CitationSutin, Angelina R. & Terracciano, Antonio (2016). Five factor model personality traits and the objective and subjective experience of body weight. Journal of Personality. vol. 84 (1) pp. 102-112
AbstractObjective Research on personality and adiposity has focused primarily on middle-aged and older adults. The present research sought to (1) replicate these associations in a young adult sample, (2) examine whether sex, race, or ethnicity moderate these associations, and (3) test whether personality is associated with the subjective experience of body weight and discrepancies between perceived and actual weight. Method Participants (N=15,669; Mage=29; 53% female; ∼40% ethnic/racial minority) from Wave 4 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health completed a Five-Factor Model personality measure and reported their weight, height, and perception of weight category (e.g., overweight); trained staff measured participants’ height, weight, and waist circumference. Results Conscientiousness was associated with healthier weight, with a nearly 5kg difference between the top and bottom quartiles. Neuroticism among women and Extraversion among men were associated with higher adiposity. Neuroticism was also associated with misperceived heavier weight, whereas Extraversion was associated with misperceived taller and leaner. The associations were similar across race/ethnic groups. Conclusions Personality is associated with objective and subjective adiposity in young adulthood. Although modest, the effects are consistent with lifespan theories of personality, and the misperceptions are consistent with the conceptual worldviews associated with the traits.
Keyword(s)Adiposity Body Mass Index Subjective Weight Conscientiousness Body Image
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleJournal of Personality
Author(s)Sutin, Angelina R.