University Study Proves Image Consultants Raise Self-Esteem

The first ever image research study from Central Michigan University, commissioned by the Association of Image Consultants International, shows image consulting services give people more than just a “superficial boost.” The image services also raise peoples’ self-esteem.

The purpose of the in-depth international study was to measure the effectiveness of the work of image consultants and the gain experienced by clients from having participated in consultations. A total of 85 clients, representing 18 image consultants in 10 countries, participated in the study.

The research study design was comprised of four components. Volunteer image consultants administered a pre and post survey to measure their clients’ needs before and after the services. The survey approach allowed for collection of data relating to clients’ previous learning about image and personal style, their goal achievement, the perceived value of the consultation, their satisfaction with the consultation, 42 measures of their needs in the areas of appearance, self- image, personal and professional development, and relevant demographic information.

In addition, self-esteem measures were obtained using the Hartman Self Esteem Index®. Sixty-three percent experienced gains in their self-esteem scores, sometimes by an appreciable amount. Other components evaluated in the Index that showed appreciable changes were self-assessment, self-improvement, self-management and internal self-esteem.

In every single case, clients were extremely satisfied with their consultation experience, giving extremely high ratings to their image consultants in all areas queried. In addition, their perception of the value of the sessions to them, personally, was extremely high.

This study validates the work of image consultants as being important not only on a superficial level but also that it has a positive influence on a client’s ability to realise and appreciate his or her own self-worth.

The results of the study also demonstrate that image services have a significant impact on personal and professional development skills which relate to the areas people deem most important in life: self-confidence, career, promotion and performance and interpersonal relationships. It is now evident that the work of image consultants influences both the “inside”, as well as the “outside” human element.

The study also showed that image consultants do not have to perform extreme makeovers or work with their clients for years to impact their self-confidence. The average number of sessions in this sample was 2.18 ranging from 1 to 12 hours maximum. Image Consultants make a big difference in a small amount of time!