Apr 28, 2010

Tipping 101 : Cup Sizes

Professor Lynn found a positive correlation between the breast size of waitresses (n = 432) and the size of their tips (both were self-reported measures). He did not split the tipping data by sex of the patrons. One might expect that the "breast effect" might enhance tips for male patrons whereas female patrons might "punish" shapely waitresses (intra-sexual rivalry). The existing data did not allow for a more refined set of analyses to test such possibilities. Also, Lynn notes that he might have expected a quadratic relationship between breast size and size of tips, namely, breasts that are too small or too big would result in lower tips than medium sized breasts. However, his data suggests that bigger is always better...at least when it comes to tipping behavior!

Big Breasts = Larger Waitress Tips.
The Hooters effect: Big breasts equal big tips.

Abstract: Waitresses completed an on-line survey about their physical characteristics, self-perceived attractiveness and sexiness, and average tips. The waitresses’ self-rated physical attractiveness increased with their breast sizes and decreased with their ages, waist-to-hip ratios, and body sizes. Similar effects were observed on self-rated sexiness, with the exception of age, which varied with self-rated sexiness in a negative, quadratic relationship rather than a linear one. Moreover, the waitresses’ tips varied with age in a negative, quadratic relationship, increased with breast size, increased with having blond hair, and decreased with body size. These findings, which are discussed from an evolutionary perspective, make several contributions to the literature on female physical attractiveness. First, they replicate some previous findings regarding the determinants of female physical attractiveness using a larger, more diverse, and more ecologically valid set of stimuli than has been studied before. Second, they provide needed evidence that some of those determinants of female beauty affect interpersonal behaviors as well as attractiveness ratings. Finally, they indicate that some determinants of female physical attractiveness do not have the same effects on overt interpersonal behavior (such as tipping) that they have on attractiveness ratings. This latter contribution highlights the need for more ecologically valid tests of evolutionary theories about the determinants and consequences of female beauty.

Determinants and Consequences of Female Attractiveness and Sexiness: Realistic Tests with Restaurant Waitresses

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