A computer-graphic technique for the study of body size perception and body types

Philip J. Benson*, Joanne L. Emery, Esther M. Cohen-Tovée, Martin J. Tovée

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


We present a novel approach for measuring body size estimation in normal and eating-disordered women and men. Clinical categories of body types were used as prototypes. By comparing the subjective appearance of a person's body with prototypes, we can understand how different attributes of his or her body shape contribute to perception of body size. After lifelike random distortions have been applied to parts of their body image, individuals adjust their body shapes until they converge on their perceived veridical appearance. Exaggeration and minimization of particular body areas measured with respect to their true shape and with different prototypes can be expressed as numerical deviations. In this way, perceived body size and body attractiveness can be appraised during the course of diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446-454
Number of pages9
JournalBehavior Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes


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