Psychological concerns are frequently indexed by psychometric questionnaires but the mental representations that they seek to quantify are difficult to visualise. We used a set of questionnaires designed to measure men’s concept of their bodies including: the Drive for Muscularity Scale (DMS; McCreary & Sasse, 2000), the Perceived Sociocultural Pressures Scale (PSPS; Stice, Nemeroff, & Shaw, 1996a), the Body Appreciation Scale (BAS-2; Tylka & Wood-Barcalow, 2015), and the Sociocultural Attitudes Towards Appearance Questionnaire-3 (SATAQ-3; Thompson, van den Berg, Roehrig, Guarda, & Heinberg, 2004). We combined their use with an interactive 3D modelling programme to allow men to create computer-generated representations of their ideal bodies. We used a principal component analysis to extract those shape components of our participants’ CGI ideal bodies that were predicted by the questionnaires and reconstructed the body shapes that these questionnaires were capturing. Moving from the lowest to the highest score on both the DMS and SATAQ corresponded with changes in muscularity, particularly muscle mass and definition. This approach allows us to demonstrate the actual body features that are being captured by a particular questionnaire.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Sophie Mohamed, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Department of Clinical Health

Robin Kramer, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Tracey Thornborrow, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Thomas V Pollet, Northumbria University, Department of Psychology

Martin J Tovee, Northumbria University, Department of Psychology

Piers L Cornelissen, Northumbria University, Department of Psychology