Date Thesis Awarded

5-2015

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Catherine Forestell

Committee Member

Meghan Sinton

Committee Member

Camilla Buchanan

Abstract

The goal of the current study was to determine the extent to which exercise or exposure to exercise through exercise-related reading material affect attentional bias to high- and low-calorie foods in restrained and emotional eaters. Ninety-three female undergraduates participated for 20 minutes in either an Exercise condition (n = 32), in which they exercised on a stationary bike; an Exercise magazine condition (n = 30), in which they read a magazine about exercise, or a Neutral magazine condition (n = 31), in which they read a magazine that was not about exercise. Attentional bias was assessed prior to and following the exercise manipulation through a dot probe paradigm that used picture pairs consisting of a high- or low-calorie food and a non-food object. Restrained eaters relative to unrestrained eaters exhibited an attentional bias away from images of high-calorie foods irrespective of time or condition. Non-emotional eaters, on the other hand, exhibited decreased attention bias towards both high- and low-calorie foods following exercise. They also exhibited decreased attentional bias to images of low-calorie foods after reading a neutral magazine. These results suggest responses to high- or low-calorie foods in females depend on levels of dietary restraint and that interventions, such as exercise, differentially affect attentional biases to foods depending on the eating habits of the individual.

Available for download on Monday, May 14, 2018

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