The Influence of Fasting, Affect, and Body Dissatisfaction on Set Shifting Ability Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Harney, Megan Beth
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Set shifting, or the ability to shift back and forth between multiple tasks, operations, or mental sets (Miyake et al., 2000), is a neurocognitive construct characterized by a rigid thinking style. It has been shown to be impaired in individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN) (Roberts et al., 2007) and may impede treatment progress (Vitousek and Manke, 1994). Given the lack of effective treatments for AN (Steinhausen, 2002), examining how set shifting may be exacerbated or ameliorated is worthy of investigation. In Study 1, the effects of acute fasting and emotional experiences, independently and in combination, on set shifting abilities were experimentally explored in undergraduate females. There was no significant interactive effect of fasting and affect on set shifting ability although a trend emerged suggesting those who are fasting and experiencing negative affect may make more perseverative errors on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task (WCST) relative to other groups. No significant main effects were found. In Study 2, undergraduate females selected for being high or low on body shame were exposed to a body dissatisfaction induction paradigm in order to examine its effects on one's ability to mentally task switch. A significant interaction was found and analyses suggest that those who feel ashamed of their bodies may indeed perform more cognitive errors on the WCST when feeling acutely body dissatisfied compared to those high in body shame in a neutral condition and those low in body shame in the body dissatisfaction condition.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Bardone-Cone, Anna
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2013

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