Behavioural Science Blog

The Science of Human Behaviour

Dissertation: The allures of forbidden food

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We know that dieting often does not work. There are many theories why that is the case, and some people say that it actually does work, but not for everyone. However I believe that we do not know much about dieting, because we have been looking for information in the wrong place. Let’s put up the Behavioural Science goggles and look again!

Putting op the Behavioural Science Goggles and looking at dieting is exactly what Esther Papies did. She looked at dieting from a social-cognitive perspective and found very interesting results that relates dieting to goal conflict / goal activation. In a series of excellent experiments she explores which goals are active in successful and unsuccessful dieters and how these cognitive states can be created, in order to help people lose weight successfully.

Click the link to read (or download) the full dissertation:

by Esther K. Papies

I mostly share my own thoughts and ideas with you. However sometimes I come across people that shine so bright, I just can’t refrain from telling you all about their work. Ester Papies is one of those people. I listened to her talk at the ASPO 2008, where she received the ASPO Dissertation Price, and I really was amazed by her straight line of thinking. My congratulations again and I hope you enjoy her research.

Written by Martin Metzmacher

March 3, 2009 at 11:24 am

One Response

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  1. Thanks for an interesting link. I also like the really simple but interesting book, The Nine Inch Plate by Alex Bogusky. He discusses food and eating behavior as well.


    March 3, 2009 at 2:50 pm

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