The role of attention in explaining the no-go devaluation effect: Effects on appetitive food items
SourceJournal of Experimental Psychology B-Human Perception and Performance, 45, 8, (2019), pp. 1119-1133
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI SCP
Journal of Experimental Psychology B-Human Perception and Performance
SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being
Evaluations of stimuli can be changed by simple motor responses such that stimuli to which responses are consistently withheld tend to be evaluated less positively than other stimuli. The exact mechanism that underlies this no-go devaluation effect is still unknown. Here we examine whether attention to the stimuli during training contributes to the devaluation effect. Participants received a go/no-go training in which two go items or two no-go items were simultaneously presented, and attention to one of the items was cued before participants executed or withheld a simple motor response (press a key on a keyboard). Next, explicit evaluations of these stimuli and untrained stimuli were assessed. Across two experiments we observed a predicted no-go devaluation effect, i.e. a decrease in evaluations for items that have not been responded to. Furthermore, as predicted, selectively cueing attention toward stimuli during go/no-go training amplified differences in subsequent evaluations between go and no-go stimuli. Confirmatory analyses showed that the devaluation effect for cued no-go stimuli was not statistically significantly stronger than that for uncued no-go stimuli within each experiment. However, combining the data of both experiments showed moderate evidence (p = .023, BF+0 = 5.90) for stronger devaluation of cued no-go stimuli compared to uncued no-go stimuli. We conclude that attention to stimuli during go/no-go training contributes to revaluation processes of stimuli via motor actions, and that this knowledge is relevant for a better understanding of the underlying mechanism of the training and to optimize go/no-go training for practical use.
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