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The Eating Motivation Survey: results from the USA, India and Germany

  • Gudrun Sproesser (a1), Matthew B Ruby (a2), Naomi Arbit (a3), Paul Rozin (a2), Harald T Schupp (a4) and Britta Renner (a1)...

Research has shown that there is a large variety of different motives underlying why people eat what they eat, which can be assessed with The Eating Motivation Survey (TEMS). The present study investigates the consistency and measurement invariance of the fifteen basic motives included in TEMS in countries with greatly differing eating environments.


The fifteen-factor structure of TEMS (brief version: forty-six items) was tested in confirmatory factor analyses.


An online survey was conducted.


US-American, Indian and German adults (total N 749) took part.


Despite the complexity of the model, fit indices indicated a reasonable model fit (for the total sample: χ 2/df=4·03; standardized root-mean-squared residual (SRMR)=0·063; root-mean-square error of approximation (RMSEA)=0·064 (95 % CI 0·062, 0·066)). Only the comparative fit index (CFI) was below the recommended threshold (for the total sample: CFI=0·84). Altogether, 181 out of 184 item loadings were above the recommended threshold of 0·30. Furthermore, the factorial structure of TEMS was invariant across countries with respect to factor configuration and factor loadings (configural v. metric invariance model: ΔCFI=0·009; ΔRMSEA=0·001; ΔSRMR=0·001). Moreover, forty-three out of forty-six items showed invariant intercepts across countries.


The fifteen-factor structure of TEMS was, in general, confirmed across countries despite marked differences in eating environments. Moreover, latent means of fourteen out of fifteen motive factors can be compared across countries in future studies. This is a first step towards determining generalizability of the fifteen basic eating motives of TEMS across eating environments.

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Current affiliation: La Trobe University, Department of Psychology and Public Health, Wodonga, VIC, Australia.

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