- The instability of health cognitions: Visceral states influences self-efficacy and related health beliefs
- Health Psychology
- Volume | Issue number
- 27 | 6
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Objective: To determine how visceral impulses, such as hunger and drug craving, influence health beliefs.
Design: The authors assessed smokers' self-efficacy and intentions to quit while in a randomly assigned state of cigarette craving or noncraving (Study 1), and assessed dieters weight-loss beliefs while hungry or satiated (Study 2).
Main outcome measures: Self-efficacy, smoking cessation, weight-loss goals.
Results: The authors found, in both the context of smoking and weight-loss, that participants in a cold (e.g., satiated) state had different health beliefs than participants in a hot state (e.g., hungry). Specifically, in Study 1, the authors found that smokers who experienced cigarette craving had lower self-efficacy than did satiated smokers. Consequently, smokers who craved a cigarette had less intention to quit smoking in the future compared with satiated smokers. In Study 2, the authors found that hungry dieters had less self-efficacy than did satiated dieters. This difference led hungry dieters to form less ambitious future weight-loss goals and view prior weight-loss attempts with more satisfaction.
Conclusion: These findings contribute to our understanding of the nature of health beliefs and reveal that health beliefs are more dynamic than previously assumed.
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