An Experimental Investigation of Body Displacement Theory in Restrained Eaters
thesisposted on 08.06.2021, 10:02 authored by Danielle Elizabeth MacDonald
Body Displacement Theory posits that individuals with eating and weight concerns may mislabel feelings of ineffectiveness as feeling fat. Study 1used a non-clinical sample to create an Implicit Association Test for body image (IAT-BI) to measure implicit body dissatisfaction, as body displacement is thought to be an automatic cognitive/affective process. The IAT-BI was moderately and significantly correlated with explicit measures of body dissatisfaction, body shame, and restrained eating. In Study 2, an experimental manipulation was used to induce ineffectiveness in a non-clinical sample, and effects on implicit and explicit body image and related variables were measured. Contrary to hypotheses, feeling ineffective did not lead to feeling fat in comparison to those in a control condition. These findings may suggest that body displacement was not successfully induced by the manipulation, or that body displacement may be process unique to those with eating disorders. The implications of the study are discussed.