New Research Reveals Body Size Influences First Impression
New research has found that people judge a person’s character when meeting for the first time based on their body shape.
According to researchers from the University of Texas at Dallas, people who are overweight are seen as possessing bad personality traits such as laziness and carelessness while slimmer people are seen as energetic, self-confident and enthusiasts.
Also, people who looked like the classical gender (masculine men or feminine women) were seen as possessing “active” traits.
To arrive at this finding, the researchers used 70 male and female (140) body models. 76 students were asked to view the models form two angles while choosing 30 personality trait words covering the Big Five personality traits (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism).
Bigger models were affiliated with negative traits such as laziness. Women with ideal body type (pear-shaped) and men with broad-shoulders were termed irritable and extroverts.
People who did not have the ideal body type were regarded as shy, trustworthy and dependable.
While various research has been done to show that people reach a conclusion based on facial expressions, these researchers are among the first to conduct this type of research.
“To our knowledge, this is the first study to consider the role of more nuanced aspects of body shape – beyond height and weight – in personality judgments about people,” co-author Dr Alice O’Toole, a professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas said.
“We wanted to know whether we could link personality descriptor words to body shape in predictable ways.”
“That is, do people look at a person’s body and make snap judgments about whether the person is lazy, enthusiastic, or irritable?”, Ying Hu, author and doctoral student at the University of Texas at Dallas said.