Hungry people prefer larger bodies and objects: The importance of testing boundary effects

Saxton, Tamsin, McCarty, Kris, Caizley, Jasmine, McCarrick, Dane and Pollet, Thomas (2019) Hungry people prefer larger bodies and objects: The importance of testing boundary effects. British Journal of Psychology. ISSN 2044-8295 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/bjop.12417

Abstract

Several lab-based studies have indicated that when people are hungry, they judge larger women’s bodies as more attractive, compared to when they are satiated. These satiety-dependent judgements are assumed to provide explanatory power when it comes to the noted cross-cultural differences in attitudes towards women’s adiposity, whereby people who live in regions that are under greater nutritional stress tend to have more favourable attitudes towards bigger bodies. However, it is premature to assume that women’s bodies are the proper or actual domain of the satiety-dependent judgement shifts found within research study testing contexts until stimuli other than female bodies have also been tested: the research programme falls into the trap of confirmation bias unless we also seek out disconfirmatory evidence, and test the boundaries of the effects of hunger. Accordingly, we collected attractiveness judgements of female and male bodies manipulated to vary in size by varying level of adiposity, and objects manipulated to vary in size, from 186 participants who also reported their current hunger level. We found that larger sizes of stimuli in general, and women’s bodies in particular, especially when judged by women, were judged as more attractive by the hungrier participants. We discuss these patterns in the context of the Insurance Hypothesis, the Environmental Security Hypothesis, and the impact of hunger on acquisition.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: adiposity, attractiveness judgments, body image, hunger, nutritional stress
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2019 15:36
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 10:22
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/40055

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