Do people assume your personality traits based on your body type?

--Original published at NataliesCollegeBlog

As growing up in the world we live in today, the words “make a good first impression” is put in the back of everyone’s head. We present ourselves by dressing up nice for interviews and practice how to be talkative or friendly; yet, there are a lot of stereotypes and judgements made at first glance. It is common people make judgements off race and facial expressions, but what about body shape? Is it really true that people associate body figure to someone’s personality traits?

Ying Hu, a psychological scientist, and other researchers from the University of Texas questioned if stereotypes pertaining to body shape affect how someone judges and interacts with strangers. In the study, there were 76 undergraduate students participants from the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at The University of Texas at Dallas. 140 simulated bodies created by CAESAR data set laser scans created 70 women and 70 men for the study.  There was also a personality trait list that consisted of 30 trait words from each of the 5 domain types (extraversion conscientiousness, agreeableness, openness and neuroticism) with 3 positive and 3 negative words within each category. The participants would see an image from two views: frontal and at a 45° angle. Each participant was randomly assigned to rate one of the two sets of bodies by seeing 30 traits. The study would randomly assign each student to two different groups that had 35 female bodies and 35 male bodies, which were also randomly assigned.

After the research team collected all of the data, the study was able to conclude there are wide ranges of personality traits for every body shape. Also, personality interferences are formed from physical features in someone’s body shape. Overall, there is evidence that people tend to associate personality traits based on a person’s body shape. No matter where you go, how you look automatically gives you a reputation whether it is true or not. As a society, we are already body shaming people enough and it is shown through this research too. The fear that having a certain body type affects if a person gets a job over someone else is something that we should all be aware of and fix all together.


Once I wrote a pop culture newsletter article myself, there were a lot of things that I learned about. I now understand how hard it is for journalists to encapture data from research, and make the newsletter entertaining at the same time. Although my newsletter obtained the most important information from the study, it lacked the attention grabbing words and phrases that the original pop culture article had. In the article, I left out the smaller details of the study that talked about the Shape-To-Trait Regression Results. Although this is quality information, it is not necessary in the newsletter for the reader to understand the purpose of the experiment.

Comparing my summary to the news article, there were many things that were different. The article that I wrote about consisted more about the facts and data in the study, while the pop culture article used more direct quotes from the experimenter, Ying Hu, himself. The article was more conversational and kept the reader guessing compared to how the article I wrote was straight to the point. The news article also would add a sentence of entertainment in between the facts to make the reader keep reading. It makes the reader want to find out if they are being judged without even knowing. My article had attention grabbing sentences in the beginning but included the facts and covered all of the 5 critical questions, while the pop culture article did not.

After writing this article, I now have a better appreciation for journalists and writers. It can be very difficult at times to convey every single piece of data in an article when trying to make an attention grabbing storyline. I learned that it takes a lot of time to make something stand out and become published in the first place. This is possibly why certain details from research may not be included because of certain guidelines that need to be met by the organization that is publishing the article. It is hard to make an article entertaining without slang and informal terms. Although I now understand how tough it is to be entertaining and have data/hard facts, I still think that any good journalist would be able to provide both. Overall, this made me understand that writing articles based off research accurately is tough, which is why when reading articles everyone should look at the research too. It is just as important to read the research study that is provided along with the original article. This way the reader is able to make their own judgements by looking at multiple sources, rather than believing the first article is completely accurate.

Work Cited

Hu, Y., Parde, C. J., Hill, M. Q., Mahmood, N., & O’Toole, A. J. (2018). First Impressions of

Personality Traits From Body Shapes. Psychological Science, 29(12), 1969–1983.

