Limits...
Obesity as a perceived social signal.

Mankar M, Joshi RS, Belsare PV, Jog MM, Watve MG - PLoS ONE (2008)

Bottom Line: For 29 out of the 30 adjectives people consistently attributed specific body forms.Based on common choices, the 30 traits could be clustered into distinct 'personalities' which were strongly associated with particular body forms.A centrally obese figure was perceived as "lethargic, greedy, political, money-minded, selfish and rich".

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Microbiology, Abasaheb Garware College, Pune, India.

ABSTRACT
Fat accumulation has been classically considered as a means of energy storage. Obese people are theorized as metabolically 'thrifty', saving energy during times of food abundance. However, recent research has highlighted many neuro-behavioral and social aspects of obesity, with a suggestion that obesity, abdominal obesity in particular, may have evolved as a social signal. We tested here whether body proportions, and abdominal obesity in particular, are perceived as signals revealing personality traits. Faceless drawings of three male body forms namely lean, muscular and feminine, each with and without abdominal obesity were shown in a randomized order to a group of 222 respondents. A list of 30 different adjectives or short descriptions of personality traits was given to each respondent and they were asked to allocate the most appropriate figure to each of them independently. The traits included those directly related to physique, those related to nature, attitude and moral character and also those related to social status. For 29 out of the 30 adjectives people consistently attributed specific body forms. Based on common choices, the 30 traits could be clustered into distinct 'personalities' which were strongly associated with particular body forms. A centrally obese figure was perceived as "lethargic, greedy, political, money-minded, selfish and rich". The results show that body proportions are perceived to reflect personality traits and this raises the possibility that in addition to energy storage, social selection may have played some role in shaping the biology of obesity.

Show MeSH

Related in: MedlinePlus

Clustering of personality traits based on the similarity matrix (table 2): Four distinct clusters emerged using the significance level of individual pair (alpha = 0.05) as the cut-off.The four clusters were dominated by different body forms as shown in the pie-charts.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection


getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2527137&req=5

pone-0003187-g002: Clustering of personality traits based on the similarity matrix (table 2): Four distinct clusters emerged using the significance level of individual pair (alpha = 0.05) as the cut-off.The four clusters were dominated by different body forms as shown in the pie-charts.

Mentions: We further asked whether the personality traits had a consistent positive or negative association with each other. The similarity matrix based on common choice of figure by the same respondent revealed that a large number of pair-wise similarities were above the significance threshold for positive association. On the other hand, a large number of pairs showed significantly negative association as well [table 2]. Based on the similarity score the traits were clustered using unweighted pair group average method. At the significance cut off, 4 distinct clusters could be recognized [fig 2]. The first consisted of strong, rough and tough, physically aggressive, modern, brave, conscious about looks, dominating successful, confident, influential and status conscious and was dominated by M−. A second cluster included honest, intelligent, loving, friendly, kind, talkative and methodical and was dominated by F−. A third group of traits comprising depressed, disease prone and stupid was co-dominated by L−, L+ and F+. The forth distinct cluster consisted of traits including greedy, lethargic, rich, political, selfish and money minded was dominated by F+. The three figures with abdominal obesity namely F+, M+ and L+ constituted 87% of this cluster.


Obesity as a perceived social signal.

Mankar M, Joshi RS, Belsare PV, Jog MM, Watve MG - PLoS ONE (2008)

Clustering of personality traits based on the similarity matrix (table 2): Four distinct clusters emerged using the significance level of individual pair (alpha = 0.05) as the cut-off.The four clusters were dominated by different body forms as shown in the pie-charts.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2527137&req=5

pone-0003187-g002: Clustering of personality traits based on the similarity matrix (table 2): Four distinct clusters emerged using the significance level of individual pair (alpha = 0.05) as the cut-off.The four clusters were dominated by different body forms as shown in the pie-charts.
Mentions: We further asked whether the personality traits had a consistent positive or negative association with each other. The similarity matrix based on common choice of figure by the same respondent revealed that a large number of pair-wise similarities were above the significance threshold for positive association. On the other hand, a large number of pairs showed significantly negative association as well [table 2]. Based on the similarity score the traits were clustered using unweighted pair group average method. At the significance cut off, 4 distinct clusters could be recognized [fig 2]. The first consisted of strong, rough and tough, physically aggressive, modern, brave, conscious about looks, dominating successful, confident, influential and status conscious and was dominated by M−. A second cluster included honest, intelligent, loving, friendly, kind, talkative and methodical and was dominated by F−. A third group of traits comprising depressed, disease prone and stupid was co-dominated by L−, L+ and F+. The forth distinct cluster consisted of traits including greedy, lethargic, rich, political, selfish and money minded was dominated by F+. The three figures with abdominal obesity namely F+, M+ and L+ constituted 87% of this cluster.

Bottom Line: For 29 out of the 30 adjectives people consistently attributed specific body forms.Based on common choices, the 30 traits could be clustered into distinct 'personalities' which were strongly associated with particular body forms.A centrally obese figure was perceived as "lethargic, greedy, political, money-minded, selfish and rich".

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Microbiology, Abasaheb Garware College, Pune, India.

ABSTRACT
Fat accumulation has been classically considered as a means of energy storage. Obese people are theorized as metabolically 'thrifty', saving energy during times of food abundance. However, recent research has highlighted many neuro-behavioral and social aspects of obesity, with a suggestion that obesity, abdominal obesity in particular, may have evolved as a social signal. We tested here whether body proportions, and abdominal obesity in particular, are perceived as signals revealing personality traits. Faceless drawings of three male body forms namely lean, muscular and feminine, each with and without abdominal obesity were shown in a randomized order to a group of 222 respondents. A list of 30 different adjectives or short descriptions of personality traits was given to each respondent and they were asked to allocate the most appropriate figure to each of them independently. The traits included those directly related to physique, those related to nature, attitude and moral character and also those related to social status. For 29 out of the 30 adjectives people consistently attributed specific body forms. Based on common choices, the 30 traits could be clustered into distinct 'personalities' which were strongly associated with particular body forms. A centrally obese figure was perceived as "lethargic, greedy, political, money-minded, selfish and rich". The results show that body proportions are perceived to reflect personality traits and this raises the possibility that in addition to energy storage, social selection may have played some role in shaping the biology of obesity.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus