Eating and Weight Disorders vol:14 pages:e237-e242
ABSTRACT. 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 per¬formance, 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 impor¬tance of positively approaching women with ED.