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January 1966

Psychophysical Studies of Body-Image: II. Normative Data on the Adjustable Body-Distorting Mirror *

Author Affiliations

From the Psychophysiology Laboratories, Institute for Psychosomatic and Psychiatric Research and Training, Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1966;14(1):41-47. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1966.01730070043005

IT IS NOW generally accepted that disturbances of body-image (estrangement, depersonalization, distortion of body-parts) are frequently associated with severe personality disorganization. However, there is an almost complete lack of data on the incidence of body-image disturbances in patient populations as well as in the population at large. As far as the world of external objects is concerned, psychophysical studies of perception and judgment are abundant. Except for scttered attempts to evaluate disturbances of body-image in pathological material, however, the internalized picture that the person has of the physical appearance of his body has never been datermined experimentally. In this paper, we extend a method described earlier to evaluate what each person believes the external surface and contours of his body look like. Before turning to patient samples, it was necessary to standardize a method and procedure on normal subjects and those initial studies are described below.

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