Perceptual not attitudinal factors predict the accuracy of estimating other women's bodies in both women with anorexia nervosa and controls

Lucinda J. Gledhill, Hannah R. George, Martin J. Tovée*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Disturbance in how one's body shape and size is experienced, usually including over-estimation of one's own body size, is a core feature of the diagnostic criteria of anorexia nervosa (AN). Is this over-estimation specific to women with AN's judgments of their own body? Or is it just a general feature of their judgments about all bodies? If the latter, it would be consistent with a general error in the perception of body size potentially linked to the use of a different set of visual cues for judging body size. If the former, then this suggests that the over-estimation of own body size has a strong attitudinal component and may be part of the psycho-pathology of their condition. To test this hypothesis, 20 women with AN and 80 control observers estimated the body size of 46 women. The results show a strong effect of perceptual factors in estimating body size for both controls and women with AN. This result is consistent with size over-estimation of own body in AN having a strong attitudinal basis and being a core feature of the psycho-pathology of the condition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number997
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2019
Externally publishedYes

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