Article

Comparing measures of approach-avoidance behaviour: The manikin task vs. two versions of the joystick task

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Abstract

The present research compared three measures of approach–avoidance behaviour with respect to their sensitivity and criterion-validity: moving a manikin on the screen towards and away from stimuli (manikin task), pulling and pushing a joystick (joystick task), and pulling and pushing a joystick causing the visual impression that the stimuli come closer or disappear (feedback-joystick task). When participants responded to stimulus valence, the manikin task was more sensitive to valence than the joystick task (Experiment 1). When participants responded to the grammatical category of valent words, the manikin and the feedback-joystick but not the joystick task were sensitive to valence (Experiment 2). Finally, the manikin task was more sensitive than the feedback-joystick task in assessing approach–avoidance reactions towards spiders, and it was more strongly related to self-reported fear of spiders (Experiment 3). The likelihood of recategorisation of approach–avoidance responses and the means of distance change are discussed as possible explanations for the differences.

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... Motivated behavior is severely altered in patients with MDD, as expressed in social withdrawal, diminished approach to rewarding goals and lack of volition to evade unpleasant conditions. In typical behavioral paradigms for experimental assessment of approach-avoidance (AA) tendencies, participants are either required to pull/push a lever or joystick to increase/decrease the size of affective stimuli on a computer screen, usually words or images of facial expression, or to move a manikin or avatar on the screen towards (approach) or away (avoidance) from those target stimuli [10,12]. Healthy participants exhibit characteristic behavior, i.e. faster responses and lower error rates when approaching positive and avoiding negative stimuli. ...
... We assessed AA tendencies using a task developed by Ref. [3] and later validated by Krieglmeyer et al.(2010). Image stimuli were obtained from the FACES database [5]. ...
... Also, some previous studies used a different task response layout, which requires the participant to pull or push a joystick lever to increase or decrease the size of the image. While the task that we employed is better suited to assess AA tendencies in a general population [10], this might not be the case for the clinical groups that we investigated. Further, other studies found effects of MDD when taking other factors such as rumination [6] into account, which suggests that these effects are restricted to specific subgroups. ...
Article
Adverse childhood experiences (ACE) are a major risk factor for major depressive disorder (MDD) in later life. Both conditions are characterized by dysregulations in the noradrenergic system related which again could represent a mediating mechanism for deficits in affective processing and behavioral functioning. In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study we tested the hypothesis that ACE and MDD are characterized by aberrant approach-avoidance (AA) tendencies and that these are mitigated after noradrenergic stimulation with yohimbine. In a mixed-measures, fully crossed design, participants (N = 131, 73 women) with/without MDD and with/without ACE received a single-dose of yohimbine or placebo on different days, followed by an AA task. We found modulation of AA tendencies by the emotional valence of target images, yet there were no effects of group or treatment. From these results, we conclude that AA tendencies are not critically affected by MDD or ACE and that the noradrenergic system is not substantially involved in this behavior.
... By increasing or decreasing the size of facial expressions, these paradigms aim to simulate visual changes associated with approaching or avoiding stimuli. In manikin paradigms, participants press buttons that increase or decrease the visual distance between an individual's virtual manikin avatar and a stimulus (e.g., Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010). In short, paradigms manipulate interpersonal distance from either a first-person perspective (joystick paradigms) or third-person perspective (manikin paradigms). ...
... As a result, joystick paradigms measure the combined initiation and execution of automatic action tendencies. In contrast, manikin paradigms primarily measure the RT required to initiate avatar movement, whereas the subsequent execution RTs required to complete the movement are not analyzed (Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010). When comparing these paradigms directly, affective stimuli more reliably modulate initiation RTs in the manikin paradigm compared to combined RTs in the joystick paradigm (Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010). ...
... In contrast, manikin paradigms primarily measure the RT required to initiate avatar movement, whereas the subsequent execution RTs required to complete the movement are not analyzed (Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010). When comparing these paradigms directly, affective stimuli more reliably modulate initiation RTs in the manikin paradigm compared to combined RTs in the joystick paradigm (Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010). Therefore, affective stimuli may modulate the initiation, but not subsequent execution, of automatic action tendencies. ...
