Date of Award
Master of Science
The present study sought to evaluate how self-esteem and contextual variables effect discounting of health behavior. Participants completed Rosenberg’s self-esteem scale along with two discounting surveys, each included food choice and weight gain. Each participant was instructed to fill out survey I at their current weight, and then fill out survey II at a hypothetical weight gain of 10 pounds and a major event in three months. Menu items were presented as examples for both low and high calorie categories. Participants were instructed to imagine their preferred food as it fit into each category. The survey asked individuals if they would rather eat food A or food B based on weight gain. A visual analysis of the results from the mean switch points showed participants were more impulsive when there were fewer days and less weight to gain. As the delay and the amount of weight increased individuals showed more self-control, which was demonstrated by a larger area under the curve (AUC).
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