Background: Objectification theory assumes that individuals with low level of interoceptive accuracy may develop an external orientation for information concerning their body. Past research has found associations between interoceptive accuracy and body image concerns. We aimed to explore temporal relationships between the tendency to monitor one's body from a third-party perspective, body image dissatisfaction, and interoceptive accuracy.
Method: In a short longitudinal research, 38 Hungarian and 59 Norwegian university students completed the Schandry heartbeat tracking task and filled out baseline and follow-up questionnaires assessing private body consciousness, body surveillance, and body image dissatisfaction 8 weeks apart.
Results: Interoceptive accuracy and indicators of external body orientation did not predict body image dissatisfaction after controlling for gender, nationality, and body image dissatisfaction at baseline. Similarly, body surveillance was not predicted by baseline levels of interoceptive accuracy and body image dissatisfaction.
Conclusion: Contrary to the tenets of objectification theory, body image dissatisfaction and body surveillance are not predicted by interoceptive accuracy over a short period of time among young individuals.