Does a woman’s height affect our assumptions about her?

It is well established that height influences the perceived character of men but very little evidence exists that the same influences of height exist for women. To investigate the effects of female height on perception of their character, we used a novel technique of digitally altering the perceived height of two women depicted in photographs such that the same targets appeared to be of tall or short stature to different participants. We asked participants to rate each of the two women on personal qualities and characteristics that reflected the instrumental/expressive distinction in masculine/feminine stereotypes. Overall, tall women were rated as more intelligent, affluent, assertive and ambitious than shorter women. A perceiver-sex difference was found such that men rated short females more highly than tall females on expressive characteristics while women raters did not. Thus, we provide the first direct evidence that female height influences perception of their character.

Source: “Physical stature influences character perception in women” from Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 38, Issue 8, June 2005, Pages 1927-1934

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