“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

Authors

  • Yael Benyamini,

    Corresponding author
    1. Bob Shapell School of Social Work
      Tel Aviv University
      Tel Aviv, Israel
      Yael Benyamini, Bob Shapell School of Social Work, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel. E-mail: benyael@post.tau.ac.il
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Olga Raz

    1. Department of Nutrition and Dietetics
      Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center
      Tel Aviv, Israel
    Search for more papers by this author

Yael Benyamini, Bob Shapell School of Social Work, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel. E-mail: benyael@post.tau.ac.il

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.

Ancillary