An analogue investigation of cognitive-behavioural models of body dysmorphic disorder

Investigators: Prof. Michael Kyrios and Mr. Serafino Mancuso

What is body dysmorphic disorder?
Concern about oneís appearance is a normal part of human experience. Some individuals, however, dislike some aspect some aspect of their appearance to the extent that it causes them distress. Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) occurs when an individual maintains a preoccupation with an imagined or very slight flaw in physical appearance. They typically engage in behaviours designed to examine or improve their appearance, including mirror checking, reassurance seeking, and hiding the disliked aspect of oneís appearance with cosmetics or clothing. Most people with BDD place great emphasis on the importance of physical appearance such that they define themselves largely in terms of it.

Our Study
We are interested in examining how appearance preoccupations are maintained through factors such as (a) the importance one places on appearance, (b) satisfaction with specific aspects of appearance, (c) how one deals with their appearance concerns, (d) situations that trigger appearance concerns, and (e) mood.

Given that concern about physical appearance is part of normal human experience, we are interested in examining the above factors in all individuals. This means that you can participate in our study even if you experience only momentary appearance concerns or none at all.

Study Procedure
If you are over 18 and would like to participate in this study, we will ask you to answer a series of questions designed to measure (a) the importance one places on appearance, (b) satisfaction with specific aspects of appearance, (c) how one deals with their appearance concerns, (d) situations that trigger appearance concerns, and (e) mood.

The questionnaire should take about 45 to 60 minutes to complete. Almost all questions simply ask that you indicate the most appropriate response. Please respond honestly to each question after thinking about it, but you donít need to spend a lot of time on any one question. Your initial response is probably the most accurate.

Please note that this is an Australian research study being conducted online. Before proceeding, international participants should be aware of any government or local restrictions concerning participation in overseas research projects. If you are unsure of whether these restrictions apply, then do not complete this online research.

Anonymity and Confidentiality
Your responses will be completely anonymous and confidential. Results of this study may be published in a scientific journal. In which case, only group data will be reported and no individual will be identifiable.

Withdrawal from Study
Please note that your participation in this study is voluntary. Your initial agreement to participate does not stop you from discontinuing participation and you are free to withdraw at any time. The submission of the questionnaire will be taken as consent for your data to be used in the study. All responses will be stored in a secured location at Swinburne University of Technology for no less than 7 years post publication of results.

Procedure for Complaints and Help
If in participating in this project or the questionnaire raises any concerns for you, you may wish to talk to a counsellor. You can contact Swinburne Student Counselling (freely available to Swinburne students) on 9214 8025 (Hawthorn) or 9215 7101 (Lilydale), or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

International participants can contact the Lifeline International 24 hour telephone counselling service, details regarding this service in your home country can be found by accessing their website: LifeLine International - Looking for Help.

If you have any questions about this study, please contact: Michael Kyrios on 9214 4886 or +61 3 9214 4886 or

If you have any concerns or complaints about the conduct of this research project, please contact:

Research Ethics Officer
Office of Research and Graduate Studies
Swinburne University of Technology
PO Box 218, Hawthorn, Victoria, 3122
Tel: (03) 9214 5218 or +61 3 9214 5218 or

Please retain this information for your records. Your participation is very important to this study and is greatly appreciated. Thank your for your time and assistance.

The study can be completed at: BDD Research Study