How Does Variation in the Body Composition of Both Stimuli and Participant Modulate Self-Estimates of Men’s Body Size?

Groves, V., Cornelissen, P.L., McCarty, K., Mohamed, Sophie, Maalin, Nadia, Tovee, Martin and Cornelissen, P.L. (2019) How Does Variation in the Body Composition of Both Stimuli and Participant Modulate Self-Estimates of Men’s Body Size? Frontiers in Psychiatry, 10 . p. 720. ISSN 1664-0640

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00720

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How Does Variation in the Body Composition of Both Stimuli and Participant Modulate Self-Estimates of Men’s Body Size?
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Abstract

When measured in units of body mass index (BMI), how much variation in men’s self-estimates of body size is caused by i) variation in participants’ body composition and ii) variation in the apparent muscle mass and muscle tone of the stimuli being judged? To address this, we generated nine sets of male CGI bodies representing low, mid, and high muscle mass rendered at low, mid, and high muscle tone, from 18.75 to 40 BMI-hse units. BMI-hse units in this study are estimates of BMI derived from calibration equations predicting BMI from waist and hip circumference, age, sex, height, and ethnicity in the Health Survey for England databases. Forty-five healthy adult men estimated their body size using a yes-no paradigm for each combination of muscle mass/tone. We also measured participants’ body composition with Harpenden callipers and their body concerns with psychometric questionnaires. We show that stimulus variation in apparent muscle mass/tone can introduce differences up to ∼2.5 BMI-hse units in men’s self-estimates of body size. Moreover, men with the same actual BMI, but different body composition, showed up to ∼5-7 BMI-hse unit differences in self-estimates of body size. In the face of such large errors, we advocate that such judgments in men should be made instead by simultaneously manipulating both the adiposity and the muscle mass of stimuli which are appropriately calibrated for body composition, so that the participant can match the body size and shape they believe themselves to have to the stimulus they see.

Keywords:Male Body Image, Body Size Estimation, Body Composition, Muscularity, Adiposity
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C841 Health Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C840 Clinical Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:38099
Deposited On:28 Oct 2019 10:23

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