View-dependent accuracy in body mass judgements of female bodies

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A fundamental issue in testing body image perception is how to present the test stimuli. Previous studies have almost exclusively used images of bodies viewed in front-view, but this potentially obscures key visual cues used to judge adiposity reducing the ability to make accurate judgements. A potential solution is to use a three-quarter view, which combines visual cues to body fat that can be observed in front and profile. To test this hypothesis, 20 female observers completed a 2-alternative forced choice paradigm to determine the smallest difference in body fat detectable in female bodies in front, three-quarter, and profile view. There was a significant advantage for three-quarter and profile relative to front-view. Discrimination accuracy is predicted by the saliency of stomach depth, suggesting that this is a key visual cue used to judge body mass. In future, bodies should ideally be presented in three-quarter to accurately assess body size discrimination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-123
Number of pages8
JournalBody Image
Early online date3 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


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