Article
Affective facial expressions elicit automatic approach or avoidance action tendencies, which are dysregulated in Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). However, research has not dissociated the initiation and execution phases of automatic action tendencies, which may be distinctly modulated by affective faces and SAD. In Study 1, fifty adults completed a modified Approach-Avoidance Task (AAT) that characterized the time course of automatic approach or avoidance actions elicited by affective faces. In the initiation phase, happy faces elicited greater automatic approach tendencies compared to angry faces, an effect that linearly weakened across the execution phase. In Study 2, 44 adults with a principal diagnosis of SAD and 22 healthy comparison (HC) adults completed a similar AAT. Compared to the HC group, the SAD group exhibited an inconsistent time course of automatic action tendencies to neutral faces. Specifically, SAD was characterized by relatively weak initiation of automatic approach tendencies, but relatively stronger execution of automatic approach tendencies. In contrast, the HC group exhibited relatively similar initiation and execution of automatic approach tendencies to neutral faces. Together, these results demonstrate that the initiation and execution of automatic action tendencies are differentially modulated by affective faces and SAD.
... Jeffreys, 1961). on movements of the whole self (where moving closer and away almost always means approaching and avoiding respectively) instead of arm movements (Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010). This difference with movement of the whole self is even larger for arm movements operationalizations which do not use visual feedback in addition to arm movements (Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010). ...
... on movements of the whole self (where moving closer and away almost always means approaching and avoiding respectively) instead of arm movements (Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010). This difference with movement of the whole self is even larger for arm movements operationalizations which do not use visual feedback in addition to arm movements (Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010). For these reasons, even though the current work studies approach/ avoidance as a training and not as a measure, we decided to rely on an approach/avoidance operationalization that simulates visually movement of the whole self: the Visual Approach/Avoidance by the Self Task (VAAST; Rougier et al., 2018). ...
... Every word in the Luupite list ends with -lup and had two consecutive vowels (e.g., maasolup, tuuralup) and every word in the Niffite list ends with -nif and 3 By safer, we mean that it is less likely with the VAAST implementation that the ambiguity of approach and avoidance implementation interferes with the training. Note that we consider this interference nonsystematic and more likely to occur only in specific condition (e.g., when it is easier for the participant to perform a specific movement compared to another for a target category; for similar reasoning, see Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010). That explains why we did not formulate the hypothesis that the VAAST should necessarily produce a larger effect than the Joystick task in the Pilot Study (see our pre-registration). ...
Article
Kawakami et al. (2008) offer an approach training intervention to strengthen women's implicit identification with math. This intervention is especially interesting regarding data suggesting that the low implicit identification with math among women and the gender gap in science reinforce each other (Nosek et al., 2009). Nevertheless, Kawakami et al.'s data only provide quite modest evidential value in favor of the effectiveness of this intervention (notably because of the two critical p values being very close to 0.05 and of the small sample sizes). In the present manuscript, we offer a preregistered replication of Kawakami et al. with a substantially larger sample size and a novel implementation of approach and avoidance (the VAAST; Rougier et al., 2018). In a Pilot Experiment (N = 150), we validate the VAAST-based approach/avoidance training as a way to create identification for novel stimuli (d s = 1.17, p < .001). We then replicate Kawakami et al.'s work, revealing that women who approached math (instead of avoiding it) had a higher identification with math (d s = 0.30, p = .037). This preregistered replication increased evidential value in favor of the effectiveness of the approach training by a factor of 2.57, now providing "strong" support for the effectiveness of the training (Jeffreys, 1961). A meta-analysis of the original data and the replication revealed a small-to-medium effect of this intervention (d s = 0.40, CI 95% [0.14; 0.65]). These results are discussed in regard to theories explaining how actions affect evaluative response as well as current interventions in the literature.
... Therefore, we found it appropriate to ask whether the same tendency for selfprioritisation would persist or vary in an entirely different paradigm. We examined if it also extends to another ecologically relevant measure of implicit response-tendencies, the approach-avoidance paradigm (Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010). We employed the Manikin Approach avoidance Task of Jan De Houwer and Hermans (2001) to investigate intercategory attitudes for our stimuli-set of different rule-defined categories of stimuli newly associated with Self or Stranger. ...
... Several studies (Mogg et al. (2003); Krieglmeyer and Deutsch (2010) etc.) have validated manikin tasks as Measures of Approach-Avoidance behaviour (MAAB). The study of Solarz (1960) pioneered how valence of stimuli facilitated respective approach-avoidance tendencies. ...
