Major segments of the literature of body image phenomena published since 1969 have been reviewed. Although analyses of the material presented have been provided within each chapter, it would be well at this point to look back and consider larger trends. One cannot help but exclaim again about the luxuriant growth of inquiry into body image matters. Body image concepts have established outposts in all the behavioral science territories. Social psychologists particularly have shown a surge of interest in the role of the body in social interactions. Few aspects of persons' adaptations are not at least indirectly influenced by how the body domain is experienced. As already described, body image measures have been linked with an impressive list of variables and there has been much innovative fashioning of sophisticated techniques for measuring body attitudes. Recent years have seen the development of new indices diversely based on responses to lens distortions, mirror exposure, selective memory tasks, tachistoscopic input, feedback of body events, manipulation of body attention patterns, and so forth. Paul Schilder ( 1950) would be pleasantly surprised if he could witness the escalation of creative activity energized by his speculations about the "image and appearance" of the body.
The diversity of the phenomena associated with body perception is wondrous to behold. It is sensible to look for some broader integrative notions in this diversity. What kinds of generalized functions, defenses, and adaptations can one discern? Obviously, there is a basic class of body perception phenomena that pertain to monitoring such body sensations as temperature, position in space, pain, discomfort, thirst, hunger, sphincter tension, and so forth.1 Many of these sensory categories have been intensively studied, but only a few (e.g., position in space, hunger) have been seriously examined within the context of body image concepts. Much of the body image literature has focused on body experiences that lie more within a realm that is delimited by terms like identity, personality, ego defenses, and psychodynamic functions. It is true, though, that important data relevant to such terms have been obtained from the study of such dimensions as perceived body size and position in space, which, at first sight, would appear not to be promising in this respect. What major categories pertaining to body image functions and dynamics can one discern?
1. A number of studies have shown that people ascribe to their body properties that parallel the psychological impact of events they are currently