Psych Abstract: Tattoos and ratings of personal characteristics

Research Abstract

Degelman, D., & Price, N. D. (2002). Tattoos and ratings of personal characteristics. Psychological Reports, 90, 507-514.

High school and university students viewed a photograph of one woman either with or without a visible tattoo on her upper arm. They rated the woman on 13 personal characteristics (fashionable, athletic, attractive, caring, creative, determined, motivated, honest, generous, mysterious, religious, intelligent, artistic). Analyses showed ratings of the model with the tattoo were statistically significantly lower (more negative) on 9 of the 13 personal characteristics. Ratings were not affected by whether the participants had or did not have tattoos themselves. Implications for research are discussed, including the need to explore the conditions under which negative attitudes may be translated into negative behaviors.