The current view of us, what the general public thinks of us, seems to be a major aspect. Of "us", yes.
The research question for this armchair analyst thus will be: are we - arm amputees in specific, and, as people with a visible physical handicap more generally, more broadly as disabled people generally, seen as competent people?
Generally, the answer seems to be a clear "NO" right from the outset.
This should not come as a shock. There are good reasons to believe that, great reasons to make that plausible, perfect reasons to justify that statement. With that, there may be exceptions to that - people that see through society's fairytales of disability, horror and fears, but they are usually the exception.
As I had figured out quite early into my enquiries into that issue, that this aspect is of absolutely no further practical concern not because it is not disconcerting - but because I cannot change it. And that is a rapid, lean and cynical logical consequence, that I stopped caring about what other people think of me based on, say, visual impression of my prosthetic arm. I may thus safely focus on function and comfort, sustainability and cost, without worrying too much about whether other people treat me as more or less competent based on my looks. Not because it would not be cool to take influence but because it is of no matter as to the target dimension: the tendendy to disregard any mental capacity of people with physical handicap appears to be implemented in many people's thinking outside of any actual experiences. And regardless of what type of prosthesis I wear.
If anything, I might optimize my appearance by simply trying to look reasonably neat.
But to bend over backwards for what really we have to concede are actually strange people? If anything, can we hack their brains?
"Bionic" prostheses Academic research (review) Academic research under The Amputee Excuse (TAE) Art Brands Cable control Cybathlon 2016 Disability and the public EC puppetry Extreme Cyborging Impact of visible disability on non-disabled people Prosthetic hook Prosthetics Specifications and comparisons Theory, studies Touch Bionics TRS TRS prehensor