Are cognitive biases associated with body image concerns similar between cultures?

Chen, Hong, and Jackson, Todd (2005) Are cognitive biases associated with body image concerns similar between cultures? Body Image, 2 (2). pp. 177-186.

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Abstract

This experimental investigation examined judgment and memory biases associated with body image concerns in American and Chinese young adult samples. In Study 1, 50 American university students (43 female, 7 males) screened into groups high and low in self-reported concerns about body size and weight engaged in a computer-based experiment involving the evaluation and later recognition of randomly presented fat and thin body words and matched control words. Participants high in reported body image concerns judged certain kinds of fat words more negatively and remembered them more accurately than individuals low in perceived body image disturbances. In general, significant group differences remained, after controlling for BMI. In contrast, groups did not differ in judgment or memory of thin words or control words. This pattern of differences was partially replicated in similar groups from the People's Republic of China (52 female, 7 male). Cross-cultural comparisons of responses to the subset of fat and thin words used in both experiments indicated the American sample evaluated fat words more negatively and was faster in responding to fat words than the Chinese sample, although there were no cultural differences in responses to thin words. Findings support the hypothesis that information-processing biases related to body image problems are specific to these concerns within samples from both Western and non-Western cultures, albeit cultural differences in responses to fat stimuli were also identified.

Item ID: 6036
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: body image; cognitive bias; culture
ISSN: 1873-6807
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2010 05:58
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170103 Educational Psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 100%
Citation Count from Scopus Scopus 11
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