Applying a Face Cream Can Help You “Save Face”

Research participants who had been induced to recall awkward moments such as walking into opposite-sex restrooms showed a decrease in embarrassment if they applied what was described as a restorative cream to their faces (an average decline of 1.69 on a zero-to-10 embarrassment scale), says a team led by Ping Dong of the University of Toronto. The findings show that people can metaphorically “save face” by use of a physical product – yet another demonstration that many psychological metaphors have physical spillovers. The researchers point out that the study was conducted in Asia, where concepts of losing and saving face are more pervasive than in the West.

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