Upward and downward physical appearance comparisons: Development of scales and examination of predictive qualities
Despite good theoretical and empirical rationale for assessing tendencies to make upward and downward physical appearance comparisons no measure for these specific constructs exists. The present work developed and tested the psychometric properties of upward and downward physical appearance comparison scales. The scales were administered to participants (N = 224) along with measures of general appearance comparison tendencies, body image, disordered eating, Antifat and Antigay attitudes. The scales displayed good psychometric properties. Importantly, the upward but not downward physical appearance comparison scale predicted lower Appearance Evaluation and higher EAT-26 scores. Conversely, the downward but not upward physical appearance comparison scale predicted higher Appearance Evaluation and greater Antifat Attitudes (Dislike). The scales were unrelated to a nonappearance related construct. These new measures fill a gap in the literature and may be of benefit to researchers interested in body image, appearance concerns, eating disorders, social comparison, and obesity prejudice.