Marquette, T. (2019, January 25). Study: Your Body Shape Leads People To Make

Assumptions About Your Personality Traits. Retrieved February 11, 2019, from

Chapter 12-Social

--Original published at NataliesCollegeBlog

For the IAT tests, I took the one that talked about if you were happy or sad, and if you thought high fat foods are shameful. When taking the test, there were many things that came to my mind. I was really confused on how clicking the letters “E” or “I” would determine how someone was feeling. Another thing I was confused about was that taking the tests did not necessarily mean that was how you were acting or feeling. For example, when taking the test about high fat foods and if you thought they were shameful, I thought this test was not really helpful in determining someones eating habits. When categorizing foods into low-fat and high-fat, it is obvious that cake goes in high-fat and cucumbers go into low-fat. The person could easily, categorize these correctly but still eat unhealthy foods. Personally, you will rarely see me eat salads, and I choose to eat high-fat foods such as fries and burgers. The test says that I do not find fat foods shameful because it looked like I picked answers that were the healthier decisions. The results I got were all positive but anyone could have gotten that. These types of test you can manipulate to get the answer you wanted, so this also made me think of these tests as not really trustworthy either.

After looking at these tests, I think that they might not be useful to every college student, but it may help some. It could potentially change how some people view others and themselves if they get bad rates. For example, if I got bad rates that say I showed to be more sad than happy, I may try to think about what might be causing me to be sad that I am unaware about. These tests could also inspire people to reach out to someone and get guidance too.

Chapter 9- Intelligence

--Original published at NataliesCollegeBlog

When first responding to this prompt, there were many things that came to my mind about current and past teachers. For starters, when thinking about intelligence, it made me think of a scenario that almost everyone has experienced before. We all had that time where we get back a bad test grade, when we worked so hard to do well, and compared it to the person sitting next to us who got an A. Sometimes we try to feel better about getting a bad grade, by automatically trying to make the excuse that the person next to us is just “naturally smart”. Although there are some people that can pick up information quicker than you, does not mean that they are smarter than you are. Intelligence is not based on genetics, it is based on the work ethic that person has. Personally for me, I know that I need to work really hard in my classes in order to get good grades. People need to realize that work ethic is what determines how well you do in school; whether your instructors are there to support you or not.

My interactions with my educators through college have all been positive; however, I do remember teachers in high school that have made me think of ways that school systems could improve. I think that teachers at college should enforce doing homework more, by checking it for completion. This would not only help the student, but even make life easier for the teacher. I sadly have been one of those students that slacks on doing homework problems, especially math, if they are not graded or checked. If more teachers checked homework it would force kids to learn the material the right way and would help improve students grades too.


--Original published at NataliesCollegeBlog

Before taking this test, I thought that I was someone that was very good at reading other people’s emotions. I felt that I was someone that could pick up on how someone was feeling and felt confident in this ability. After taking this quiz I realized how I might not be as good as I thought. I received a 14/20 on the test and struggled with understanding distinctions between certain faces. A lot of the expressions that demonstrated sadness were the ones I got wrong and these are the ones I felt like I could read on people the most. It was shocking for me to realize I did not know the difference between sadness and being embarrassed either. The easiest emotion that I was able to read was emotions that showed happiness and excitement. The hardest emotion to pick up on were the emotions that demonstrated sad or angry people. This makes sense after understanding how hard it is sometimes to notice when other people are upset when you are feeling happy.

After taking the quiz I feel like the test is credible in the simpler emotions such as being happy or sad; however, some of the emotions such as embarrassment, love, and shyness all have many different facial expressions rather than one specific face, like how the quiz showed. Now that I have a better understanding of what emotions I lack at noticing, I plan to use this information to acknowledge how people are feeling more than usual. Some people are also good at hiding emotions by covering them up with other emotions too. For example, there are some people that will laugh and act like everything is normal after something embarrassing happens. This can make picking up on how someone feels to be confusing too. So if I can not pick up on how someone is feeling, I feel like it would not hurt to pull that person aside and make sure they are okay by just asking them too.

