Appearance importance is a core transdiagnostic construct that has been identified in the maintenance of body-image pathology that has primarily been measured through self-report questionnaires.
The Appearance Preference Task (APT) is a 33-item computerized forced-choice task designed to measure appearance importance. In Study 1, the latent factor structure of the original 34 items was evaluated in a sample of undergraduate women (N = 300) through the use of principal axis factoring. In Study 2, this factor structure was replicated in another sample of women (N = 367) utilizing confirmatory factor analysis, and the validity of the APT was assessed by observing its relationship with measures of appearance importance and clinically relevant symptoms.
The 33-item APT was found to be an internally consistent three-dimensional measure. The APT demonstrated appropriate convergent and divergent validity and was also associated with symptoms of eating pathology, body dysmorphic disorder, and appearance anxiety.
The present investigation provides preliminary support for the APT’s potential utility as a novel assessment of appearance importance.