... More specifically, we adopted the paradigm from the Manikin Approach Avoidance Task as used by Jan De Houwer and Hermans (2001) whose participants used keypresses to move a manikin towards or away from a stimulus on the screen. Its validity and reliability to assess impulsive approach-avoidance tendencies have been well recorded to be more sensitive than the Joystick task ( Mogg et al. (2003), Krieglmeyer and Deutsch (2010)). ...
... On the other hand, behavior in an incompatible manner, such as approaching negative stimulus and avoiding positive stimulus, is also important for achieving long-term goals in humans for biological adaptation and survival ( Berkman and Lieberman, 2010 ). Previous studies have shown that the behavior conducted in a compatible manner is faster than those conducted in an incompatible manner, which is termed the stimulus-response compatibility (SRC) effect ( Eder and Rothermund, 2008 ;Kozlik et al., 2015 ;Krieglmeyer and Deutsch, 2010 ). The SRC effect applied to affective stimuli in the present study refers to a special case of SRC where a stimulus feature (valence) triggers an automatic action tendency that facilitates the performance of a similar action (in compatible condition) and slows the performance of a different action (in incompatible condition) ( Krieglmeyer et al., 2013 ). ...
... The instructed behavior is either matching the action tendencies (compatible condition: approaching positive and avoiding negative stimulus) or against the action tendencies, which requires the initiation of an alternative action (incompatible condition: avoiding positive and approaching negative stimulus). The affective SRC effect has been demonstrated using such a task, with shorter reaction times (RTs) for compatible behavior than incompatible behavior ( Krieglmeyer and Deutsch, 2010 ). However, even participants make a decision on whether to make an external stimulus (i.e., a manikin) move towards or away from another stimulus (i.e., a positive or negative word), the responses did not involve an actual approaching or avoiding behavior of the participants themselves ( De Houwer et al., 2001 ). ...
... In agreement with previous studies van Peer et al., 2010 ), our behavioral results revealed the affective SRC effect based on the self-identity as the participants performed the compatible behavior faster (moving their self-face towards positive pictures and away from negative pictures) than the incompatible behavior (moving their self-face towards negative pictures and away from positive pictures). In some previous studies, a manikin was used to represent the participants themselves, raising the question that whether participants identify with the manikin ( Krieglmeyer and Deutsch, 2010 ). Researchers propose that two factors probably would increase the likelihood of identification. ...
Article
Full-text available
Compatible (positive approaching and negative avoiding) and incompatible (positive avoiding and negative approaching) behavior are of great significance for biological adaptation and survival. Previous research has found that reaction times of compatible behavior are shorter than the incompatible behavior, which is termed the stimulus-response compatibility (SRC) effect. However, the underlying neurophysiological mechanisms of the SRC effect applied to affective stimuli is still unclear. Here, we investigated preparatory activities in both the left and right primary motor cortex (M1) before the execution of an approaching-avoiding behavior using the right index finger in a manikin task based on self-identity. The results showed significantly shorter reaction times for compatible than incompatible behavior. Most importantly, motor-evoked potential (MEP) amplitudes from left M1 stimulation were significantly higher during compatible behavior than incompatible behavior at 150 and 200 ms after stimulus presentation, whereas the reversed was observed for right M1 stimulation with lower MEP amplitude in compatible compared to incompatible behavior at 150 ms. The current findings revealed the compatibility effect at both behavioral and neurophysiological levels, indicating that the affective SRC effect occurs early in the motor cortices during stimulus processing, and MEP modulation at this early processing stage could be a physiological marker of the affective SRC effect.
... This strengthens the subjective impression of pulling the picture closer versus pushing it away by means of pulling versus pushing the joystick. The zoom effect is intended to prevent recategorizing of the joystick movements (Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010;Phaf, Mohr, Rotteveel, & Wicherts, 2014) and to improve the validity of the measurement of approach-avoidance tendencies . ...
... Both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages. For instance, with instructions that make stimulus valence task-relevant, compatibility effects are usually larger (Kersbergen, Woud, & Field, 2015;Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010;Lender, Meule, Rinck, Brockmeyer, & Blechert, 2018;. However, they are also more prone to social desirability, and the task becomes more complex, which may be undesirable for patient samples. ...