Chapter 3- Sleep

--Original published at NataliesCollegeBlog

When I first came to college, I had a goal to go to bed at 10:30 every night. This goal has never happened and a different routine happened instead. My actual sleep schedule currently is to go to bed at 1am, wake up around 8:30am, take a 2-3 hour nap once my classes are done, and then go to track practice. After evaluating my sleeping habits through the first semester, I have realized how unbalanced and unhealthy my sleep schedule truly is. Even after I take a nap, I still feel tired and do not feel like doing anything until later in the day. Another part of the problem with college students and sleeping is that you have to share a dorm room with a roommate as well. Sometimes your roommate might need to stay up later than you do to study and this can also affect how much sleep you get too. Overall, staying up late to cram in studying and homework has really taken a toll on my sleeping schedule.

Eight hours of sleep is ideal for everyone, but for a college student 5-6 hours is more realistic. The reason my sleep schedule is not healthy is because of one thing: poor time management. I like to push things off until the last minute and this is why I stay up to late doing school work. Doing school work during the free time I have in-between classes is something I am going to try to do this semester. I will keep this goal by forcing myself to go to the library in-between classes, rather than going back to my room and taking a nap. This will hopefully help me get work done earlier in the day and allow me to go to bed earlier.

Chapter 7 – First Impression Post

--Original published at NataliesCollegeBlog

From Call of Duty to Fortnite, there are many games that kids, teenagers, and adults crave to play that promote violence. Seeing the frequent debate over video game violence has made me thinking that violent video games are causing people to become more violent. Comparing violent movies and video games, they all lead to some type of tension in people after they are done playing the game or watching the movie. I have noticed that after I watch a movie filled with violence, it has made me feel angry and uptight for a couple hours after the film has ended. This is what I think video games do to people too. My brother luckily never got into violent video games due to my parents not allowing him to buy them for our house; however, my cousins were allowed to. When I would watch my cousins play Call of Duty, I would notice how angry they would get with each other over who could play next, and would even push and shove for the controller. From first hand experience, I can say that violence in games are making gamers more fired up and tense. Not only does violence in video games make people angry, but it makes people not take violence as seriously in the real world. Kids that absorb violence in video games daily are thinking that it is okay to act violent. As these kids get older and become adults, it could cause them to think someone getting shot down the street is a normal occurrence rather than a concerning one.

Even though I think video games that promote violence will eventually promote violent kids/adults, I do not think a ban for all violent games is necessary. At this point, movies have just as much violence as video games. Getting rid of games would not eliminate other sources of entertainment with violence so it is not very beneficial to do. I think there should be more pressure for parents to limit the number of violent games their kids have and even maybe limit the amount of time their kids play them too. Limiting kids playing time could hopefully make kids less violent and allow them to focus on other activities.

Chapter 2 – First Impression

--Original published at NataliesCollegeBlog

The TED talk that I picked was Exploring the Mind of a Killer by Jim Fallon. Seeing the title for the TED talk immediately caught my attention because of recently watching the Ted Bundy show on Netflix. The TED talk actually ended up showing a picture of Ted Bundy and described him as a psychopathic killer in his talk. Overall, the film discussed the study of behaviors in psychopathic killers. Fallon said that psychopathic killers are made from a mix of brain damage, genes, and the environment. Something that I found interesting about the talk was when Fallon showed the brain scans and said how all psychopathic killers showed to have damage to the cortex of their brain. Although this is interesting, I feel as if this is not enough evidence to classify everyone with a damaged cortex to have psychopathic tendencies. This is also why I found this talk to be very untrustworthy. The professor tried to quickly throw in the words “blind study” when he said when he examines brains and it really had nothing to do with what he was trying to discuss. There was not much evidence backing up what he was saying and the way he spoke made it sound like he was unconfident about what he was talking about too. At the end he also talked about personal stories and his family tree having psychopathic killers. This made his TED talk feel more like a personal study rather than an experimental study. Fallon also would say things that would show correlations and there were no true cause and effect conclusions because this is not a true experiment.

