Master of Arts (MA)
Number of Pages
This study investigated the inner experience of five bulimic subjects, ages 18 to 56 years, using the descriptive experience sampling method (Hurlburt, 1990). Subjects were signaled at random intervals by a programmed beeping device, asked to "freeze" any inner events, such as thoughts, images, or feelings, at the moment of the beep, and to record this experience in a notebook. Subjects met with investigators within 24 hours to discuss each sampled moment in detail. Investigators then examined subjects' descriptions for emerging salient characteristics. All bulimic subjects reported multiple inner events ongoing simultaneously, a characteristic seldom found, using this method, among nonbulimic subjects. Some bulimics reported that they put thoughts "on hold" while they processed others--another unusual characteristic. Additionally, the bulimics exhibited confusion in differentiating thoughts from feelings, thus sometimes thinking their feelings and feeling their thoughts. Characteristics of the bulimic subjects' inner experience support past findings that bulimics are emotionally turbulent, depressed, and somatically preoccupied. Two nonbulimic individuals were also investigated using the same procedure.
Bulimia; Experience; Individuals; Inner; Sampling
Personality; Clinical psychology
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
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Doucette, Stephanie Anne, "Sampling the inner experience of bulimic and other individuals" (1992). UNLV Retrospective Theses & Dissertations. 231.