- Be kind to your eating disorder patients: the impact of positive and negative feedback on the explicit and implicit self-esteem of female patients with eating disorders
- Eating and Weight Disorders
- Volume | Issue number
- 14 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
OBJECTIVE: Lack of self-esteem may play an important role in the development of eating disorders (ED). This study investigated the differential impact of positive and negative feedback on implicit and explicit self-esteem in women with an ED (N=25) as compared to women without an ED (N=29). METHOD: False feedback (positive or negative) was given on participant's performance on a specifically developed intellectual test. Before and after the performance, explicit and implicit self-esteem was measured. RESULTS: On the explicit measure ED patients reacted congruently with the nature of the feedback. On the implicit measure only ED patients responded to the positive feedback with an improvement of self-esteem, with no effect for negative feedback. The control group was unaffected by either feedback. Furthermore, no correlation was observed between the explicit and implicit measures, a finding suggesting that these measurements tap different constructs. CONCLUSION: Positive feedback affects implicit self-esteem of female patients with eating disorders. The results underline the importance of positively approaching women with ED.
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