This study evaluated factors related to the perceptual disturbances of body image. Using a digital body image computer program, 191 participants (107 women, 82 men) adjusted an image of their body to the perceived actual size at five body regions; chest, waist, hips, thighs and calves. A neutral object (a vase) was also adjusted to partial out the level of perceptual distortion present with a neutral object. Men and women overestimated the size of the neutral object and their body image. Among women, overestimation was primarily predicted by high levels of depression, and media and peer influences to be thinner and increase muscles. Among men, overestimation was predicted by high BMI, media influences to lose weight and increase muscles, and peer influences to increase muscles. These findings suggest that perceptual accuracy of body image is primarily predicted by biopsychosocial influences.
Field of Research
170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Socio Economic Objective
970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences