Objectified Body Consciousness Scale (OBC)

Objectified Body Consciousness Scale (OBC) is a 24-item measure of the degree to which females view their bodies as an object that can be changed after internalizing societal expectations. The scale contains three subscales: 1) surveillance (viewing the body as an outside observer), 2) body shame (feeling shame when the body does not conform) and 3) appearance control beliefs.


Geographies Tested: United States of America

Populations Included: Female

Age Range: Adolescents, Adults


Surveillance scale
1. I rarely think about how I look.*
2. I think it is more important that my clothes are comfortable than whether they look good on me.*
3. I think more about how my body feels than how my body looks.*
4. I rarely compare how I look with how other people look.*
5. During the day, I think about how I look many times.
6. I often worry about whether the clothes I am wearing make me look good.
7. I rarely worry about how I look to other people.*
8. I am more concerned with what my body can do than how it looks.*

Body shame scale
9. When I can't control my weight, I feel like something must be wrong with me.
10. I feel ashamed of myself when I haven't made the effort to look my best.
11. I feel like I must be a bad person when I don't look as good as I could.
12. I would be ashamed for people to know what I really weigh.
13. I never worry that something is wrong with me when I am not exercising as much as I should.*
14. When I'm not exercising enough, I question whether I am a good enough person.
15. Even when I can't control my weight, I think I'm an okay person.*
16. When I'm not the size I think I should be, I feel ashamed.

Control scale
17. I think a person is pretty much stuck with the looks they are born with.*
18. A large part of being in shape is having that kind of body in the first place.*
19. I think a person can look pretty much how they want to it they are willing to work at it.
20. I really don't think I have much control over how my body looks.*
21. I think a person's weight is mostly determined by the genes they are born with.*
22. It doesn't matter how hard I try to change my weight, it's probably always going to be about the same.*
23. I can weigh what I'm supposed to when I try hard enough.
24. The shape you are in depends mostly on your genes.*

*Items are reverse scored

Response Options:
7-point Likert scale
Strongly disagree - 1
Strongly disagree - 7

Scoring Procedures

The sum of each subscale is calculated as well as the total instrument score. Higher scores represent higher endorsement of each of the constructs.

Original Citation

McKinley, N. M., & Hyde, J. S. (1996). The Objectified Body Consciousness Scale: Development and validation. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 20, 181-215.

Psychometric Score

Ease of Use Score

Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



Ease of Use


Scoring Clarity


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