Liv Cooper Capstone

positivity scale
positivity scale
positivity scale
positivity scale
react to compliment or idea
react to compliment or idea
mouth movement during reaction
mouth movement during reaction
My initial influence for the topic of this project was a video I came across on Facebook a few years back. It was about a girl who recorded the reactions of her classmates to her complimenting them. Although the basis of my project is the same as her’s, I decided to take it one step further by analyzing and graphing them different aspects of their reactions. Throughout the process I had a bit of trial and error where I realized that if I told some of my peers I was taking a picture rather than taking a video, they would stay still rather than react. On top of that, while analyzing the reactions I attempted to graph three different physical aspects of each person’s reactions; their mouth, their hands, and their eyes and there ended up being too many different motions to categorize them efficiently. Overall, I think that after my trials and errors I came out with a project that I’m happy with and proud of. My favorite part of this entire project was that I got to contribute to my community and hopefully make some people smile and feel happier than they were. It made me feel good to compliment people even if they didn’t seem to appreciate it but also, the people who had overwhelmingly positive responses, I was so happy to have made an impact on them even just for a minute. Through all of this I learned that small things can make a person’s day but also, my opinion on compliments isn’t too different from others’ and that made me feel more secure in my perspective.

Annotated Bibliography
Brice, Makini. “Science Explains Why Compliments Feel so Good.” Medical Daily, 9 Nov. 2012,
This article talks about the scientific explanation as to why compliments feel good. The brain reacts in the same way as if you were being given money or a social reward. All of these things, receiving compliments, cash and/or a social reward, activate the same part of the brain. They all make people strive to do better. So this made me begin to question why it is that I, possibly as well as many others, have a negative response to compliments if they have this is true. I feel like the group of students I use is a good test group to possibly disprove this explanation of why compliments feel so good.

Coughlin, Sara, et al. “How To Give A Compliment Someone Will Really Take To Heart.” Nice Things To Say - Giving Genuine Compliments, Advice, Refinery29, 7 Dec. 2017,
The difference between complimenting a stranger and someone who you value more and put them on a higher pedestal. The difference between complimenting someone’s outside and someone’s inside. These differences make all the difference. You can tell anyone that you like their jacket, something they’re impartial to, but complimenting someone’s eyes or something that makes then nique or that they can’t control it enacts something deeper within. It’s just a jacket that 700 other people have but everyone’s eyes look different or their smile. The response for an external compliment could be, “oh I got it as a present for christmas,” or, “I’m borrowing it from a friend.” That aesthetic is something they can control by wearing it or not but somethings you can’t change.

Glover, Shea. “People React to Being Called Beautiful.” Youtube, Shea Glover, 27 May 2015,
This video is the main inspiration for this entire project. I saw it on Facebook a while back and in that moment I decided that’s what I wanted to do. I want to recreate the idea of thi video by complimenting my classmates on camera. Personally I hate compliments. They make me extremely uncomfortable. It is also because of this that I decided to do this for my capstone. Along with the compilation video of my classmates reactions to being complimented, I’ll be adding a statistical component to it. I will be rating their reactions on a scale from 1-10 on how similar I would react. I’ll be doing this to see how unusual my reaction/opinion on compliments is compared to other people my age.

Marano, Hara Estroff. “The Art of the Compliment.” Psychology Today, 1 Mar. 2004.
“Compliments derive from taking notice of praiseworthy situations and efforts. So they are a mark of awareness and consciousness. We need to cultivate awareness of the good developments that are all around us.” While this is true, a possible reasoning behind my negative reaction to compliments is that I dislike that there is a mark of awareness made and it makes me uncomfortable. I can’t say that over time I’ve developed a dislike or I’ve become more comfortable with them over time because I haven’t. Like honestly, I can say that I’ve never seen myself be comfortable with receiving a compliment.

Manning, Margaret. “Want to Feel More Positive? Learn to Give Genuine Compliments.”, Happify Daily,
This article talks about the positivity expressed with compliments but imagine the exuberance in just everyday normal positivity. That takes it above and beyond can light up people from just being around you. Not only can it bring others up but also you can gain more self confidence from it. It can change your aspirations to something positive or realistic. I think that this is good because for some people it’s hard to be nice but the lasting effects can persuade them to be better and maybe compliments are not their forte so they just exude confidence, positivity and happiness.

McKay, Brett & Kate. “How to Give a Good Compliment.” The Art of Manliness, The Art of Manliness, 27 Nov. 2017,
The reason I read this article is because I enjoyed the main focus of why you should give compliments. It encourages you to be more positive and encouraging to other people and it can make you feel good. When recording my clips, I loved seeing the genuine reactions people had because even though I hate receiving compliments, I love giving them. I love seeing people light up when they hear it. It make me feel warm inside and it makes me react the same way that they do. 

McNamara, Brittney. “People React to Women Saying "I Know" to Compliments.” Teen Vogue, 16 May 2017.
I think this article is about empowering women and not just against things that are blatantly objectifying them but also exposing people with bad intentions. For example, a screenshot in the article showed a woman agreeing with a man’s compliment on her hair and it led to him suggesting that her agreement with him could possibly persuade him to like it less to which she responded, “why would the fact that I like my hair too make you like it less? Of course I like my hair, its on my head.” This fuels the idea that women should be grateful for the compliments they receive from men which is wrong especially when masking bad intentions.

Millward, Jon. “Your Noun Looks So Adjective: The Science of Compliments.” Jon Millward, 23 Apr. 2015,
This article talks about the art of forming a compliment that suits the person you wish to compliment. I think that this article makes a  lot of sense and can be helpful but it also encourages the idea of using compliments to gain something from the person you compliment. Anyone can give a compliment but this article, to me, teaches people how to format a compliment to exceed basic flattery. Again, on the topic of cat calling or hitting on someone in general, this could be used to help formulate a compliment that could get you farther than shouting things to people on the street or the cheezy, and sometimes disrespectful, pick up lines.

“The New Era of Positive Psychology.” Performance by Martin Seligman, The New Era of Positive Psychology, TED, 21 July 2008,
Positive psychology is basically the study of human prosperity. It was founded by Martin Seligman in the 1990’s. In this TED Talk, he talks about how positive psychology can help patients within themselves. They can do this by being as concerned with their strengths as they are with their weaknesses, as interested in building building the best things in life as they are repairing the worst, and it should be just as concerned with making the lives of normal people fulfilling, and with genius, with nurturing high talent. I think that this can impact perspectives on compliments because this relates to the idea of thinking more highly of yourself and accepting compliments rather than to feel uncomfortable.

Yahne, Rachael. “The Scary Reason You Can't Accept a Compliment.” The Huffington Post, 21 June 2016,
This article does a good job at developing a reason why some people can’t accept compliments. With all the media around us or even the people in our everyday environments sometimes we compare ourselves to them and it makes our self worth go down. Even if there is no direct pressure to become like the people we see, we put it on ourselves. I also think that the analysis behind this reaction is accurate and can help others determine what the best solution for this is. The solution stated in the article is to just see yourself in a better light and think more highly of yourself.