The present study examined associations between high levels of appearance concern and information processing biases in interpretation and attention. An opportunity sample (N = 79) categorised ambiguous stimuli as related or unrelated to appearance. Participants then responded to the same stimuli in a modified visual dot-probe task assessing attentional bias. Participant responses were assessed in relation to level of appearance concern. The results indicated a valence specific bias towards interpretation of ambiguous stimuli as negative and appearance-related in individuals with higher levels of concern. There was also evidence of attentional bias towards information perceived as appearance-related in participants with higher levels of appearance concern. The study findings suggest that association between appearance-orientated information processing biases and level of appearance concern; this association may lead to mutually reinforcing bias and concern.
Rosser, B. A., Moss, T., & Rumsey, N. (2010). Attentional and interpretative biases in appearance concern: An investigation of biases in appearance-related information processing. Body Image, 7(3), 251-254. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2010.02.007