After listening to this TED talk, it made me think of doing a research study to understand how people think and to see if there is evidence that people with damage in their cortex have psychopathic/mean tendencies. I would have to find people that showed to have cortex damage and randomly select 20 participants to be interviewed and tested. The randomly selected people would each be asked about their childhood right away, since Jim Fallon said traumatizing experiences during someones childhood creates psychopaths. The people being tested would then have to preform a challenging task/worksheet that they would only have 10 minutes to complete. After the worksheet, the people being tested would be asked to rate their frustration/anger from 1-10. If anger/psychopathic tendencies related to a damaged cortex, then the answers after the study should be roughly the same numbers.

Chapter 4 – First Impression Prompt – Development

--Original published at NataliesCollegeBlog

Through my whole childhood I have been surrounded by many different family settings. At the time, growing up I never considered how parenting truly changes a child’s life. Now, comparing myself to how my cousins were raised makes me see the different types of parenting styles that are used. For example, my cousins grew up on a farm and were taught by my aunt and uncle how college is a waste of time. Working right away and getting married is the most beneficial thing for any 18 year old graduate in this family. For my parents, things were different. I grew up in a house that grades were important to having a stable career and to get into good colleges. My aunt is very controlling and a “helicopter parent” while my mom encouraged me to strive for the A’s and do well in sports and school. My aunt did not get my cousins involved in activities, which caused them to not have as many friends in high school, while my mom signed me up for sports and girl scouts, which lead me to meeting some of my best friends.

After comparing my cousin’s family and my own it made me think about what really is the “best” way to parent. It made me realized how different parents have different interpretations on what makes you happy and successful.

I personally think that to have a child be the best they can be is to let them be independent but push them enough to strive to be better. The goal when raising a kid is to have them be the better version of you. I think that making mistakes is what makes a child grow as a person and that is something I would want my child to learn. Discipline is also very important and there needs to be certain boundaries so your child will think of you as a parent rather than a friend that’s older than you. As much as discipline is necessary, it should never escalate to cursing at their kid or making them feel worthless. The ideal parent would be supportive, encouraging, and loving. The ideal type of parent would make sure their kid is on top of their school work/activities but let their kid learn on their own so they can figure out how to problem solve.

Chapter 1 First Impression Prompts – Research Methods

--Original published at NataliesCollegeBlog

After watching the video by Mythbusters titled Laws of Attraction – Gentlemen prefer blondes? it left me surprised that there is no significant difference among hair color and attractivness. Throughout my childhood it has been a myth that blondes always have more fun and get more men swarming around them. As a brunette, seeing this study immediately made me curious to find the answer.

In the beginning of the clip, the researchers stated their question of interest on if men thought blondes were more attractive; however, they lacked a hypothesis in the study. This is a problem because you can not conduct a study until you have a specific hypothesis you will be testing. Having the hypothesis there is no difference between attractiveness and hair color is an easy solution to create a testable hypothesis. The men conducting the study had some clever ways of testing their question by having all of the nine women hide their natural hair color by putting a wig on during their dates. In the study, three women would have a blonde wig, three women would have a brunette wig, and three women would have a red wig. Nine men would come in and go on speed dates with each women to see which ones they found more attractive. The researchers conducting the study with three trials and have nine different men for each. The only problem so far with this study is the researchers did not specify how these men were found. The problem with this could be these men were not randomly selected. For example, there could be a possible male in the study knows his girlfriend is in the experiment could sign up to pick her as the most attractive every time. This would alter the data and lead to biased results. A way to improve their experiment would be demonstrate how the men for this study were randomly selected. This would also help with biased answers.

Another way I would change the experiment would be how the scoring system worked. In the study, after talking to their date for three minutes the men would rate the date on attractiveness and likability. After thinking about how talking to someone can change your initial attraction to someone, it made me think the study could be preformed differently. This could be solved by having all of the men rate the women on their attractiveness before talking to them for three minutes, and then rating the women on their likability after the three minutes. This course of action could possibly lead to other possible questions to be tested and also another way the researchers could eliminate personality as a bias.

