Salad = Success and Fries = Failure? Conceptualizing and Assessing Self-Control Outcome Measures in Food Decision Making Research
47 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2015
Date Written: August 2015
Researchers studying decisions about food utilize a wide variety of measures to assess self-control outcomes in experimental studies. However, it is often unclear whether or not the chosen dependent variables truly implicate self-regulatory mechanisms in decision making. In the present research, we provide a conceptual framework for evaluating self-control outcome measures, concentrating specifically on the domain of food and eating self-control decisions. We propose and empirically examine the essential characteristics [i.e., 1) recognized as self-control relevant by study population, 2) related to individual differences in self-control, and 3) recognized as self-control relevant by individual] of good self-control outcome measures and provide specific methodological recommendations (including the “rank-then-choose” method) for capturing exhibited self-control in the domain of food decision making. Our conceptual developments and recommendations seek to enhance the consistency, efficiency, and effectiveness of food-related decision research.
Keywords: Self-control, food decision making, food choice, measurement, research procedures
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