By Sylvia K. Blood
Are medical 'facts' approximately physique photograph adequate to outline conceptions of normality?
Reassessing Experimental Psychology from a severe viewpoint, Sylvia Blood demonstrates how its examine into physique photograph could be misused and vulnerable to misuse. Classifying girls who event misery and nervousness with foodstuff, consuming and physique dimension as anguish 'body picture disturbance' or 'body picture dissatisfaction', it might reproduce dominant assumptions approximately language, which means and subjectivity. Experimental psychology's discourse approximately physique snapshot has lately develop into extra extensively influential, turning into popularised via domain names corresponding to women’s magazines, within which mental specialists supply 'facts' approximately women's 'body picture problems', and provide recommendation and mental treatments.
With acute cross-disciplinary information Body paintings: The Social building of Women's physique Image exposes the assumptions at paintings within the equipment and standing of experimental techniques. Penetrating past the standard dichotomy among experimental and renowned psychology, this ebook illuminates a number of the ways that women's magazines have embraced experimental psychology's remedy of the difficulty. Drawing on her event in medical Psychology, Sylvia Blood highlights the harmful results of uncritically experimental perspectives of physique snapshot. She is going directly to complex not just another version of discursive development but additionally the results of one of these conception for medical practice.
Merging conception and scientific event, Sylvia Blood exposes the fallacies approximately women’s our bodies that underpin experimental psychology's physique picture examine. She demonstrates the harmful results of those fallacies being permitted as truths in renowned texts and within the speak of 'everyday' women.
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Additional info for Body Work The Social Construction of Women's Body Image (Women and Psychology)
Not only is disturbance widespread, but most women are ‘asymptomatic’ because, although they exhibit the classic signs of body image disturbance, they are not anorexic. In his guide for psychology practitioners on ‘body image disturbance’, Thompson (1990) observed that the investigation of ‘the subjective component’ of body image in ‘normal populations’ of adult women has become so commonplace that there are now ‘. . more studies with asymptomatic subjects’ subjective disturbance than with the subjective dysfunction of individuals with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa’ (1990: 30).
After completing the measures, participants viewed the relevant videotape for their experimental condition in groups of two to eight in a small conference room. They were not given any particular rationale for the study but were told to watch ‘as if you were watching television in your home’, in order to make their responses as natural as possible. Following the video presentation, participants were required to complete the visual analogue scales. A statistical analysis led the researchers to the conclusion that ‘media-presented images of thinness and attractiveness may negatively affect mood and body satisfaction’ (Heinberg and Thompson, 1995: 332).
The object of perception, in this case the body, is taken to be a stable, real object ‘out there’ – not a constructed object, but a natural object with real properties which are amenable to accurate or inaccurate perception. This ideal is implicit in the laboratory experiments described in the previous chapter and is formalised explicitly in Slade and Russell’s ‘Body Perception Index’ (see Chapter 1). A ‘healthy, normal’ woman is expected to be able ‘accurately’ (as defined by the experimenter) to perceive her body width.
Body Work The Social Construction of Women's Body Image (Women and Psychology) by Sylvia K. Blood