You know they're being honest that your bum's not too big in that outfit but you still don't believe them?
Chances are you're suffering from a distorted body image.
But where once we may have thought this problem was caused by outside influence, scientists have found that the problem may actually start inside the body chiefly in the brain.
Researchers have now discovered that the body image a person has in their brain can be completely distorted from its true size and shape. In some cases our brains can project a body size that can be up to two thirds wider that it really is and a third shorter in height.
In tests the researchers asked participants to place the palm of their left hand down under a board and then to judge the locations of 10 areas of their hands like their knuckles and fingertips.
These estimates were then used to create a map of what the brain thought the size of the hand was. When compared to the actual physical measurements they found that the brains measurements were completely off. "The distance between the index finger and the thumb was estimated to be on average 69 per cent larger than the actual size of the participants' hands. The length of the fingers was judged to be an average 27.9 per cent shorter than their actual length."
The researchers concluded that a distorted body image may come about due to the number of sensory signals being sent to the brain from different parts of the skin. If you take the findings from just one body part (hand measurements) its easy to see how the brain could than also make this with other body parts and give a false sense of being too large.
So the next time your partner/friend remarks that your bum doesn't look big in that outfit, they may just be telling the truth and its your brain that's causing the problems.
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