Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Frederick Grieve (Director), Dr. Andrew Mienaltowski, Dr. Amy Brausch

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Previous research done in the area of eating disorders suggests many different variables, such as cognitive, biological, and social, that are thought to influence eating disorder development and maintenance. The present study attempts to combine cognitive and sociocultural research findings, memory recall and critical body comments, in an effort to see how, if at all, these two variables affect eating disorder symptomology. Participants for this study were 120 female students that were recruited via Study Board. Participants completed the demographics form, the Eating Disorder Inventory-3 RF, and the Social Hassles Questionnaire. The participants then watched an E-prime presentation of different positive, negative, and neutral appearance and non-appearance related words. After this presentation, participants completed a word recall task in which they wrote down as many of the words from the presentation as they could remember. Results were consistent with previous research that has found a relationship between remembering a critical comment and subsequent negative emotions/ experiences and also research that has found a negative relationship between high body dissatisfaction and number of positive words recalled. Results also showed that eating disorder symptomology predicts less recall of positive words. Results from the present study shed light on the need for better treatment for those suffering from eating disorders or any amount of eating pathology, especially treatments aimed at increasing positive ways of thinking.


Cognitive Psychology | Health Psychology