More than just skin deep? Personality information influences men's ratings of the attractiveness of women's body sizes

Viren Swami*, Adrian Furnham, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Kanwal Akbar, Natalie Gordon, Tasha Harris, Jo Finch, Martin J. Tovee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examined the influence of personality information on perceptions of the physical attractiveness of a range of female body sizes. A sample of 2,157 male university students were randomly assigned to one of 10 groups in which they received personality information about women they were rating, or a control group in which they received no personality information. Controlling for participants' age and body mass index, results showed no significant between-group differences in the body size that participants found most attractive. However, participants provided with positive personality information perceived a wider range of body sizes as physically attractive compared with the control group, whereas participants provided with negative personality information perceived a narrower range of body sizes as attractive. Correlations showed that participants' own Extraversion was associated with their body size ratings. These results suggest that non-physical cues have an influence on the perception of physical beauty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)628-647
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Social Psychology
Volume150
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes

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