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Axsom & Cooper, 1985: Performing effortful tasks claimed to help losing weight increased weight loss among overweight undergraduates over one year

Reference:

Axsom, D., & Cooper, J. (1985). Cognitive dissonance and psychotherapy: The role of effort justification in inducing weight loss. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 21(2), 149-160.
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Summary:

Overweight undergraduates were told that various perceptual and cognitive tasks they would complete over four experimental sessions would enhance “neuro-physiological arousal” and help them lose weight. Those for whom the tasks required high effort (distinguishing similar lines, reciting text as their voice echoes back) lost an average of 6 pounds a year later. By contrast, students for whom the tasks were easy, short, and included breaks and those in a control condition lost no weight.

Psychological Process:

What Desired Meaning is At Stake?

What is the Person Trying to Understand?

To See the Self as Adequate

How?

Psychological Question Addressed

Did I work hard at this?Did I work hard at this?

Psychological Question Addressed

Did I work hard at this?

Psychological Process 2:

Need

What is the Person Trying to Understand?

What Desired Meaning is At Stake?

What Desired Meaning is At Stake?

What About it?

Approach to Desired Meaning

Approach to Desired Meaning

How?

Psychological Question Addressed

Psychological Question Addressed

Psychological Question Addressed

Psychological Process 3:

Need

What Desired Meaning is At Stake?

Approach to Desired Meaning

How?

Psychological Question Addressed

Psychological Question Addressed

Did I work hard at this?

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Intervention Technique:

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Posted By:

Walton & Wilson, 2018