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Sex Differences in the Use and Implications of Relative Physical Position

Title: Sex Differences in the Use and Implications of Relative Physical Position.
Name(s): Makhanova, Anastasia, author
McNulty, James, professor directing thesis
Meltzer, Andrea L., committee member
Ganley, Colleen M., committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Arts and Sciences, degree granting college
Department of Psychology, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2016
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (45 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: A person’s physical position relative to others is a scarcely investigated, yet potentially very powerful, variable that regulates social perception. This research suggests that people strategically position themselves either higher or lower, relative to observers, in order to manage observers’ social impressions. Four studies supported the prediction that women display a low relative physical position to highlight youthful features and to appear attractive whereas men display a high relative physical position to highlight their size and to appear dominant. The effectiveness of these strategies was confirmed in the final study that measured social perceptions of male and female targets who varied in their relative position. Findings demonstrate that, like the members of other social species, people use relative physical position to manage social impressions, though men and women do so in different ways. These impression management strategies may have deep ancestral roots, yet manifest themselves through contemporary human modalities (photographs).
Identifier: FSU_2016SU_Makhanova_fsu_0071N_13285 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Psychology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester 2016.
Date of Defense: April 25, 2016.
Keywords: attraction, dominance, perception, photographs, sex differences
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: James K. McNulty, Professor Directing Thesis; Andrea Meltzer, Committee Member; Colleen Ganley, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Psychology
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Makhanova, A. (2016). Sex Differences in the Use and Implications of Relative Physical Position. Retrieved from