Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Stephen Poteau, PhD

Second Advisor

Celine Thompson, PhD

Third Advisor

Kelly Kollias, PsyD


This study examines the relationship between an endorsement of either free will or determinism and judgment of others’ weight management behaviors in a general population. Participants completed the Free Will and Determinism – Plus (FAD-Plus) to assess their beliefs in free will or determinism. Two groups were compared for analysis: determinism, which includes both scientific and fatalistic variants, and free will, which includes randomness. After completing the FAD-Plus, participants answered questions regarding their judgment of weight management behaviors on one of two case vignettes designed by the investigator that depict different weight management behaviors and outcomes. Participants then answered questions involving the weight management behaviors depicted in the vignette. Participants also answered questions regarding their overall weight attitudes on the Anti-Fat Attitudes Scale. The hypotheses for this study follow: (a) Participants endorsing free will world views will more strongly judge, both positively and negatively, successful and unsuccessful weight management behaviors, respectively, compared to those endorsing a determinist worldview and (b) There will be a difference between dieters and nondieters on judgments of both successful and unsuccessful weight loss attempts on case vignettes. To assess the relationship between all variables, a multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) was completed.

Included in

Psychology Commons