Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Catherine Forestell

Committee Members

Cheryl Dickter

Meghan Sinton

Monica Seger


Dietary restraint is defined as a tendency to consciously restrict or control food intake. When restrained eaters consume a “forbidden food,” or a preload, they experience a diet violation that often is followed by overeating. The goals of this study were to examine whether the perception of a diet violation influences restrained eaters’ implicit and explicit liking and wanting – and whether their liking and wanting of food stimuli is related to subsequent eating patterns. We recruited female participants (n = 135) who were asked to consume a high calorie milkshake (a preload). Half of the participants were told that the preload was a “high calorie milkshake,” whereas the remaining participants were told that the milkshake was a “low calorie smoothie.” Before and after consuming the milkshake, participants completed a series of tasks that measured their implicit liking (i.e., the Affective Simon Task) and wanting (a forced choice task) of a range of high and low calorie foods. They were also asked to explicitly rate how much they liked and wanted these foods. Finally, they were given a snack to consume to measure changes in consumption as a function of the information they were given about the milkshake. Results demonstrated that perceptions of caloric content of a preload do not affect implicit and explicit liking and wanting in restrained eaters, however it does affect explicit wanting in unrestrained eaters. Moreover, the degree to which unrestrained eaters, but not restrained eaters, consumed a subsequent snack was affected by explicit liking and wanting of high and low calorie food stimuli. These results suggest that restrained eaters’ liking and wanting of foods may be more sensitive to physiological cues than to external information, and the degree to which they like and want foods does not predict their subsequent consumption of a snack.

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