RS is a Wellcome Trust Advanced Training Fellow (055112) and CGF is a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow (046386).
A new ecologically valid method to assess body size estimation and body size dissatisfaction†
Article first published online: 17 OCT 2002
Copyright © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
International Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume 32, Issue 4, pages 458–465, December 2002
How to Cite
Shafran, R. and Fairburn, C. G. (2002), A new ecologically valid method to assess body size estimation and body size dissatisfaction. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 32: 458–465. doi: 10.1002/eat.10097
- Issue published online: 17 OCT 2002
- Article first published online: 17 OCT 2002
- Manuscript Accepted: 8 DEC 2001
- body image;
The primary aim of the present study was to develop an ecologically valid method for assessing the perception of body size (as opposed to the memory of body size).
Women with clinical eating disorders (N = 14) and no eating disorder (N = 24) estimated their actual and desired body size while looking in a mirror. Estimations were made using projected images that were the same height as the participants' reflections in the mirror.
This new method assessed the perception of body size under conditions that resembled the real-life situation of viewing oneself in a mirror. Participants with eating disorders significantly overestimated their body size relative to controls (p < .05) and tended to be more dissatisfied with their body size (p = .07).
It is argued that the new method assesses the perception of body size, is ecologically valid, and is the most clinically relevant of the methods developed to date. © 2002 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 32: 458–465, 2002.