outwardly and inwardly — the experience of how one's body is perceived and, at the same time of being a perceiver, through one's own body. The article illustrates the application of an embodiment perspective by focusing on people with physical disability, particularly people with limb amputations and the use of prosthetic technology. The article concludes by presenting a framework for thinking about embodiment and appearance.

Keywords: appearance psychology; outer image; self; body perception; physical disability; disabled; limb amputations; amputees; prosthetics

Article.  5442 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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