The Impact of Cognitive Load on Women's Decision Making For Food Choices




Johnson, Angela

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Objective: This study investigated the impact of cognitive load on the decision making process when selecting food, using a sample of female young adults in the Central Texas region. Methods:100womencompleted a three-part study.For the first portion, participants rated food preference while performing a digit span task. Following this task, participants completed a survey that included demographic questions, hunger ratings, a food susceptibility scale, and a scale for restrained, external, and emotional eating. Finally, participants completed an operation span task, which was included as a possible moderating factor. Results: Food preference for unhealthy food was higher overall but reported more often during the low load task than the high load task. Participantswho were sensitive to negative emotions and external food cues were more likely to select unhealthy food options, whileindividuals’who showed restrained eating were more likely to respond quickly to food stimuli during high load.Conclusion:These data extend previous work by showing that individual differences in eating behavior can impact individuals’ selection of foods at different levels of cognitive load.



Cognitive load, Food, Women


Johnson, A. (2018). <i>The impact of cognitive load on women's decision making for food choices</i> (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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