The Huron University College Journal of Learning and Motivation

Article Title

The Effect of Induced Anxiety on Eating Behavior


Past research on anxiety and eating behavior focused primarily on females, eating disorders, and obesity. This experiment concentrated on both sexes as well as participants with healthy eating habits and normal weights. Participants filled out a self-report anxiety questionnaire and were then randomly assigned to a high or low induced anxiety situation. The high-induced anxiety situation consisted of a short clip ffom a horror movie; the low anxiety induced situation was a clip from a comedy. Participants were given an individual bag of chips to eat while watching the movie clip. The purpose of the study was to see if subjects would eat more or less during a horror movie or a comedy. This study also compared participant's natural state anxiety level with their induced anxiety level. The hypothesis was that anxiety level would have an affect on eating behavior. The results did not support the hypothesis; eating behavior was not based on natural state anxiety or induced anxiety. There were no significant results, as participants did not eat differently depending on the movie they viewed. Future studies should include a larger sample size and could use other methods of anxiety induction.

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