Appearance-based Rejection Sensitivity Scale

Background:

Appearance-based Rejection Sensitivity (Appearance-RS) reflects a personality processing system characterized by anxious concerns and expectations about being rejected based on one’s physical attractiveness (Park, 2007). People differ in their sensitivity to rejection based on appearance with unique consequences for mental and physical health, affect, and feelings of belonging. Specifically, Appearance-RS predicts increased symptoms of eating disorders and the tendency to make appearance-based comparisons with others. People high in Appearance-RS who are reminded of a negative aspect of their appearance report feeling more lonely and rejected than those low in Appearance-RS. These effects, however, can be attenuated by having people self-affirm (think about their greatest strength) or be reminded of a close, caring relationship partner.

Psychometrics:

The full 15 item and short 10 item ARS scales are measured on a 6 point Likert scale, from very unlikely to very likely. The Appearance-RS scale was found to b a reliable, valid scale for both genders. The scale has high internal consistency and test–retest reliability, reflecting a relatively enduring and coherent personality processing system. Furthermore, Appearance-RS correlated, as expected, with dispositional measures of self-esteem, Appearance CSW, attachment styles, personal-RS, neuroticism, and self-rated attractiveness.

Author of Tool:

Park, L. E.

Key references:

Park, L. E. (2007). Appearance-based rejection sensitivity: Implications for mental and physical health, affect, and motivation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33, 490-504.   Park, L. E., & Pinkus, R. T. (2009). Interpersonal effects of appearance-based rejection sensitivity. Journal of Research in Personality, 43, 602-612.  

Calogero, R. M., Park, L. E., Rahemtulla, Z. R., & Williams, K. C. D. (2010). Predicting excessive body image concerns among British university students: The unique role of appearance-based rejection sensitivity. Body Image, 7, 78-81.  

Primary use / Purpose:

The Appearance-Based Rejection Sensitivity (Appearance-RS) Scale assesses the personality-processing system characterized by anxious concerns and expectations about being rejected based on one’s physical attractiveness.

ARS Scale 15-scenario version

Park, L. E. (2007). Appearance-based rejection sensitivity: Implications for mental and physical health, affect, and motivation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33, 490-504.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Each of the items below describes different scenarios that people might find themselves in. Please imagine yourself in each situation and circle the number that best indicates how you would feel. Your responses will be kept completely confidential so please be as honest as possible in your responses.


1. You are leaving your house to go on a first date when you notice a blemish on your face.

  • How concerned or anxious would you be that your date might be less attracted to you because of the way
    you looked?
    very unconcerned very concerned
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • I would expect that the person would find me less attractive.
    very unlikely very likely
    1 2 3 4 5 6

2. You are trying on clothes at a department store and notice that you are a few pounds heavier than last week.

  • How concerned or anxious would you be that others might be less attracted to you because of your physical appearance?
    very unconcerned very concerned
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • I would expect that others would find me less attractive.
    very unlikely very likely
    1 2 3 4 5 6

3. You are at a party and are shorter than everyone there.

  • How concerned or anxious would you be that others would not be attracted to you because of the way you looked?
    very unconcerned very concerned
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • I would expect that others would not be attracted to me because of the way I looked.
    very unlikely very likely
    1 2 3 4 5 6

4. You post a photo of yourself on an internet dating service.

  • How concerned or anxious would you be that people might not contact you because of the way you looked? (how physically attractive/unattractive you looked).
    very unconcerned very concerned
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • I would not expect people to contact me because of the way I looked.
    very unlikely very likely
    1 2 3 4 5 6

5. Your new boyfriend/girlfriend bought you a gym membership for your birthday.

  • How concerned or anxious would you be that you were bought this gift because of the way your body looked?
    very unconcerned very concerned
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • I would expect that my significant other had given me this gift because of the way my body looked
    very unlikely very likely
    1 2 3 4 5 6

6. During dinner at a restaurant, you notice your date looking at an attractive person across the room.

  • How concerned or anxious would you be that your date would be less interested in you because of the way you looked?
    very unconcerned very concerned
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • I would expect that my date would be less interested in me because of the way I looked.
    very unlikely very likely
    1 2 3 4 5 6

7. You are waiting in line at a club and others in line behind you are being let in before you.

  • How concerned or anxious would you be that you were not let in because of your physical appearance?
    very unconcerned very concerned
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • I would not expect to be let into the club because of my physical appearance.
    very unlikely very likely
    1 2 3 4 5 6

8. You met someone at a coffee shop and gave them your phone number. Three days have passed, and you still have not heard anything.

  • How concerned or anxious would you be that they did not call you because of your physical appearance?
    very unconcerned very concerned
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • I would expect that he/she would not call me because of the way I looked.
    very unlikely very likely
    1 2 3 4 5 6

9. Your boyfriend/girlfriend of 3 months is considering breaking up with you.

  • How concerned or anxious would you be that he/she might end the relationship because of the way you looked?
    very unconcerned very concerned
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • I would expect that my boyfriend/girlfriend would break up with me because of the way I looked.
    very unlikely very likely
    1 2 3 4 5 6

10. You are at a dance club and all of your friends have been asked to dance except for you.

  • How concerned or anxious would you be that no one wanted to dance with you because of the way you
    looked?
    very unconcerned very concerned
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • I would expect that no one would want to dance with me because of the way I looked.
    very unlikely very likely
    1 2 3 4 5 6

11. You are set up on a blind date. The date goes well and you like the person, but he/she has not called you for several days.

