Essay Perception of Body Size in Patients with Anorexia Nervosa

Essay Perception of Body Size in Patients with Anorexia Nervosa

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Body image disturbance is a core feature of anorexia nervosa. Often people who suffer from anorexia refuse to eat more than is absolutely necessary to maintain a minimal weight for their height. Øverås, M., Kapstad, H., Brunborg, C., Landrø, N. I., and Lask, B. (2014) experiment analyzed body size estimation on perception and memory, in patients with anorexia nervosa by comparing results with a healthy control group. They had a particular interest on how anxiety may have influence on anorexia nervosa patient’s perception of their body image. Øverås et al. suggested patients, who suffer from anorexia nervosa, would overestimate their body size more than the healthy control group. They also proposed that patients would overestimate their body size more in the perception of their body than basing off their views from memory.
Body image dissatisfaction in anorexia nervosa is separated into three subcategories: dissatisfaction with one's body; overestimation of own body size; and self-worth influences one’s perception of body weight (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). Past research indicates that that the overestimation found in patients with anorexia nervosa is restricted to their own body. A person with anorexia nervosa can accurately perceive other people’s body weight, but not their own body weight (Urgesi et al. 2012). Other research suggests that memory is more vulnerable than perception to patients (Magnussen, 2004). In other past research, participants overestimated their body size significantly more in the perception than memory condition, but this experiment will look at memory and direct perception more thoroughly.
In this study, Øverås et al. (2014) experiment’s had two independent variables. The first independ...

... middle of paper ...

...or if the tasks were slightly different. In an aggregate level, these different situations were likely to have influenced the results they concluded on.
With this being said, body image perception is consistently an interesting topic to health psychologists. This study was an attempt to further explore the estimation of perception. The results support the hypothesis that an individual underestimates their body image specifically in the perception condition. However, there needs to be more accurate research to gain a precise understanding of anorexia nervosa and how they view themselves.

Works Cited

Øverås, M., Kapstad, H., Brunborg, C., Landrø, N. I., & Lask, B. (2014). Memory versus perception of body size in patients with anorexia nervosa and healthy controls. European Eating Disorders Review, 22(2), 109-115. doi:

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