The moderating role of state inhibitory control in the effect of evaluative conditioning on temptation and unhealthy snacking

Haynes, A, Kemps, E and Moffitt, R 2015, 'The moderating role of state inhibitory control in the effect of evaluative conditioning on temptation and unhealthy snacking', Physiology and Behavior, vol. 152, pp. 135-142.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title The moderating role of state inhibitory control in the effect of evaluative conditioning on temptation and unhealthy snacking
Author(s) Haynes, A
Kemps, E
Moffitt, R
Year 2015
Journal name Physiology and Behavior
Volume number 152
Start page 135
End page 142
Total pages 8
Publisher Elsevier Inc.
Abstract The current study sought to test the effect of a brief evaluative conditioning intervention on experienced temptation to indulge, and consumption of, unhealthy snack foods. We expected that a training task associating unhealthy food with negative affect would result in lower experienced temptation across the sample, but would lead to lower snack consumption only among individuals with low state inhibitory control. Undergraduate women (N=. 134) aged 17-25. years were randomised to complete an evaluative conditioning procedure pairing unhealthy food with either positive or negative affect. Snack consumption was subsequently assessed using a taste-test procedure which offered four snack foods for ad libitum consumption. Participants also reported the strength of their experienced temptation to indulge in the foods presented. Additionally, they completed a Stop Signal Task as a measure of state inhibitory control. As predicted, participants in the food negative condition ate less than those in the food positive condition, but this effect was only observed among individuals with low inhibitory control. The same moderation pattern was observed for the effect of evaluative conditioning on temptation: only participants with low inhibitory control reported feeling less tempted by the snack foods in the food negative condition compared to the food positive condition. In addition, temptation mediated the effect of evaluative conditioning on intake for individuals with low inhibitory control. Findings suggest that evaluative conditioning of unhealthy food stimuli could be especially useful for reducing temptation and consumption of unhealthy snacks in situations where individuals experience low inhibitory control capacity.
Subject Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Educational Psychology
Sport and Exercise Psychology
Keyword(s) Evaluative conditioning
Food intake
Inhibitory control
Temptation
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.09.020
Copyright notice © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
ISSN 0031-9384
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