The Mythbusters team did a good job at analyzing the data and showed there was no significant evidence between each hair color and attractiveness. When evaluating the whole experiment and basing it off the scientific method, seeking scientific review, publish, and replications was not used in this test. Since the study was not scientifically reviewed means this study could have been coincidental. A way to fix this is to have it reviewed and replicated in other places to see if this test is accurate among the whole male population.

A Case Example

After reading about Miguel I was able to notice the different theoretical approaches about his life lately. Psychodynamic is about how the unconscious mind and how emotional responses are changed by childhood experiences. Miguel’s id, ego and super-ego make up his personality. Since Miguel is a perfectionist, his id self causes the tiniest mistakes to make him lash out and doubt his self and causing him to become irritated. It could be possible his perfectionist habits also relate to his parents putting pressure on him as well. Behavioral psychology is when someone responds and learns differently based on their given situation. It is apparent that looking at a behavioral state, Miguel is struggling with his coursework and this is fueling Miguel to lash out on his roommate. The humanistic approach is strength based and to focus on personal growth and seeing yourself as a whole person. He could try to understand everyone makes mistakes and not having everything perfect should not ruin the rest of his day. He could see the good in his work and realize all of the work he accomplished before making a tiny mistake was good quality work and he should be proud. The cognitive approach in Miguel’s situation is on how he is struggling to think and focus on his assignments and it is making it hard for him to process the information. In his mind, he could be the type of student that thinks he is only a good student if he receives all A’s. This could be the root to why he starts to doubt all of his ability when he makes mistakes in his assignments. In neuroscience it becomes a similar approach that he is having hard time expressing how he feels and focusing due to the lack of sleep he is getting every night. From a cultural approach it could be the idea of having everything perfect is something that he was raised around and was passed on down from his parents and grandparents. The idea that he doubts his abilities could relate to his family being tough about everything being perfect in his house. This could make Miguel act like this with his schoolwork. Education could also be something that is highly valued in his family and could make him feel pressured to be the best at everything in school.

PSY Introduction

--Original published at NataliesCollegeBlog

To start, the reason I am taking psychology 105 is partly because of it being a required course for occupational therapy majors. In high school, psychology was always a course I wanted to learn more about so knowing that I needed to take this class was a pleasant surprise.

When I think of the word psychology one word comes to mind: emotions. Emotions are the driving point to people’s decisions. While decisions are based on how someone feels psychically and mentally.

Although I have little to no background in psychology, there have been shows on television I have watched about famous experiments, such as the Stanford Prison Experiment, which have made me curious about taking a psychology course.

After reviewing the syllabus the following topics of why do we forget, mechanics of sleep, and personality theory interested me the most. The topic why do we forget interested me because I always wondered why it was so easy to forget information that I needed for a test, yet it was so easy for me to remember all the lyrics to Miley Cyrus’ song, Party in the U.S.A. after not hearing it in years. Mechanics of sleep caught my attention because getting healthy amounts of sleep is challenging for me and maybe learning about better sleeping habits can help me understand what I am lacking. The third topic of interest was personality theories. Knowing how someone can be naturally shy or naturally outgoing based on how their mind works is something I would find intriguing to learn about.

Once I figured out which topics I found interesting I also noticed topics that I am not as interested in for the semester. In the beginning of the course, the topic about scientific methods does not interest me. Learning about the scientific method in other courses was boring for me and this is why I am not excited about this section. The topic of the brain/cerebral cortex is another topic I am not very interested in. I know that in order to understand someones mind you have to know what parts of the brain are used; however, it is not a topic that I will feel eager to study. Stereotypes & discrimination is another topic that I think I will not enjoy as much compare to other sections because it is not something completely new to learn about. A lot of my previous classes have used stereotypes and discrimination in lectures before so it will not be as new of concepts compared to the rest of the semester.

By the end of this course I want to be answer why I act/approach things differently than others and if social environments play a factor in that. I know how someone is raised changes their perspective and this would help myself better by understanding why I have certain actions and opinions. Another question I would like to answer is how social media is affecting current generations minds and how it will impact the future.