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This study examined college students' perceptions of women struggling with various eating-and exercise-related disorders. The 220 participants read a vignette describing either an anorexic female, a bulimic female, a female who engages in excessive exercise, or a control female target. The targets were rated on a list of personality and physical dimensions. The participants' demographic information, perceived similarity to the target, and experience with someone similar to the target were also examined. Results demonstrated that the targets with anorexia and bulimia were viewed significantly more negatively than were excessive exercising and control targets. Perceived personal similarity to the target also significantly increased positive ratings of the targets, which suggests that those who have had an eating disorder may empathize with those who are currently struggling.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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