A new study has found that the saying 'Don't judge a book by its cover'is hardly applicable when it comes to people's shapes. Apparently, people form opinions about other people's personalities by just looking at the way they are shaped (physical features and attributes). “Stereotypes based on body shape can contribute to how we judge and interact with new acquaintances and strangers. Understanding these biases is important for considering how we form first impressions,” said scientist Ying Hu of the University of Texas at Dallas, who is also the first author on the research.
“We wanted to know whether we could link personality descriptor words to body shape in predictable ways,” explained Hu. “That is, do people look at a person’s body and make snap judgments about whether the person is lazy, enthusiastic, or irritable?” It was found that people saw being fat as a sign of laziness or carelessness and people with lighter bodies were seen as enthusiastic or self-confident.
“To our knowledge, this is the first study to consider the role of more nuanced aspects of body shape — beyond height and weight — in personality judgments about people,” says Alice O’Toole, coauthor, and professor of the University of Texas at Dallas. They are yet to study other characteristics that may help a person form opinions about someone else based on their physical aspects.