Body size over-estimation in women with anorexia nervosa is not qualitatively different from female controls

Cornelissen, Piers L., Johns, Anna and Tovée, Martin J. (2013) Body size over-estimation in women with anorexia nervosa is not qualitatively different from female controls. Body Image, 10 (1). pp. 103-111. ISSN 1740-1445

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Over-estimation of body size is a cardinal feature of anorexia nervosa (AN), usually revealed by comparing individuals who have AN with non-AN individuals, the inference being that over-estimation is pathological. We show that the same result can be reproduced by sampling selectively from a single distribution of performance in body size judgement by comparing low BMI individuals with normal BMI individuals. Over-estimation of body size in AN is not necessarily pathological and can be predicted by normal psychophysical biases in magnitude estimation. We confirm this prediction in a dataset from a morphing study in which 30 women with AN and 137 control women altered a photograph of themselves to estimate their actual body size. We further investigated the relative contributions of sensory and attitudinal factors to body-size overestimation in a sample of 166 women. Our results suggest that both factors play a role, but their relative importance is task dependent.

Keywords:adolescent, adult, anorexia nervosa, article, attitude, body dysmorphic disorder, body image, body mass, body size, depression, female, human, perception disorder, psychological aspect, psychological model, questionnaire, self concept, United Kingdom, Adolescent, Body Dysmorphic Disorders, Body Mass Index, England, Humans, Models, Psychological, Perceptual Distortion, Questionnaires, Young Adult
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C841 Health Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C880 Social Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C840 Clinical Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
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ID Code:24390
Deposited On:07 Jun 2017 14:55

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