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Keywords:

  • body size estimation;
  • mirror-based assessment method;
  • body size perception;
  • body image disturbance

Abstract

Objective

The aim of the current study was to compare a new ecologically valid method of body size estimation with an existing, commonly used method.

Method

The new method uses a “mirror-sized” image and measures perception rather than memory of body size. Fifty-five healthy women participated in the study.

Results

Body size estimations with the new method were significantly larger than with the existing method (p < .001). This difference was specific to body size and was not seen for estimation of neutral images.

Discussion

The results of the study show that different body size estimations are made with the new more ecologically valid method compared with the existing method. This finding has important implications for research into the factors influencing the perception of body size. © 2003 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 34: 162–171, 2003.