Expectation, fantasy, and weight loss: Is the impact of positive thinking always positive?
- 772 Downloads
We investigated the impact of expectation and fantasy on the weight losses of 25 obese women participating in a behavioral weight reduction program. Both expectations of reaching one's goal weight and spontaneous weight-related fantasies were measured at pretreatment before subjects began 1 year of weekly group-treatment. Consistent with our hypothesis that expectation and fantasy are different in quality, these variables predicted weight change in opposite directions. Optimistic expectations but negative fantasies favored weight loss. Subjects who displayed pessimistic expectations combined with positive fantasies had the poorest treatment outcome. Finally, expectation but not fantasy predicted program attendance. The effects of fantasy are discussed with regard to their potential impact on weight reduction therapy and the need for further studies of dieters' spontaneous thoughts and images.
Key wordsfantasy expectation obesity weight reduction
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Bandura, A. (1986).Social foundation of thought and action. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
- Bernier, M., & Avard, J. (1986). Self-efficacy, outcome, and attrition in a weight-reduction program.Cognitive Therapy and Research, 10 319–338.Google Scholar
- Brown, J. D. (1986). Evaluations of self and others: Self-enhancement biases in social judgments.Social Cognition, 4 353–376.Google Scholar
- Brownell, K. D. (1989).The LEARN program for weight control. Dallas, TX: Brownell and Hager.Google Scholar
- Cohen, J., & Cohen, P. (1983).Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Collins, R. L., Rothblum, E. D., & Wilson, G. T. (1986). The comparative efficacy of cognitive and behavioral approaches to the treatment of obesity.Cognitive Therapy and Research, 10 299–317.Google Scholar
- Glynn, S. M., & Ruderman, A. J. (1986). The development and validation of the eating self-efficacy scale.Cognitive Therapy and Research, 10 403–420.Google Scholar
- Langer, E. J. (1975). The illusion of control.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 32 311–328.Google Scholar
- Marlatt, G. A., & Gordon, J. R. (Eds.) (1985).Relapse prevention: Maintenance strategies in the treatment of addictive behaviors. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Perloff, L. S., & Fetzer, B. K. (1986). Self-other judgments and perceived vulnerability of victimization.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50 502–510.Google Scholar
- Wadden, T. A., Foster, G. D., & Letizia, (1990).Long-term treatment of obesity with and without very-low-calorie diet. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
- Wadden, T. A., & Flaxman, J. (1981). Hypnosis and weight loss: A preliminary study.International Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 29 162–173.Google Scholar