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  Cross-cultural investigations of body image

   School of Psychology and Sport Science

   Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Research Group

Centre for Societies and Groups

Proposed supervisory team

Prof Viren Swami


Body image, Cross-cultural, Test adaptation, Psychometrics

Summary of the research project

Body image research has experienced rapid growth in the past several decades, but much of this research remains limited to a small handful of social identity groups. Our research group has identified a need for body image research that gives voice to historically marginalised or neglected linguistic, cultural, and national groups. In response to that need, we have begun sustainable programmes of research that focus on the body image experiences in diverse national groups, particularly in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. We have also led international crowdsourced projects focused on issues of body image, such as the Breast Size Satisfaction Survey and the Body Image in Nature Survey. However, there is scope to build on these achievements and broaden the scope of research activities to include other social identity and national groups.

We seek a PhD candidate with an interest in cross-cultural psychology to develop new programmes of research on body image within and across national borders, particularly in nations that have not featured (or rarely feature) in the available body image literature. Such a research programme will examine the experience of body image in a localised setting, develop appropriate instruments to measure body image, and explore the extent to which existing models of body image are valid for diverse national, linguistic, and/or cultural groups. The successful candidate should be familiar with methods of test adaptation and should be proficient with methods of psychometric validation.

For more information, see Swami, V. & Barron, D., 2019. Translation and validation of body image instruments: Challenges, good practice guidelines, and reporting recommendations for test adaptation. Body Image, 31, pp.204-220.

To discuss the project informally prior to application, please contact .

Where you'll study



This project is self-funded.

Details of studentships for which funding is available are selected by a competitive process and are advertised on our jobs website as they become available.

Next steps

If you wish to be considered for this project, you will need to apply for our Psychology PhD. In the section of the application form entitled 'Outline research proposal', please quote the above title and include a research proposal.

Psychology (31)

Register your interest for this project