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Facial Appearance Dissatisfaction Explains Differences in Zoom Fatigue
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking  (IF4.157),  Pub Date : 2021-11-25, DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2021.0112
Rabindra Ratan, Dave B. Miller, Jeremy N. Bailenson

Viewing self-video during videoconferences potentially causes negative self-focused attention that contributes to virtual meeting (VM) or “Zoom” fatigue. The present research examines this proposition, focusing on facial dissatisfaction—feeling unhappy about one's own facial appearance—as a potential psychological mechanism of VM fatigue. A study of survey responses from a panel of 613 adults found that VM fatigue was 14.9 percent higher for women than for men, and 11.1 percent higher for Asian than for White participants. These gender and race/ethnicity differences were found to be mediated by facial dissatisfaction. This study replicates earlier VM fatigue research, extends the theoretical understanding of facial dissatisfaction as a psychological mechanism of VM fatigue, and suggests that practical approaches to mitigating VM fatigue could include implementing technological features that reduce self-focused attention during VMs (e.g., employing avatars).