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01-10-2011 | Original Article | Uitgave 5/2011

Cognitive Therapy and Research 5/2011

Attentional and Memory Biases Among Weight Dissatisfied Young Women: Evidence from a Dichotic Listening Paradigm

Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 5/2011
Ou Li, Todd Jackson, Hong Chen


This study investigated attentional and memory biases within the auditory domain among emerging adult women with high levels of fatness and weight concern. A sample of 116 Chinese undergraduate women screened into groups high and low in self-reported weight dissatisfaction engaged in a dichotic listening task. Participants were instructed to shadow (repeat aloud) neutral passages in the attended ear and respond to visual probes, while ignoring distractors (fat, thin, or neutral words) in the unattended ear. Results indicated that weight dissatisfied women made more shadowing errors in the presence of both fat and thin distractor words compared to weight satisfied women, although groups did not differ in error rates for neutral words. Weight dissatisfied women were also more likely to falsely recognize newly introduced fat words as familiar in a subsequent word recognition task. These effects were maintained after controlling for group differences in body mass index. Findings suggest selective information processing biases related to weight concerns extend to the auditory realm.

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