Testing Go/No-Go training effects on implicit evaluations of unhealthy and healthy snack foods

Sandra Wittleder, Tilman Reinelt, Luiça Milanowski, Clare Viglione, Melanie Jay, Gabriele Oettingen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Despite intending to eat healthy foods, people often yield to temptation. In environments rife with unhealthy food options, a positive implicit evaluation of unhealthy foods may inadvertently influence unhealthy choices. This study investigates if and under which conditions implicit evaluations of unhealthy and healthy foods can be influenced by a computer-based Go/No-Go (GNG) training. Design: Undergraduate student participants (N = 161 participants; 117 females, 44 males; M age = 19 years, SD = 2 years) completed a GNG training with two healthy (grape and nut) and two unhealthy (potato chip and cookie) stimuli. Participants were either instructed to inhibit their responses to the potato chip (No-Go Chips/Go Grape) or to a grape (No-Go Grape/Go Chips). Main Outcome Measure: Implicit evaluations of chips and grapes were assessed using the Extrinsic Affective Simon Task. Results: This GNG training impacted implicit evaluations of chips, but not grapes. GNG training effects were stronger for participants with lower sensitivity for behavioural inhibition measured with the Behavioural Inhibition System scale. Conclusion: GNG training might help people change implicit food evaluations. More research is needed to understand how individual and training characteristics affect outcomes with the goal of tailoring and optimising the GNG training to produce the strongest effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPsychology and Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Go/No-Go training
  • behavioural inhibition system (BIS)
  • extrinsic affective Simon task (EAST)
  • implicit evaluations
  • unhealthy food

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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