Title

Body Image: A Cognitive Self-Schema Construct?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1996

Keywords

body image, self-schema

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02228033

Abstract

Body image has been a useful construct for understanding eating disorders. In that capacity, body image has been defined in many ways: One concept of body image is as an internalized view of one's appearance that drives behavior and influences information processing. This cognitive schema definition of body image was tested in a series of studies. Other recent studies have investigated cognitive processes with body image information, but they have focused on weight-related body image. A combination of Higgins' self-discrepancy theory and Markus' self-schema theory were used to describe a modern interpretation of body image as an internalized self-representation. Both of these theories predict specific information processing consequences of an organized cognitive representation. In turn, these consequences confirm the existence of that representation. Several studies were conducted to test a specific schema-like view of body image. In Study 1 body image schema variables were correlated with traditional measures of body image. In Study 2 subjects exposed to schema relevant contents showed information processing consequences consistent with self-representation theory. Finally, in Study 3 instructional set was shown to modify the schema activation effect. These effects give evidence of body image schema and yield limited information about the nature of that representation.

Was this content written or created while at USF?

Yes

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Body Image: A Cognitive Self-Schema Construct? v, 20, issue 2, p. 171-193

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