Self-concept and body-image disturbance: Which self-beliefs predict body size overestimation?

Timothy J. Strauman, Arthur M. Glenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Two studies investigated the relation between self-concept and body-image disturbance in selected female undergraduates. In each study, high- and low-body-shape-concerned women completed a set of self-concept assessments, including both appearance-specific questions and a measure of general self-discrepancies. One month later, they participated in an experiment in which they made judgments comparing the sizes of body silhouettes to their own bodies. Signal detection analysis indicated that the groups differed significantly on the criterion for deciding that a silhouette was larger than their own bodies (bias) but not on the ability to accurately discriminate among silhouettes (sensitivity). Among self-concept measures, overall actual:ideal self-discrepancy was the best predictor of subjects' biases in estimating their own body sizes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-125
Number of pages21
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • body image
  • body image disturbance
  • self-concept
  • self-discrepancy
  • self-evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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