The effects of self-attention and public attention on eating in restrained and unrestrained subjects.
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Two experiments were conducted to assess the effects of self-attention and public attention to food intake on eating by dieters and nondieters. Female dieters ate the greatest number of candies ad lib after consuming a forced two-milk shake preload; the addition of either self-attention or implied public attention, through the manipulated availability of a waste basket for the disposing of candy wrappers, inhibited eating substantially. For nondieters, the preload itself inhibited candy consumption, which declined further only under conditions of public attention to candy intake. In a second experiment, self- and public attention again inhibited the cookie consumption of preloaded dieters, but preloaded nondieters were not influenced by the attention manipulations, eating minimally in all conditions. Nondieters who were not preloaded, however, did reduce their intake in the two attention conditions. Implications for regulatory self-control were discussed.
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