The 'not-so-strange' body in the mirror: : A principal components analysis of direct and mirror self-observation
Jenkinson, Paul M; Preston, Catherine
Citation: Jenkinson , P M & Preston , C 2017 , ' The 'not-so-strange' body in the mirror: : A principal components analysis of direct and mirror self-observation ' Consciousness and cognition , vol 48 , pp. 262-272 . DOI: 10.1016/j.concog.2016.12.007
In this study we adopted a psychometric approach to examine how the body is subjectively experienced in a mirror. One hundred and twenty-four healthy participants viewed their body for five minutes directly or via a mirror, and then completed a 20-item questionnaire designed to capture subjective experiences of the body. PCA revealed a two-component structure for both direct and mirror conditions, comprising body evaluations (and alienation) and unusual feelings and perceptions. The relationship between these components and pre-existing tendencies for appearance anxiety, body dysmorphic-type beliefs, dissociative symptomatology, self-objectification and delusion ideation further supported the similarity between direct and mirror conditions; however, the occurrence of strange experiences like those reported to occur during prolonged face viewing was not confirmed. These results suggest that, despite obvious differences in visual feedback, observing the body via a mirror (as an outside observer) is subjectively equivalent to observing the body directly (from our own viewpoint).
This article has been accepted by publication in Consciousness and Cognition following peer review. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ The version of record, Paul M. Jenkinson and Catherine Preston, ‘The “not-so-strange” body in the mirror: A principal components analysis of direct and mirror self-observation’, Consciousness and Cognition, Vol. 48, pp. 262-272, first published online 4 January 2017, is available online via doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2016.12.007 © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved
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