All in brain: 'Women see their reflection as shorter, wider'
Ladies, the next time you find yourself a bit fatter in front of a mirror, fret not, for a new study has claimed that a woman often sees her reflection as a shorter and wider version of reality.Updated: Jun 15, 2010 16:28 IST
Ladies, the next time you find yourself a bit fatter in front of a mirror, fret not, for a new study has claimed that a woman often sees her reflection as a shorter and wider version of reality.
This is because women's brains "massively distort" their own body image, creating a shorter figure which can be two-thirds wider than in real life, according to researchers at University College London, who made the "hall of mirrors" discovery while carrying out an experiment on people's hands.
In their study, the researchers asked volunteers to place their left hand under a board and guess the positions of the knuckles and fingertips, pointing them out with a baton. Participants estimated their hands to be two-thirds wider and a third shorter than actual measurements showed they were.
Lead researcher Dr Matthew Longo was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying, "The phrase 'I know the town like the back of my hand' suggests that we have near-perfect knowledge of the size and position of our own body parts but these results show that this is far from being the case."
"Our results show dramatic distortions of hand shape, which were highly consistent across participants. The hand appears to be represented as wider than it actually is and the fingers as shorter than they actually are -- a finding that might also apply to other parts of the body."