Measuring interoceptive awareness in external eaters: a test of Schachter's ‘externality’ theory

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Abstract

Abstract

Individuals differ in the extent to which they are responsive to external food cues such as the sight and smell of food. According to Schachter's ‘externality theory’, increased responsiveness to these cues may be the consequence of some individuals having weak sensitivity to internally generated ‘interoceptive’ appetite signals. In three separate studies we used measures of interoceptive awareness to formally re-test this hypothesis. In study 1, 132 participants completed a cardiac tracking task using a blood oximeter placed on their finger and completed the externality questions from the Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (DEBQ-Ex) (Van Strein et al., 1986). This revealed a non-significant correlation between the two variables. In study 2, 109 participants completed a waterload task, in addition to the cardiac tracking task and the DEBQ-Ex (Van Strein et al., 1986). This revealed non-significant relationships between all three variables. In study 3, 42 participants completed the heartbeat tracking task via electrocardiograms, the Intuitive Eating Questionnaire and the DEBQ-Ex. This again revealed non-significant relationships between all three variables. These results suggest that responsiveness to external food cues and interoceptive awareness are independent of one another, rather than opposing and reciprocal constructs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages232-233
Number of pages2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016

Structured keywords

  • Brain and Behaviour
  • Nutrition and Behaviour

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