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JENN WILLIAMS AND BRET MIZE HANOVER COLLEGE PSY 220: RESEARCH DESIGN AND STATISTICS WINTER 2009 The Effects of Body Type and Diet on First Impressions.

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Presentation on theme: "JENN WILLIAMS AND BRET MIZE HANOVER COLLEGE PSY 220: RESEARCH DESIGN AND STATISTICS WINTER 2009 The Effects of Body Type and Diet on First Impressions."— Presentation transcript:

1 JENN WILLIAMS AND BRET MIZE HANOVER COLLEGE PSY 220: RESEARCH DESIGN AND STATISTICS WINTER 2009 The Effects of Body Type and Diet on First Impressions

2 Introduction to First Impressions We form first impressions within the first seconds of seeing someone. (Ambady & Rosenthal, 1993) People make use of relevant information, such as body type, when forming first impressions. (DeCoster & Claypool 2004) Based on body type alone, average body types receive a more positive first impression than both overweight and underweight body types. (Ryckman, Robbins, Kaczor, & Gold, 1989) Although underweight body types were viewed negatively in the past, underweight body types in todays society are now being perceived more positively. (Ryckman et al., 1989)

3 First Impressions and Diet Irrelevant information, such as dietary information, can bias a persons first impression of someone. (DeCoster & Claypool 2004) A previous study has found that participants rate other people who consume healthy diets as significantly more positive in their first impressions as well as more physically attractive. (Mooney, DeTore, & Malloy, 1994) Those perceived as eating healthy meals were also viewed as thinner than those of the same height and weight who had unhealthy diets. (Mooney, DeTore, & Malloy, 1994)

4 Hypothesis More negative response for overweight body types than for average body types. More negative response for an unhealthy diet than those with a healthy diet. A greater effect of diet on overweight body types than for average or underweight body types.

5 Methods Participants Obtained through convenience sampling. All participants were students at Hanover College 30 total participants 7 Males 23 Females Ages Ethnicities Obtained = 28 Caucasian participants, 1 Multi- racial participant, & 1 Native American particiapnt

6 Methods Materials PowerPoint Presentation 12 slides of males and females for all 3 body types Written Description: Made-up name, Age, Gender, Weight, and Diet Diet: Healthy- consists mostly of fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats or Unhealthy- consists mostly of prepackaged foods and fast foods

7 Methods Materials: PowerPoint Examples Mary Smith, 41, F, 135 lbs. Diet= Healthy… Carol Reed, 22, F, 105 lbs. Diet= Unhealthy… Adam Fisher, 39, M, 300 lbs. Diet= Unhealthy…

8 Methods Materials A corresponding interval scale questionnaire : How positive or negative was your first impression of this person? (1, extremely positive to 7, extremely negative) How attractive is this person to you? (1, extremely attractive to 7, extremely unattractive) After learning more about this person, did your impression of this person change? (1, became more positive to 7, became more negative)

9 Methods Procedure 1) Participants signed a consent form 2) Participants were given instructions Would watch a series of 12 slides With each slide, an image would be shown for 2 seconds then the participants were to fill out the first 2 questions corresponding to the slide they just viewed After all participants finished answering the first 2 questions, the same image reappeared with the additional information and participants answered question 3. 3) Upon finishing the questionnaire, participants were given a debriefing form.

10 Results Can dietary information effect the impression formation of various body types of both males and females? Expected Pattern: More negative response towards overweight body types More negative response towards unhealthy diets Type of diet would have a greater effect on overweight body types

11 Results Initial impression based on body type and gender 2 (gender: male or female) X 3 (body type: underweight, average, or overweight) Within Subjects ANOVA Significant Interaction F(2, 29)= 5.937, p=.003

12 Results Attraction based on gender and body type 2 (gender: male or female) X 3 (body type: underweight, average, or overweight) Within Subjects ANOVA Significant Interaction F(2, 29)=.756, p=.470

13 Results Change in initial impression based on dietary information 2 (diet: healthy or unhealthy) X 3 (body type: underweight, average, or overweight) Within Subjects ANOVA Significant Interaction F(1, 28)= , p=.007

14 Discussion In this study, our initial hypothesis was SUPPORTED.

15 Discussion Healthy vs. Unhealthy Diet Pattern of participants judging those with a healthy diet more positively than those with an unhealthy diet This pattern only occurred for average and overweight body types. Underweight body types were perceived more negatively with the addition of the dietary information, regardless of type of diet.

16 Discussion Overweight Body Types Overweight body types received the least positive initial first impression rating Overweight body types were affected the most by dietary information Overweight body types with an unhealthy diet were viewed the most negatively out of the 3 body types

17 Discussion Limitations Variability of Images Use of Statements rather than Action Shots Have 2 Groups rather than 1 Obvious limitations of Sample

18 Discussion Future Directions The importance of the findings in this study is applicable to the theory of the field and encourages future research The limitations of our study only encourages growth and change in future studies in order to obtain more concrete results, such as the addition of a second group and different images

19 Discussion Future Directions Significant results correlate with results of previous studies Societys stereotypes and prejudices still remain. Why havent these societal stigmas against body types, gender, and other aspects of people changed in the past 10 to 20 years?

20 Discussion Future Directions It's ultimately up to us to decide Awareness of differences and why they exist (Puhl, Moss-Racusin, Schwarts, & Brownell, 2008)

21 Questions?


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