Restrained eating and memory specificity

Christopher Ball, Shereen Singer, Eva Kemps, Marika Tiggemann

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Autobiographical memories are personal experiences that we store across our life-span. A reduced ability to retrieve specific autobiographical experiences has been reported for a number of clinical populations. Previous research has found that the size of the memory specificity effect can predict disorder occurrence, severity, and treatment success. The current research examined whether a similar relationship could be found between memory specificity and restrained eating in a female college student population. Participants retrieved autobiographical memories that related to cue-words associated with dieting and body image. Individual differences in restrained eating were measured with the Restraint Scale (RS). Participants who scored higher on the concern-with-dieting sub-scale of the RS retrieved fewer specific autobiographical memories regardless of their current dieting activity. The memory specificity effect has the potential to serve as a predictor of eating disorder occurrence and treatment success, and may also assist with the development of interventions targeting such disorders.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)359-362
    Number of pages4
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


    • Autobiographical memory
    • Dieting
    • Memory specificity
    • Over-general memory
    • Restrained eating


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