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

  1. Lookup NU author(s)
  2. Dr Piers Cornelissen
  3. Dr Martin Tovee
Author(s)Cornelissen PL, Johns A, Tovee MJ
Publication type Article
JournalBody Image
Year2013
Volume10
Issue1
Pages103-111
ISSN (print)1740-1445
ISSN (electronic)1873-6807
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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.
PublisherElsevier BV
URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2012.09.003
DOI10.1016/j.bodyim.2012.09.003
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