Biases in orienting and maintenance of attention among weight dissatisfied women: an eye-movement study

Gao, Xiao, Wang, Quanchuan, Jackson, Todd, Zhao, Guang, Liang, Yi, and Chen, Hong (2011) Biases in orienting and maintenance of attention among weight dissatisfied women: an eye-movement study. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 49 (4). pp. 252-259.

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Despite evidence indicating fatness and thinness information are processed differently among weight-preoccupied and eating disordered individuals, the exact nature of these attentional biases is not clear. In this research, eye movement (EM) tracking assessed biases in specific component processes of visual attention (i.e., orientation, detection, maintenance and disengagement of gaze) in relation to body-related stimuli among 20 weight dissatisfied (WD) and 20 weight satisfied young women. Eye movements were recorded while participants completed a dot-probe task that featured fatness-neutral and thinness-neutral word pairs. Compared to controls, WD women were more likely to direct their initial gaze toward fatness words, had a shorter mean latency of first fixation on both fatness and thinness words, had longer first fixation on fatness words but shorter first fixation on thinness words, and shorter total gaze duration on thinness words. Reaction time data showed a maintenance bias towards fatness words among the WD women. In sum, results indicated WD women show initial orienting, speeded detection and initial maintenance biases towards fat body words in addition to a speeded detection – avoidance pattern of biases in relation to thin body words. In sum, results highlight the importance of the utility of EM-tracking as a means of identifying subtle attentional biases among weight dissatisfied women drawn from a non-clinical setting and the need to assess attentional biases as a dynamic process.

Item ID: 21727
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-622X
Keywords: attentional bias, avoidance, eye movements, initial orienting maintenance, weight dissatisfaction
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2012 04:28
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 40%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170112 Sensory Processes, Perception and Performance @ 60%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 30%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences @ 60%
92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920507 Womens Health @ 10%
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