The relation of body dissatisfaction to salience of particular body sizes

A. L. Seifert, K. M. Arnell, M. T. Kiviniemi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Research examining body image schemas has found that individuals high in body dissatisfaction direct increased attention toward body shapes relative to neutral stimuli. However, it is not known whether attention is attracted to particular body shapes over others (e.g., thin or obese). The present study examined whether body dissatisfaction would moderate the extent to which women find thin, average, and/or obese body sizes salient. METHOD: Women with high and low body dissatisfaction (N=32) completed an indirect cognitive task assessing the relative salience of different body sizes (thin, average, obese). RESULTS: Degree of body dissatisfaction was inversely related to frequency estimates of obese body sizes; highly dissatisfied participants found obese body sizes less salient. CONCLUSION: These results highlight the importance of examining the salience of specific body sizes. The present study has implications for understanding cognitive aspects of social comparison and body dissatisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e84-e90
JournalEating and Weight Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • Body dissatisfaction
  • Body size
  • Salience
  • Social comparison

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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