The allure of forbidden food: on the role of attention in self-regulation

Papies, E. K. , Stroebe, W. and Aarts, H. (2008) The allure of forbidden food: on the role of attention in self-regulation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44(5), pp. 1283-1292. (doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2008.04.008)

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The aim of the present studies was to examine the impact of food cues on restrained eaters’ attention for food. Previous research has shown that restrained eaters spontaneously activate hedonic thoughts in response to palatable food cues, and that such food cues also lead them to inhibit their dieting goal. We argue that as a consequence, restrained eaters’ selective attention will automatically be drawn towards hedonically relevant food items. Consistent with our expectations, the results of two studies revealed that restrained eaters, but not unrestrained eaters, displayed an attentional bias for hedonically rated food items when they had been pre-exposed to food cues. However, this attentional bias did not occur when restrained eaters were primed with the concept of dieting, thereby rendering the regulation of eating behavior more successful. These findings are discussed in the context of implicit processes in self-regulation.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Papies, Dr Esther
Authors: Papies, E. K., Stroebe, W., and Aarts, H.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
ISSN (Online):1096-0465

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