The effect of norm violation on the attribution of eating behavior.
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In this study, we examined whether people attribute their overeating behavior to emotions. Hypothesized was that participants will misattribute their norm violating behavior by overestimating experienced emotions at the time of norm violation. 41 university college women were randomly allocated to two groups (control and norm violating group). Norm violation was manipulated by providing subjects with bogus feedback that they ate too much in a food assessment task, after which emotions and retrospective emotions were measured. The norm violation group (N= 22) retrospectively indicated that they felt more negative at the time of norm violation than the control group (N = 19), p =< .05. This effect was mediated by negative affect by the norm violation. This research shows that people misattribute their overeating behavior to emotions, by overestimating their negative emotions.