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Feeling Good and Eating Healthily? Effect of Positive Emotions on Broadened Mindset, Eating Preferences and Eating Behaviour

By L. Koopmans


Existing theories about the role of positive emotions in self-regulation predict that positive emotions either promote healthy eating (Broaden-and-Build Theory) or compromise healthy eating (Mood as Information Theory). In the present research, it is hypothesized that positive emotions compromise self-regulation of eating behaviour by increasing preference for and consumption of unhealthy foods. Breadth of mindset is hypothesized to mediate this relationship. In addition, the present study highlights eating preferences by employing a new and superior measure of eating preferences, the Eating Preferences Task (EPT). A Pilot Study showed that EPT effectively distinguished between unhealthy and healthy food preferences. Study 1 showed no differences in snack choice between a positive and control condition. However, regression analysis indicated that positive emotions lead people towards unhealthy snack choices. Study 2 showed that while positive emotions elicited a broadened mindset, a broadened mindset did not influence eating preferences or eating behaviour. Results of the present research suggest that positive emotions do not influence self-regulation of eating behaviour

Topics: Sociale Wetenschappen, Positive Emotions, Self-regulation, Broaden-and-Build Theory, Mood as Information Theory, Eating Preferences, Eating Behaviour
Year: 2009
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