ERIC Number: ED326827
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug
Reference Count: 0
What Is She Eating? The Effects of Meal Size on Impressions of a Female Eater.
Basow, Susan; Kobrynowicz, Diane
Although there has been much research on the link between femininity and female appearance, body image, and eating disorders, there has been little research with respect to the behavior of eating itself. Recent literature has indicated that an individual's perception of a women can be affected by the amount of food that the woman is perceived as eating. This study explored the relationship between meal size and perceptions of a woman by asking 97 college students to give their impressions of a female student who was seen via a television monitor eating one of four meals. Meals were varied in terms of both amount and gender connotations. Four questionnaires were used in the study: a questionnaire focusing participants' attention on the meal without revealing the meal's importance in the study; an adaptation of the Bem Sex Role Inventory designed to measure the viewer's impression of the woman's sex-typed characteristics; a Social Appeal Scale used to evaluate how much the participants liked the target woman; and a five-point Likert-type scale measuring aspects of the woman's attractiveness. The results showed that meal size significantly affected ratings of the woman's social appeal, physical attractiveness, and expressive traits, but not ratings of her instrumental traits. Thus, eating lightly appears to be socially advantageous for a woman. (Author/NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (98th, Boston, MA, August 10-14, 1990).