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Nicole Thomas, Ellie Aniulis; Slimness Attracts Attention: How Body Weight Modulates Pseudoneglect. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):1256. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/18.10.1256.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Within the media, we are constantly bombarded with various images, particularly in relation to advertising. Advertisements persuade us into purchasing products, regardless of need, and often images of unrealistically thin models are used to meet this goal. We developed a novel paradigm to determine whether the body weight of female models modulates visual attention (pseudoneglect). Participants (N=36 females, Mage=20.06, SD=2.60) completed a baseline version of the landmark task. In a second task, participants viewed a pair of images (one in the left visual field, one in the right) for 500ms, followed immediately by the presentation of a pre-bisected line for 500ms. Images of female models wearing swimwear or lingerie, who varied in body weight, were paired such that one model was thin and the other was overweight. We also included neutral images, which consisted of pictures of handbags that were colour matched to the model's clothing (432 trials). There was an effect of image pair, F(6,210)=4.571, p < .001, η2 = .116. When the thin model was presented on the left, leftward biases were stronger than at baseline, and when the thin model was on the right and paired with either neutral or overweight stimuli. When the overweight model appeared on the right, leftward biases were stronger when paired with a thin model than a neutral image. Lastly, leftward biases were significantly reduced when the overweight model was presented on the left compared to all other conditions, such that pseudoneglect was no longer present (t(35)=1.570, p = .126, d=.531). We propose images of thin models attracted attention, while images of overweight models simultaneously repelled attention. Our findings illustrate body weight modulates pseudoneglect, providing further evidence of the concerning trend amongst young women to strive for unrealistic thinness.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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