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Looking at the Figures: Visual Adaptation as a Mechanism for Body-Size and -Shape Misperception.
Perspect Psychol Sci. 2020 01; 15(1):133-149.PP

Abstract

Many individuals experience body-size and -shape misperception (BSSM). Body-size overestimation is associated with body dissatisfaction, anxiety, depression, and the development of eating disorders in individuals who desire to be thinner. Similar symptoms have been noted for those who underestimate their muscularity. Conversely, individuals with high body mass indices (BMI) who underestimate their adiposity may not recognize the risks of or seek help for obesity-related medical issues. Although social scientists have examined whether media representations of idealized bodies contribute to the overestimation of fat or underestimation of muscle, other scientists suggest that increases in the prevalence of obesity could explain body-fat underestimation as a form of renormalization. However, these disparate approaches have not advanced our understanding of the perceptual underpinnings of BSSM. Recently, a new unifying account of BSSM has emerged that is based on the long-established phenomenon of visual adaptation, employing psychophysical measurements of perceived size and shape following exposure to "extreme" body stimuli. By inducing BSSM in the laboratory as an aftereffect, this technique is rapidly advancing our understanding of the underlying mental representation of human bodies. This nascent approach provides insight into real-world BSSM and may inform the development of therapeutic and public-health interventions designed to address such perceptual errors.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychology, Macquarie University. Perception in Action Research Centre, Macquarie University.Centre for Rural Health, University of Tasmania. Translational Health Research Institute, School of Medicine, Western Sydney University.Department of Psychology, Macquarie University. Translational Health Research Institute, School of Medicine, Western Sydney University. Centre for Emotional Health, Department of Psychology, Macquarie University.Department of Psychology, Macquarie University. Perception in Action Research Centre, Macquarie University.School of Behavioural & Health Sciences, Australian Catholic University.Department of Psychology, Macquarie University. Perception in Action Research Centre, Macquarie University.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

31725353

Citation

Brooks, Kevin R., et al. "Looking at the Figures: Visual Adaptation as a Mechanism for Body-Size and -Shape Misperception." Perspectives On Psychological Science : a Journal of the Association for Psychological Science, vol. 15, no. 1, 2020, pp. 133-149.
Brooks KR, Mond J, Mitchison D, et al. Looking at the Figures: Visual Adaptation as a Mechanism for Body-Size and -Shape Misperception. Perspect Psychol Sci. 2020;15(1):133-149.
Brooks, K. R., Mond, J., Mitchison, D., Stevenson, R. J., Challinor, K. L., & Stephen, I. D. (2020). Looking at the Figures: Visual Adaptation as a Mechanism for Body-Size and -Shape Misperception. Perspectives On Psychological Science : a Journal of the Association for Psychological Science, 15(1), 133-149. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691619869331
Brooks KR, et al. Looking at the Figures: Visual Adaptation as a Mechanism for Body-Size and -Shape Misperception. Perspect Psychol Sci. 2020;15(1):133-149. PubMed PMID: 31725353.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Looking at the Figures: Visual Adaptation as a Mechanism for Body-Size and -Shape Misperception. AU - Brooks,Kevin R, AU - Mond,Jonathan, AU - Mitchison,Deborah, AU - Stevenson,Richard J, AU - Challinor,Kirsten L, AU - Stephen,Ian D, Y1 - 2019/11/14/ PY - 2019/11/15/pubmed PY - 2019/11/15/medline PY - 2019/11/15/entrez KW - adaptation KW - body dysmorphia KW - body image KW - distortion KW - eating disorders KW - misperception KW - vision SP - 133 EP - 149 JF - Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science JO - Perspect Psychol Sci VL - 15 IS - 1 N2 - Many individuals experience body-size and -shape misperception (BSSM). Body-size overestimation is associated with body dissatisfaction, anxiety, depression, and the development of eating disorders in individuals who desire to be thinner. Similar symptoms have been noted for those who underestimate their muscularity. Conversely, individuals with high body mass indices (BMI) who underestimate their adiposity may not recognize the risks of or seek help for obesity-related medical issues. Although social scientists have examined whether media representations of idealized bodies contribute to the overestimation of fat or underestimation of muscle, other scientists suggest that increases in the prevalence of obesity could explain body-fat underestimation as a form of renormalization. However, these disparate approaches have not advanced our understanding of the perceptual underpinnings of BSSM. Recently, a new unifying account of BSSM has emerged that is based on the long-established phenomenon of visual adaptation, employing psychophysical measurements of perceived size and shape following exposure to "extreme" body stimuli. By inducing BSSM in the laboratory as an aftereffect, this technique is rapidly advancing our understanding of the underlying mental representation of human bodies. This nascent approach provides insight into real-world BSSM and may inform the development of therapeutic and public-health interventions designed to address such perceptual errors. SN - 1745-6924 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/31725353/Looking_at_the_Figures:_Visual_Adaptation_as_a_Mechanism_for_Body-Size_and_-Shape_Misperception L2 - https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1745691619869331?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub=pubmed DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -
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