"I can tell you if i'll really lose all that weight": Dispositional and situated optimism as predictors of weight loss following a group intervention

Yael Benyamini*, Olga Raz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Weight loss is difficult to achieve and predict. We used Carver & Scheier's (1998) self-regulation theory to investigate the role of dispositional and situated optimism in weight loss following a group intervention. The theory proposes that dispositional optimism is related to persistence in goal pursuit as a result of greater confidence in goal attainment. Findings showed that situated optimism (higher goals, greater confidence in their attainment) predicted greater weight loss; whereas dispositional optimism, perceptions of controllability, timeline, and consequences of the weight problem were unrelated to weight loss. Changes in situated optimism following the intervention were related to weight-loss success/failure. The findings suggest that people possess quite accurate knowledge of their chances of success, which could be used to tailor interventions to participants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)844-861
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume37
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2007

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