Rating of figures used for body image assessment varies depending on the method of figure presentation




To determine the effect of method of figure presentation on figure rating scales used for body image assessment.


Ratings of current, ideal, and socially acceptable body sizes were elicited from 360 university students. Male and female figure drawings ranging from thin to obese were presented to subjects using one of three presentation methods. Figures were presented as an ordered array, an unordered array, or they were placed individually on cards that were fixed in order from thin to obese.


Figure ratings were significantly different among methods for the selection of current and ideal figure and socially acceptable body sizes.


The method of figure presentation had an influence on figure ratings. These findings suggest that the manner in which figures are presented to research participants for the evaluation of body image constructs may be responsible, in part, for the discordant results reported in the body image assessment literature. Future research is required to address potential reasons why the method of figure presentation results in different figure ratings. © 2003 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 35: 109–114, 2004.