Dietary restraint : the role of causal attributions
Flood, Darlene Sandra
Master of Arts
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Previous studies have indicated that restrained and unrestrained eaters exhibit dififerent eating patterns in response to preloading or no preloading. After a preload, restrained eaters tend to exhibit counterregulatory behaviour, where they consume more and unrestrained eaters tend to exhibit normal regulatory behaviour, where they consume less. The present study was designed to examine vsdiether these patterns are due to different attributional styles exhibited by restrained and unrestrained eaters. In Phase 1, undergraduates enrolled in Introductory Psychology were administered the Restraint Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory, and the Eating Attributional Style Questionnaire. It was hypothesized that restrained eaters would attribute Mure to maintain dietary restraint in hypothetical situations to internal, stable, and global causes which are associated with the abstinence violation effect (AVE). Contrary to expectations. Mure to maintain restraint was attributed to external and global causes. For Phase 2, 100 female subjects were selected fi*om the above pool of subjects based on their scores on the questionnaires. Using a matching procedure, subjects were randomly assigned to one oftwo conditions: preload or no preload. In both conditions, subjects' cookie consunq)tion was measured in a taste test. The results, using a median split analysis, indicated that an external orientation to food consunq)tion was a better predictor ofthe preloading effect than the dimension of restraint.