Weight and social comparison: Does the weight of a stranger affect a person's perception of their own weight?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Research suggests that social context affects individuals’ perception of their own weight. Using face-to-face interviews as the social context, we analyze the effect of interviewers’ (N=90) body mass index on respondents’ (N=3068) selfperceived weight level. Respondents reported a higher weight level when the interviewer had a higher body mass index (absolute social comparison). Female respondents reported a lower weight level if interviewers had a higher body mass index than they did (relative social comparison). Results suggest that weight perception reflects both absolute and relative social comparison, especially among women. Future research should consider causation and self-selection when
studying social context and body image.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth Psychology Open
Pages (from-to)1-9
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Number of downloads are based on statistics from Google Scholar and www.ku.dk

No data available

ID: 209835138