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Prof Martin Tovee


Department: Psychology

My research focuses on the problem of body image dysfunction in Eating Disordered patients. People with Eating Disorders usually exhibit strong concerns about their weight and tend to overestimate their body size. This body image dysfunction is a key diagnostic feature in both Anorexia and Bulimia, and plays an important role in the aetiology and maintenance of these conditions. By understanding both the perceptual and psychological factors in how people assess their bodies, we hope to develop new strategies to improve the treatment of these conditions.

My research also explores human mate selection and the perception of physical attractiveness in an evolutionary psychology context. One of the most fundamental problems for any organism is mate selection. In evolutionary terms it is important that we are sensitive to the physical cues that honestly signal that one individual is more desirable (i.e. fitter and with a better reproductive potential) than another, and use these cues to choose the partner who is most likely to enhance our chances of successful reproduction. My research has focussed on the visual cues on which these judgements are based, and how environment and context may alter these judgements.


Martin Tovee

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Beyond BMI for self-estimates of body size and shape, Maalin, N., Mohamed, S., Kramer, R., Cornelissen, P., Martin, D., Tovee, M. 13 Oct 2020, In: Behavior Research Methods
  • Muscles and the Media, Thornborrow, T., Onwuegbusi, T., Mohamed, S., Boothroyd, L., Tovée, M. 3 Apr 2020, In: Frontiers in Psychology
  • The acceptability and feasibility of using a 3D body size scale to initiate conversations about weight in toddlerhood, Tommerup, K., Smith, A., Evans, E., Croker, H., Steptoe, A., Tovee, M., Fildes, A., Llewellyn, C. 20 Aug 2020, In: Pediatric obesity
  • Using immersive virtual reality to modify body image, Irvine, K., Invine, A., Maalin, N., McCarty, K., Cornelissen, K., Tovee, M., Cornelissen, P. 1 Jun 2020, In: Body Image
  • Are attitudinal and perceptual body image the same or different?, Cornelissen, K., Widdrington, H., Mccarty, K., Pollet, T., Tovée, M., Cornelissen, P. 1 Dec 2019, In: Body Image
  • Distorted body image influences body schema in individuals with negative bodily attitudes, Irvine, K., McCarty, K., McKenzie, K., Pollet, T., Cornelissen, K., Tovée, M., Cornelissen, P. Jan 2019, In: Neuropsychologia
  • How does variation in the body composition of both stimuli and participant modulate self-estimates of men’s body size?, Groves, V., Cornelissen, P., McCarty, K., Mohamed, S., Maalin, N., Tovée, M., Cornelissen, K. 9 Oct 2019, In: Frontiers in Psychiatry
  • Perceptual not attitudinal factors predict the accuracy of estimating other women's bodies in both women with anorexia nervosa and controls, Gledhill, L., George, H., Tovée, M. 9 May 2019, In: Frontiers in Psychology
  • Television Consumption Drives Perceptions of Female Body Attractiveness in a Population Undergoing Technological Transition, Boothroyd, L., Jucker, J., Thornborrow, T., Barton, R., Burt, D., Evans, E., Jamieson, M., Tovée, M. 19 Dec 2019, In: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
  • The visual cues that drive the self-assessment of body size, Irvine, K., McCarty, K., Pollet, T., Cornelissen, K., Tovée, M., Cornelissen, P. 1 Jun 2019, In: Body Image

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