The pulling power of chocolate: Effects of approach-avoidance training on approach bias and consumption

Dickson, Hugh, Kavanagh, David J., & MacLeod, Colin (2016) The pulling power of chocolate: Effects of approach-avoidance training on approach bias and consumption. Appetite, 99(1), pp. 46-51.

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Previous research has shown that action tendencies to approach alcohol may be modified using computerized ApproacheAvoidance Task (AAT), and that this impacted on subsequent consumption. A recent paper in this journal (Becker, Jostman, Wiers, & Holland, 2015) failed to show significant training effects for food in three studies: Nor did it find effects on subsequent consumption. However, avoidance training to high calorie foods was tested against a control rather than Approach training. The present study used a more comparable paradigm to the alcohol studies. It randomly assigned 90 participants to ‘approach’ or ‘avoid’ chocolate images on the AAT, and then asked them to taste and rate chocolates. A significant interaction of condition and time showed that training to avoid chocolate resulted in faster avoidance responses to chocolate images, compared with training to approach it. Consistent with Becker et al.'s Study 3, no effect was found on amounts of chocolate consumed, although a newly published study in this journal (Schumacher, Kemps, & Tiggemann, 2016) did do so. The collective evidence does not as yet provide solid basis for the application of AAT training to reduction of problematic food consumption, although clinical trials have yet to be conducted.

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ID Code: 95084
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: approach avoidance, approach bias, response training, chocolate
DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2015.12.026
ISSN: 1095-8304
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Health Clinical and Counselling Psychology (170106)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Deposited On: 26 Apr 2016 02:59
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2016 01:18

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