ERIC Number: ED338932
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Initial Findings Using an Alternative Assessment of Body Shape Preferences.
Ryujin, Donald H.; And Others
Due to concerns that body shape preferences contribute to eating disorders among women, a new method to assess observer preferences for female body shapes was devised. In prior studies women have preferred thin models, but men have preferred models of average weight. In Experiment 1, an underweight female model was photographed in a white top and jeans. Later, she was padded to match the measurements of an average weight model and rephotographed. A slide of either the thin or padded model was shown to two separate Introductory Psychology classes, the first with 26 students and the second with 18 students. Due to low numbers of women in one condition, the results for the female subjects were inconclusive. But, contrary to prior findings, male subjects tended to find the thin model to be more appealing. In Experiment 2, student ratings indicated that the model was not perceived to be of the sizes intended. While subjects significantly differentiated the average model from the thin and very thin models, they did not clearly differentiate between the latter two. Because of this, body shape preferences could not be analyzed. The findings pinpoint certain limitations in the method of assessment. All photographs of models need to be pretested. Also, the finding that men prefer thin over average weight women is contrary to prior findings and seems worthy of further study. (Author/LLL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Psychological Association (71st, San Francisco, CA, April 25-28, 1991).