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Does financial security influence judgements of female physical attractiveness?

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  • Swami, Viren
  • Tovée, Martin J.
  • Furnham, Adrian

Abstract

To account for male preferences for female body weight following a consistent socio-economic pattern [Nelson, L.D., Morrison, E.L. (2005). The symptoms of resource scarcity: judgements of food and finances influence preferences for potential partners. Psychological Science 16, 167-173] proposed a social-cognitive model based on the individual experience of resource scarcity. We replicated their studies showing that financial dissatisfaction can influence preference for female body weight using a different dependent variable, namely photographic stimuli of women with known body weight and shape. Using this revised methodology, we found that operationalised intra-individual resource scarcity does not affect preferences for body weight: 25 financially dissatisfied males showed no difference in body weight preferences from 22 financially satisfied males. These findings contradict those of Nelson and Morrison (2005) and possible reasons for this are discussed in conclusion.

Suggested Citation

  • Swami, Viren & Tovée, Martin J. & Furnham, Adrian, 2008. "Does financial security influence judgements of female physical attractiveness?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1363-1370, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:37:y:2008:i:4:p:1363-1370
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Markus M. Mobius & Tanya S. Rosenblat, 2006. "Why Beauty Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 222-235.
    7. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Biddle, Jeff E, 1994. "Beauty and the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1174-1194.
    8. Jason Potts, 2001. "Knowledge and markets," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, pages 413-431.
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