By Sylvia K. Blood
Are medical 'facts' approximately physique picture sufficient to outline conceptions of normality?
Reassessing Experimental Psychology from a severe point of view, Sylvia Blood demonstrates how its learn into physique photograph could be misused and liable to misuse. Classifying girls who adventure misery and nervousness with meals, consuming and physique dimension as agony 'body picture disturbance' or 'body photograph dissatisfaction', it could possibly reproduce dominant assumptions approximately language, which means and subjectivity. Experimental psychology's discourse approximately physique picture has lately turn into extra greatly 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 supply suggestion and mental treatments.
With acute cross-disciplinary wisdom Body paintings: The Social building of Women's physique Image exposes the assumptions at paintings within the tools and standing of experimental techniques. Penetrating past the standard dichotomy among experimental and well known psychology, this ebook illuminates many of the ways that women's magazines have embraced experimental psychology's therapy 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 tricky not just an alternate version of discursive development but additionally the consequences of this type of conception for medical practice.
Merging conception and scientific adventure, Sylvia Blood exposes the fallacies approximately women’s our bodies that underpin experimental psychology's physique snapshot study. She demonstrates the damaging effects of those fallacies being accredited 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)
Why do people, especially women, have distorted body images? [asks Thompson]. There are at least two rival theories. Some researchers believe 20 EXPERIMENTAL BODY IMAGE RESEARCH that distortion results from a perceptual defect: people who over-estimate body size may have a visual–spatial problem in brain function that interferes with accurate perception. Other researchers think that the problem is emotional or cognitive. Size judgements are determined largely by what people feel or think about their bodies.
Potentially an accurate representation of the measurable, pre-existing, external reality. The fundamental proposition is that an individual’s information-processing procedures – thought – can accurately 24 CRITIQUE OF BODY IMAGE RESEARCH represent external reality. In its most empiricist form, representation theory conceptualises the relation between thought and reality as a correspondence (Henriques, Hollway, Urwin, Venn and Walkerdine, 1984). The central belief is that it is possible to apprehend ‘reality’ on the basis of what we can see with our own eyes.
This commitment to method as the route to truth is evidenced by the plethora of ‘increasingly accurate’ experimental measurement techniques researchers have invented. Developments over the past 25 years in body image research can be described almost entirely in terms of these inventions and the tenacity with which researchers have clung to method at the expense of theory, despite contradictory and inconclusive ‘findings’. Largely because they are so controllable, experimental conditions are considered most useful to developing consistent scientific knowledge.