Master's Theses

Date of Award

Spring 1970

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Melvin Snyder


S. Schachter and his associates have proposed that obese and normal individuals may be controlled largely by different sets of stimuli (obese persons being more responsive to external stimuli and normals more responsive to internal stimuli). This differential control concept has been supported in the case of eating behavior. The present study was designed to test the usefulness of the concept in other areas (namely thirst, fatigue, and yawning behavior). By use of manipulated clocks, subjects timing themselves on a pursuit rotor task were led to believe that they had worked either twice as long, or half as long, as they actually had. It was predicted that the obese persons’ tiredness, thirst, and yawning would be more controlled by clock stated time (external stimulus) than would normals’. Changes in reaction time, quantity of water consumption, self-rated tiredness, and number of yawns were recorded. No evidence was found to support the concept of obese/normal differentiation based on internal/external control in the areas tested. But, a main effect (with reaction times) for the manipulated time factor was found -- regardless of weight classification, subjects who believed they had worked for a long time had slower reaction times than those who believed they had worked for a short time (both groups, of course, had actually worked the same length of time).


Copyright 1970 Jeffrey Raymon Bull


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