WT Assistant Professor of Psychology Receives Best Paper Award


March 14, 2019

CONTACT: Dr. Danney Rasco, 806-651-2684, drasco@wtamu.edu

COPY BY: Brittany Castillo, 806-651-2682, bcastillo@wtamu.edu

WT Assistant Professor of Psychology Receives National Recognition

CANYON, Texas—Assistant professor of psychology at West Texas A&M University, Dr. Mun Yee Kwan, received the 2018 Best Paper by an Early Career Scholar award from the International Journal of Eating Disorders for her article “Warning Labels on Fashion Images: Short- and Longer-Term Effects on Body Dissatisfaction, Eating Disorder Symptoms, and Eating Behavior.”

This article examined if fashion warning labels about digitally altered images impact body dissatisfaction and disordered eating. The findings revealed warning labels were not effective in preventing this concerning behavior and may exacerbate some issues. Individuals who viewed images with warning labels, compared to images without labels, attended to and placed more importance on their appearances.

“I believe the research helps raise awareness about body image, disordered eating, and new recommendations (in this case, the ineffectiveness of a new recommendation/policy) on how to prevent eating disorders,” Kwan said. “I incorporate my research findings into my Abnormal Psychology class when I talk about eating disorders, so students are provided with up-to-date research findings in this area. I believe this award increase the visibility of faculty research.”

These findings are potentially important as some countries have adopted policies requiring these labels and the American Medical Association (AMA) has issued a policy statement discouraging the use of altered photographs. This research supports policies similar to those recommended by the AMA and discourages the use of warning labels.

To learn more about Kwan’s research, please reach out to the department of psychology, sociology and social work at 806-651-2590.