Methods Literature Review 2

Methods Literature Review 2 - Abstract Introduction Recent...

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Abstract Introduction Recent studies have provided evidence supporting the strong predictive ability of waist- to-hip ratio (WHR) in determining levels of female attractiveness among developed western nations. The positive relationship between moderate (.60, .70, .80) WHR in females and levels of perceived attractiveness has been documented by numerous researchers. In addition, D. Singh, the leading researcher of WHR studies in America, has consistently found preference for .70 WHR over higher and lower proportions, making it the ideal in America (1993 ab , 1994 ab ). Singh's studies have been replicated and challenged numerous times, with researchers repeatedly yielding similar or slightly varied results. The relationship between WHR and attractiveness may be linked to evolutionary predictors of good health and fertility, which may explain the continuously consistent results found in research. WHR is a measurement of the relative distribution of fat in the lower body calculated by dividing the waist circumference by hip circumference. WHR increases simultaneously by size and measurement. In other words, WHR of .70 is smaller than a WHR of .80 and larger than .60. Young women in developed western nations typically fall in the .70 to .90 WHR range (Zaadstra, Seidell, Van Noord, Velde, Habbema, Vrieswijk, & Karbaat, 1993). Moderate and lower WHR have been linked to good fertility, reduced health risks, higher potential as a mate, and even age. The strong relationship between WHR and levels of perceived attractiveness has been well explored by researchers. In the early 1990's, Singh's designed simple line drawings of frontal female figures with independently varying WHR. These drawings have repeatedly served as the basic stimuli for many researchers. Singh’s original stimuli have also been altered for use
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in similar studies. Using the original drawings, Singh (1993ab, 1994ab) consistently found a strong relationship between high levels of perceived attractiveness and a WHR of .70. Furthermore, Singh found that WHR was a more prominent feature in determining attractiveness than weight and breast size (1993ab, 1994ab) . For instance, drawings of underweight women with large breasts and a WHR of .90 were perceived as less attractive than drawings of normal weight women with small breasts and a WHR of .70. Furthermore, although all the overweight figures were perceived as less attractive than the normal weight figures, the women with lower WHRs were perceived as more attractive than other stimuli in the same weight category (Ibid) . In a replication of Singh's study, Henss (1995) found that higher WHR were perceived as more attractive, finding a preference for a WHR of .80 and .90 over .70. Conversely, Furnham, Tan, & McManus (1997) also conducted a replication study as well and found an equal preference for .70 and .80 WHR among the raters.
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This note was uploaded on 05/11/2008 for the course PSY 3303 taught by Professor Zappardino during the Spring '08 term at McDaniel.

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Methods Literature Review 2 - Abstract Introduction Recent...

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