Facial reconstruction

Search LJMU Research Online

Browse Repository | Browse E-Theses

Associations of observer’s gender, Body Mass Index and internalization of societal beauty ideals to visual body processing

Cazzato, V, Walters, E and Urgesi, C (2021) Associations of observer’s gender, Body Mass Index and internalization of societal beauty ideals to visual body processing. Psychological Research: an international journal of perception, attention, memory and action. ISSN 0340-0727

Cazzato2021_Article_AssociationsOfObserverSGenderB.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (2MB) | Preview


We examined whether visual processing mechanisms of the body of conspecifics are different in women and men and whether these rely on westernised socio-cultural ideals and body image concerns. Twenty-four women and 24 men performed a visual discrimination task of upright or inverted images of female or male bodies and faces (Experiment 1) and objects (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, both groups of women and men showed comparable abilities in the discrimination of upright and inverted bodies and faces. However, the gender of the human stimuli yielded different effects on participants’ performance, so that female faces, and male bodies appeared to be processed less configurally than female bodies and male faces, respectively. Interestingly, the reduction of configural processing for male bodies was significantly predicted by participants’ Body Mass Index (BMI) and their level of internalization of muscularity. Our findings suggest that configural visual processing of bodies and faces in women and men may be linked to a selective attention to detail needed for discriminating salient physical (perhaps sexual) cues of conspecifics. Importantly, BMI and muscularity internalization of beauty ideals may also play a crucial role in this mechanism.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1701 Psychology, 1702 Cognitive Sciences
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Psychology (from Sep 2019)
Publisher: Springer
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2021 10:21
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 06:09
DOI or ID number: 10.1007/s00426-020-01471-5
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14262
View Item View Item