Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. C. Nathan DeWall


Can a common facial cosmetic procedure buffer against the negative impact of adverse social interactions? This pilot tested the hypothesis that an injection of botulinum toxin (Botox) to the corrugator supercilii muscles used in anger, compared to a placebo injection to the same location, will reduce the impact of social rejection on mood, self-esteem, control, meaningful existence, and aggression. Freezing facial musculature was hypothesized to alter the first physical signal of negative emotional reactions, thereby reducing the impact of social rejection on distress and aggression. This was the first study using Botox to examine the effects of reduced facial feedback on felt emotions during social interactions. While the findings in this pilot were not statistically significant, a trend in the data suggests that the effect was in the opposite direction of the prediction such that participants in the Botox (vs. saline) condition experienced greater feelings of rejection. Further investigation is needed.