Undergraduate Psychology Research Methods Journal


In this study, the shared cultural domain of female physical beauty on the Lindenwood campus was identified. A cultural domain is essentially, “things that somehow go together” (Bernard 2006, p. 299). The domain is established by systematic use of free lists, a method in which participants list all of the attributes that they can in response to a prompt. A written free list method was selected so that a large group of students could provide their data in a quick and anonymous manner. In this case, the domain of interest was “attributes that are physically beautiful in women.” After providing written consent, participants responded to the following prompt: “Please list physical traits that you find attractive in women.” Responses were collected until saturation, which occurs when the informants give repetitive answers and nothing new is being mentioned (Bernard 2006, p. 436). Data generated using the free list was used to establish the domain. The domain was arbitrarily defined as any item that was mentioned at least four times. Through analysis, eight items made up the cultural domain, which means there is a tight domain of attributes of attractiveness in women along with many idiosyncratic outliers. In total, the sample included 77 participants at which point the cultural saturation level was reached, which means that through the free listing no new attributes were included.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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