Essay on Eating Disorders

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The social comparison theory proposed by Festinger (1954 in Roberts & Good, 2010) asserts that individuals have a natural tendency to compare themselves to one another whether they score high in neuroticism or low in neuroticism (in Roberts & Good, 2010). An upward comparison is thought to occur when one compares themselves to one that beholds extreme beauty may it be real or imagined (in Roberts & Good, 2010). In contrast, a downside comparison occurs when one compares themselves to someone that is lower or worse off than them (in Roberts & Good, 2010). Myers & Crowther (2009, in Roberts & Good, 2010) came to demonstrate that these social comparisons produced adverse effects on both men and women’s body esteem (in Roberts & Good, 2010). As expected, highly neurotic individuals engage mostly in upward comparisons when confronted with idealised images creating high levels of body dissatisfaction thus leading to the occurrence of eating disorders (in Roberts & Good, 2010). Conversely, low neurotic individuals experience downside comparisons (Martin & Kennedy, 1993; Van der Zee et al., 2003; in Roberts & Good, 2010). The phenomenon of an upward comparison has also been illustrated in individuals bearing eating disorder symptoms whilst also displaying characteristics of a neurotic (Cassin & Ranson, 2005; in Roberts & Good, 2010).

Moreover, self-report measures assessed neurotic individual’s level of self-esteem and revealed that their
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