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Title page for ETD etd-07152014-134942

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Lorence, Margarita E.
URN etd-07152014-134942
Title A Cookie for Your Thoughts: First Steps to Exploring Eating Attitudes
Degree PhD
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
David Schlundt, Ph.D. Committee Chair
Bruce Compas, Ph.D. Committee Member
David Cole, Ph.D. Committee Member
Hector Myers, Ph.D. Committee Member
  • eating cognitions
  • eating questionnaire
  • food intake regulation
  • health
  • obesity
  • eating attitdues
Date of Defense 2014-05-27
Availability unrestricted
Previous attempts to influence food intake have fallen short as rates of obesity continue to increase. Contributing to the increase are the myriad of factors that influence food intake including physiology, emotion, and environment. At the center of these factors are our cognitive processes or eating schemas, which serve as a starting point for our decision making process. The interaction of these factors ultimately determines which foods we do and do not consume. Here we discuss our exploratory approach to investigating cognitions through the development and validation of a questionnaire. We conducted focus groups in the community in order to develop an item pool of eating related thoughts and behaviors; focus group responses were qualitatively analyzed and used to derive questionnaire items. An initial small sample of respondents completed the preliminary questionnaire. Cluster analysis (Ward’s Method) was used to group items into salient categories. A larger sample completed the revised questionnaire and additional measures to examine reliability and validity. Cronbach’s alpha on the scales was adequate and correlations with additional measures established validity. In addition, our data provide support for the assertion that high restrained/ high disinhibited eaters represent unsuccessful dieters.
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