Salience and valence of appearance in a population with a visible difference of appearance: Direct and moderated relationships with self-consciousness, anxiety and depression

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Timothy P. Moss
  • Victoria Lawson
  • Paul White
  • Nichola Rumsey
  • James Byron-Daniel
  • Rodger Charlton
  • Alex Clarke
  • Sally Ann Clarke
  • Diana Harcourt
  • Hayley McBain
  • Elizabeth Jenkinson
  • Tim Moss
  • Rob Newell
  • Stanton Newman
  • Krysia Saul
  • Andrew Thompson
  • Eleanor Walsh

External organisations

  • University of the West of England
  • Centre for Appearance Research
  • Department of Clinical Psychology
  • Faculty of Health and Life Science
  • BPP University
  • Applied Statistics Group
  • Faculty of Environment and Technology


Psychometric measures of appearance salience and valence, CARSAL and CARVAL, have been previously demonstrated to be key factors underpinning appearance related self-consciousness and negative affect in the general population. However, the extent to which the scales are appropriate for people with a visibly different appearance has not previously been reported. Neither has the moderating effect of appearance salience (CARSAL) on the relationship between appearance valence (CARVAL) and appearance self-consciousness, previously shown in a general population sample, been replicated with people who are visibly different. Twelve hundred and sixty five participants with a visible difference in either secondary care (n = 651) or the community (n = 614) provided data. Analysis confirmed the psychometric qualities of both CARSAL and CARVAL, and the conceptual independence of each scale. The scales also demonstrated independent and interdependent relationships with social anxiety and avoidance in relation to appearance, depression and anxiety. Appearance salience moderated the relationship with valence on these psychosocial measures. In summary, this paper corroborates the use of CARSAL and CARVAL with both visibly different and general adult populations for the measurement of appearance salience and valence.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere88435
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2014