  • How concerned or anxious would you be that your date did not call you because of the way you looked?
    very unconcerned very concerned
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • I would expect that my date would not call me because of the way I looked.
    very unlikely very likely
    1 2 3 4 5 6

12. You are taking dance lessons that involve dancing with partners. When the instructor tells everyone to find a partner, no one chooses you.

  • How concerned or anxious would you be that you were not chosen to dance because of the way you looked?
    very unconcerned very concerned
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • I would expect to not be chosen to dance because of the way I looked.
    very unlikely very likely
    1 2 3 4 5 6

13. Your significant other makes a comment about your weight.

  • How concerned or anxious would you be that your significant other might be less attracted to you because of the way you looked?
    very unconcerned very concerned
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • I would expect my significant other to be less attracted to me because of the way I looked.
    very unlikely very likely
    1 2 3 4 5 6

14. Your hair is looking thin lately.

  • How concerned or anxious would you be that others might be less attracted to you because of your physical appearance?
    very unconcerned very concerned
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • I would expect that others would find me less attractive.
    very unlikely very likely
    1 2 3 4 5 6

15. You look at yourself in the mirror and notice that your gut is getting larger.

  • How concerned or anxious would you be that others might be less attracted to you because of your physical appearance?
    very unconcerned very concerned
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • I would expect that others would find me less attractive.
    very unlikely very likely
    1 2 3 4 5 6

TO SCORE: FOR EACH SCENARIO, MULTIPLY THE ANXIOUS CONCERN SCORE BY
THE EXPECTATION SCORE TO COMPUTE AN ANXIOUS EXPECTATION OF
REJECTION SCORE FOR EACH SCENARIO. THEN, USE THESE SCORES TO
COMPUTE AN OVERALL AVERAGE SCORE ACROSS ALL OF THE SCENARIOS.

ARS Scale10-scenario version

Park, L. E. (2007). Appearance-based rejection sensitivity: Implications for mental and physical health, affect, and motivation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33, 490-504.


INSTRUCTIONS:

Each of the items below describes different scenarios that people might find themselves in. Please imagine yourself in each situation and circle the number that best indicates how you would feel. Your responses will be kept completely confidential so please be as honest as possible in your responses.


1) You are leaving your house to go on a first date when you notice a blemish on your face.

  • How concerned or anxious would you be that your date might be less attracted to you because of the way you looked?
    very unconcerned very concerned
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • I would expect that my date would find me less attractive.
    very unlikely very likely
    1 2 3 4 5 6

2) You are trying on clothes at a department store and notice that you are a few pounds heavier than last week.

  • How concerned or anxious would you be that others might be less attracted to you because of your physical appearance?
    very unconcerned very concerned
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • I would expect that others would find me less attractive.
    very unlikely very likely
    1 2 3 4 5 6

3) You post a photo of yourself on an internet dating service.

  • How concerned or anxious would you be that people might not contact you because of the way you looked? (How physically attractive/unattractive you looked).
    very unconcerned very concerned
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • I would not expect people to contact me because of the way I looked.
    very unlikely very likely
    1 2 3 4 5 6

4) During dinner at a restaurant, you notice your date looking at an attractive person across the room.

  • How concerned or anxious would you be that your date would be less interested in you because of the way you looked?
    very unconcerned very concerned
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • I would expect that my date would be less interested in me because of the way I looked.
    very unlikely very likely
    1 2 3 4 5 6

5) You met someone at a coffee shop and gave them your phone number. Three days have passed, and you still have not heard anything.

  • How concerned or anxious would you be that they did not call you because of your physical appearance?
    very unconcerned very concerned
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • I would expect that he/she would not call me because of the way I looked.
    very unlikely very likely
    1 2 3 4 5 6

6) You are at a dance club and all of your friends have been asked to dance except for you.

  • How concerned or anxious would you be that no one wanted to dance with you because of the way you looked?
    very unconcerned very concerned
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • I would expect that no one would want to dance with me because of the way I looked.
    very unlikely very likely
    1 2 3 4 5 6

7) You are set up on a blind date. The date goes well and you like the person, but he/she has not called you for several days.

  • How concerned or anxious would you be that your date did not call you because of the way you looked?
    very unconcerned very concerned
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • I would expect that my date would not call me because of the way I looked.
    very unlikely very likely
    1 2 3 4 5 6

8) You are taking dance lessons that involve dancing with partners. When the instructor tells everyone to find a partner, no one chooses you.

  • How concerned or anxious would you be that you were not chosen to dance because of the way you
    looked?
    very unconcerned very concerned
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • I would expect to not be chosen to dance because of the way I looked.
    very unlikely very likely
    1 2 3 4 5 6

9) Your significant other makes a comment about your weight.

  • How concerned or anxious would you be that your significant other might be less attracted to you because
    of the way you looked?
    very unconcerned very concerned
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • I would expect my significant other to be less attracted to me because of the way I looked.
    very unlikely very likely
    1 2 3 4 5 6

10) You look at yourself in the mirror and notice that your gut is getting larger.

  • How concerned or anxious would you be that others might be less attracted to you because of your
    physical appearance?
    very unconcerned very concerned
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • I would expect that others would find me less attractive.
    very unlikely very likely
    1 2 3 4 5 6

TO SCORE: FOR EACH SCENARIO, MULTIPLY THE ANXIOUS CONCERN SCORE BY THE EXPECTATION SCORE TO COMPUTE AN ANXIOUS EXPECTATION OF REJECTION SCORE FOR EACH SCENARIO. THEN, USE THESE SCORES TO COMPUTE AN OVERALL AVERAGE SCORE ACROSS ALL OF THE SCENARIOS