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Gender differences in visual perception of own body weight

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Thaler,  A
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Piryankova,  I
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Research Group Space and Body Perception, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Geuss,  MN
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Stefanucci,  JK
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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de la Rosa,  S
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Romero,  J
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Black,  MJ
Dept. Perceiving Systems, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Max Planck Society;

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Mohler,  BJ
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Research Group Space and Body Perception, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Thaler, A., Piryankova, I., Geuss, M., Stefanucci, J., de la Rosa, S., Streuber, S., et al. (2017). Gender differences in visual perception of own body weight. Poster presented at 40th European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP 2017), Berlin, Germany.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0000-DDEE-C
Abstract
The previous body image literature has focused on how females perceive their body weight. We investigated potential gender differences in the use of visual cues (shape, texture) to estimate own body weight. A full-body scanner was used to capture each participant’s own body geometry and colour information and a set of nine personalized 3D virtual bodies (avatars) with realistic weight variations (0, ±5%, ±10%, ±15%, ±20% of actual weight) was created based on a statistical body model. Additionally, a second set of avatars was created for each participant with an average underlying body shape matched in height, weight, inseam, and arm length. In four sets of psychophysical experiments, the influence of visual cues on accuracy of body weight perception and sensitivity to weight changes was assessed by manipulating body shape (own, average) and texture (own, checkerboard). The avatars were presented on a large-screen display, and participants responded to whether the body corresponded to their own weight. Overall, we found no gender difference in the accuracy of body weight estimation. Men however visually perceived the avatars with underlying average shape as thinner as avatars with their own shape. Further, males were less sensitive to weight changes than females and accepted a larger weight range as corresponding to their weight. Females’ desired body weight was lower than their actual weight, while actual and desired body weight for males was identical, suggesting that the weight dimension might be more important to women than to men in terms of their ideal body.