The influence of personal BMI on body size estimations and sensitivity to body size change in anorexia spectrum disorders

Cornelissen, Katri K. and Bester, Andre and Cairns, Paul and Tovée, Martin J. and Cornelissen, Piers L. (2015) The influence of personal BMI on body size estimations and sensitivity to body size change in anorexia spectrum disorders. Body Image, 13 . pp. 75-85. ISSN 1740-1445

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Abstract

In this cross-sectional study, we investigated the influence of personal BMI on body size estimation in 42 women who have symptoms of anorexia (referred to henceforth as anorexia spectrum disorders, ANSD), and 100 healthy controls. Low BMI control participants over-estimate their size and high BMI controls under-estimate, a pattern which is predicted by a perceptual phenomenon called contraction bias. In addition, control participants' sensitivity to size change declines as their BMI increases as predicted by Weber's law. The responses of women with ANSD are very different. Low BMI participants who have ANSD are extremely accurate at estimating body size and are very sensitive to changes in body size in this BMI range. However, as BMI rises in the ANSD participant group, there is a rapid increase in over-estimation concurrent with a rapid decline in sensitivity to size change. We discuss the results in the context of signal detection theory.

Keywords:Anorexia nervosa, Anorexia spectrum disorders, Body size Over-estimation, Signal detection theory, Body Image, NotOAChecked
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C830 Experimental Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C841 Health Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C840 Clinical Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:24384
Deposited On:05 Oct 2016 10:46

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