Comparing measures of cognitive bias relating to eating behaviour

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Pothos, E. M. ; Calitri, R. ; Tapper, K. ; Brunstrom, J. M. ; Rogers, P. J. (2009)

Consumption of and/or abstinence from substances with a high reward value (e.g., heroin, marijuana, alcohol, nicotine, certain foods) are associated with cognitive biases for information related to the substance. Such cognitive biases are important since they may contribute to difficulties in controlling intake of the substance. We examine cognitive biases for stimuli related to food. For the first time, we concurrently employ and compare five conceptually distinct measures of cognitive bias (dot probe, emotional Stroop, recognition, EAST, explicit attitudes). Contrary to expectations from current theory, the relation between the cognitive measures was weak and evident only in certain subsets of the population sample, as defined by gender and emotional-, restrained-, and external-eating characteristics of our participants. We discuss some methodological implications of our findings.
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