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Restrained and nonrestrained eaters' orienting responses to food and nonfood odors
Physiology & Behavior (1993)
  • Anne Schell, Occidental College
  • Angela Piacentini
  • Dennis A. Vanderweele
Dietary restraint was assessed by Stunkard and Messick's (1985) three-factor eating questionnaire, using the restraint subfactor score only in normal-weight college students (n = 41). The subjects were then assessed for skin conductance orienting responses (ORs) to food and nonfood odors when hungry and sated (after a standard breakfast and after an overnight fast). Subjects also rated their hunger and each odorant for pleasantness on separate 7-point scales. Results indicated that restrained eaters oriented less to odors than did nonrestrained subjects. Food deprivation did not differentially affect the ORs in restrained and nonrestrained eaters. The ORs, however, tended to be decreased in all of subjects who had had breakfast. Finally, nonrestrained subjects rated food and nonfood odors approximately equal in pleasantness, while the restrained eaters rated food odors as more pleasant than the nonfood odors. These results suggest that restrained eaters must certainly process odor stimuli related to foods, but also suggests that orienting to these salient (informative) cues is restricted. Perhaps in defense of the diet, restrained eaters learn methods/responses (cognitive strategies, instructional sets) to block orienting to food related cues such as odors.
Publication Date
January, 1993
Citation Information
Anne Schell, Angela Piacentini and Dennis A. Vanderweele. "Restrained and nonrestrained eaters' orienting responses to food and nonfood odors" Physiology & Behavior Vol. 53 Iss. 1 (1993)
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