This research was completed while the author was a visiting professor in the psychology department at the University of Georgia. Thanks are due to Laurie Walters, Stefanie Waschull, Angie Forcey, Margo Holder, Pam Wilson and Chin-Chi Lu for their assistance with the project.
Is Love Seen as Different for the Obese?1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 20, Issue 15, pages 1209–1224, September 1990
How to Cite
Harris, M. B. (1990), Is Love Seen as Different for the Obese?. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 20: 1209–1224. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1990.tb01469.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
In order to assess how actual obesity and stereotypes of obesity affect perceptions of love, 222 college students completed an anonymous questionnaire concerning their experiences with love, including the Love Attitudes Scale (LAS) of Hendrick and Hendrick (1986). They then saw a photograph of a male or female who appeared fat or normal weight and responded to an identical questionnaire as they thought the pictured person would. Subjects' obesity was unrelated to dating or marital experience, self-esteem, or LAS subscales. However, fatter stimulus persons were judged to be less attractive, lower in self-esteem, less likely to be dating, less Erotic, less Ludic, and more Manic on the LAS, and to deserve a fatter, uglier love partner. Gender differences were similar to those found in previous studies, with gender stereotypes generally reflecting an exaggeration of actual sex differences. These findings were consistent with the theory that obese people are stereotyped as having fewer resources to contribute to a relationship.