Intrinsic and Extrinsic Factors

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This podcast was inspired by a paper I had to review for submission for publication. I can’t talk about the exact elements of the paper because it’s an under embargo until it’s published, but it stimulates some thinking in my head about what motivates people to have cosmetic surgery. It can be divided into what’s called intrinsic or extrinsic factors. Intrinsic factors really involve inside. Like what motivates you inside to have it done, perhaps, you just want to look better. You just feel like you really are not liking a certain aspect of your face or your hair or whatever it may be and you just want to feel better about yourself. An extrinsic factor is something that’s motivated you from outside. You want to get a higher position in a job. You want to date more, you just got divorced, things like that.

And neither one is necessarily wrong. Traditionally people have found that intrinsic factors can lead to greater satisfaction. And the reason is that let’s say you didn’t like a hump on your nose and the hump is now gone. You feel better about yourself. It’s almost a sure thing that if that’s that hump is down, that you’re going to feel better. Extrinsic factors are sometimes more difficult. Not always. For example, let’s say you want a new hairline because you’re single, but you still don’t find a good mate after getting a new hairline, you may be disappointed and maybe disappointed the procedure because it didn’t deliver that. It’s not always the case. I have many people that are undergoing divorce that have a procedure done. So, it’s not wrong. Also, intrinsic factors can be problematic as well.

If you think about, for example, something called body dysmorphic disorder, where someone is bothered all the time with something where they get obsessive with a hump on their nose and they can’t even relate to other people. Then that kind of intrinsic factor actually becomes something that well, it’s almost extrinsic in a certain regard because you’re motivated by how people think about you, but that obsession that you have could be problematic because then you’re never satisfied. So one of the things that I try to divide out is does someone have unrealistic expectations? If someone overly motivated by something that would be life or death, that they did not get that particular change in their physical attribute. So, as you start to think about cosmetic surgery divided into intrinsic and extrinsic factors and think about what would it be help you be happy? I mean, that’s really the factor that I’m working with. I always say I don’t treat cancer, heart disease. I’m not in a business of treating need but treating want. And if you can sort of go through those motivating factors in your mind, I think it will give you better clarity so that you’ll be satisfied with your procedures.


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