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  • BodyEstimatesOther_CortexR1 (3)

    Rights statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Cortex. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Cortex, 92, 2017 DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2017.03.004

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People watching: The perception of the relative body proportions of the self and others

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>07/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Cortex
Volume92
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)1-7
Publication statusPublished
Early online date18/03/17
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

We have an abundance of perceptual information from multiple modalities specifying our body proportions. Consequently, it seems reasonable for researchers to assume that we have an accurate perception of our body proportions. In contrast to this intuition, recent research has shown large, striking distortions in people's perceptions of the relative proportions of their own bodies. Specifically, individuals show large distortions when estimating the length of their body parts with a corporal metric, such as the hand, but not with a non-corporal object of the same length (Linkenauger et al., 2015). However, it remains unclear whether these distortions are specific to the perception of the relative proportions of one's own body or whether they generalize to the perception of the relative proportions of all human bodies. To assess this, individuals judged the relative lengths of either their own body parts or the body parts of another individual. We found that people have distorted perceptions of relative body proportions even when viewing the bodies of others. These distortions were greater when estimating the relative body parts of someone of the same gender. These results suggest our implicit full body representation is distorted and influences our perceptions of other people's bodies, especially if the other person's body is similar to our own.

Bibliographic note

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Cortex. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Cortex, 92, 2017 DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2017.03.004