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Why dieters fail: testing the goal conflict model of eating


Stroebe, Wolfgang; Mensink, Wendy; Aarts, Henk; Schut, Henk; Kruglanski, Arie W.


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Abstract A new theory of eating regulation is presented to account for the over-responsiveness of restrained eaters to external food-relevant cues. According to this theory, the food intake of restrained eaters is characterized by a conflict between two chronically accessible incentives or goals: eating enjoyment and weight control. Their difficulty in weight control is due to their behavioral sensitivity to eating enjoyment and its incompatibility with the eating control goal. Accordingly, exposure to food-relevant stimuli primes the goal of eating enjoyment in restrained (but not unrestrained) eaters, resulting in an inhibition of weight control thoughts. Three studies are reported that support these assumptions. Study 1 demonstrates a substantial relation between Eating Restraint and measures of ambivalence towards eating. Studies 2 and 3 show that priming eating enjoyment decreases the accessibility of eating control concepts. The results are discussed in the context of current research on the psychology of obesity and restrained eating.
Klassifikation Sozialpsychologie
Freie Schlagwörter Restrained eating; Dieting; Obesity; Priming; Goal conflict
Sprache Dokument Englisch
Publikationsjahr 2007
Seitenangabe S. 26-36
Zeitschriftentitel Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44 (2007) 1
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2007.01.005
Status Postprint; begutachtet (peer reviewed)
Lizenz PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)