Scientific article

Time course of attentional biases toward body shapes: The impact of body dissatisfaction

Published inBody image, vol. 19, p. 159-168
Publication date2016

Using a dot-probe discrimination task and a between-subjects design, we examined the time course of attentional biases (facilitated attention, delayed disengagement, and avoidance) toward thin versus fat bodies and explored the influence of body dissatisfaction (BD) on attention allocation among a sample of 163 women from the general population. Three stimulus presentation times were used: 100 ms, 500 ms, and 1500 ms. We also used neutral body-shape-related stimuli as neutral stimuli related to the concept of interest to overcome the limitations of previous studies. At 500 ms, the results highlighted delayed disengagement from very thin and negatively assessed bodies among women with high BD. This mechanism, which leads to attentional focalization on bodies that are difficult to achieve, might be considered dysfunctional because it may maintain or reinforce BD. Results at 100 ms and 1500 ms, as well as results for fat bodies, were not conclusive.

  • Body dissatisfaction
  • Selective attention
  • Delayed disengagement
  • Attentional time course
  • Neutral body-shape-related stimuli
Citation (ISO format)
MOUSSALLY, Joanna Myriam, BROSCH, Tobias, VAN DER LINDEN, Martial. Time course of attentional biases toward body shapes: The impact of body dissatisfaction. In: Body image, 2016, vol. 19, p. 159–168. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2016.09.006
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1740-1445

Technical informations

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