... Clinical Psychology Review 77 (2020) 101825 both. For instance, there is reason to assume that the manikin task yields more reliable RT data in assessment studies of Type 1 and 2 (Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010), whereas the joystick task may be more suitable for the modification of AA tendencies. In the future, it will also be necessary to develop new AA paradigms for smartphones and tablet computers as well as gamified approaches and virtual reality tasks, given that computer keyboards are used less and less, and that joysticks are almost extinct. ...
Article
We systematically review the literature on approach-avoidance (AA) tendencies in mental disorders, including 97 empirical studies. Most evidence for the role of biased AA tendencies was found in addictive disorders: The presence of an approach bias (ApB) for substance related stimuli in subclinical populations can be a risk factor for increased future substance use, and AA modification training given as an add-on to standard treatment has the potential to reduce intake and relapse rates reliably. In depression, reduced approach of positive stimuli and reduced avoidance of negative stimuli have been found, and modification procedures seem to have clinical potential. In anxiety disorders, an avoidance bias (AvB) for threat-related stimuli has been found frequently, but modification studies did not yield any clinical effects. In eating disorder a lack of food preferences in anorexia nervosa may be present, but relations between AA measures and clinical (outcome) measures were not established. In other disorders, the evidence was limited due to a low number of published studies. Several methodological problems are discussed: It is often difficult to compare studies to each other, control groups and control stimuli are frequently missing, and many studies suffer from insufficient statistical power due to small samples. We finally give suggestions for future research on biased AA tendencies in psychopathology.
... The automatic action tendency mainly occurs out of awareness and can be tested with implicit measures (De Houwer et al., 2009;Wiers et al., 2007). The manikin task is a cognitive task that can be performed either with an automatic (approaching positive and avoiding negative picture) or a regulated behavior (avoiding positive and approaching negative picture) (De Houwer et al., 2001;Ernst, Plichta, et al., 2013;Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010). Previous studies confirmed the effect of automatic action tendency during the manikin task that reaction time was shorter when the task was performed with an automatic behavior compared with that performed with the regulated behavior (Eder & Rothermund, 2008;Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010). ...
... The manikin task is a cognitive task that can be performed either with an automatic (approaching positive and avoiding negative picture) or a regulated behavior (avoiding positive and approaching negative picture) (De Houwer et al., 2001;Ernst, Plichta, et al., 2013;Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010). Previous studies confirmed the effect of automatic action tendency during the manikin task that reaction time was shorter when the task was performed with an automatic behavior compared with that performed with the regulated behavior (Eder & Rothermund, 2008;Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010). In the present study, we investigated the functional role of DLPFC in the modulation of cognitive bias. ...
... Participants performed the manikin task immediately after the TBS intervention. Some previous studies with manikin task used a simple figure to represent the manikin (De Houwer et al., 2001;Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010). We replaced the simple figure with a portrait of each participant. ...
Article
Full-text available
Human cognition is often biased. It is a fundamental question in psychology how cognitive bias is modulated in the human brain. Automatic action tendency is a typical cognitive bias. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is a crucial area for processing various behavioral tasks. We investigated the functional role of DLPFC in the modulation of cognitive bias by testing the automatic action tendency during automatic and regulated behavioral tasks. Unilateral intermittent or continuous theta burst stimulation (excitatory iTBS or inhibitory cTBS) was used to manipulate the left or right DLPFC excitability and assess the changes in automatic action tendency during a manikin task. An approaching behavior with positive stimulus and avoiding behavior with negative stimulus were performed in an automatic task. An approaching behavior with negative stimulus and avoiding behavior with positive stimulus were performed in a regulated task. Reaction time was measured. We confirmed the automatic action tendency that reaction time for performing an automatic task was shorter than that for performing a regulated task. The automatic action tendency was enhanced after left DLPFC excitatory iTBS and was abolished after left DLPFC inhibitory cTBS stimulation. On the other hand, right DLPFC excitatory iTBS accelerated the avoiding behaviors and right DLPFC inhibitory cTBS accelerated approaching behaviors. The results suggest that left DLPFC modulates the automatic action tendency while the right DLPFC modulates the direction of behavioral tasks. We conclude that left DLPFC and right DLPFC are key nodes in modulating the cognitive bias while their functional roles are different.
... In contrast, avoidance behavior for positively classified stimuli and approach behavior to negatively classified stimuli are considered incompatible (Phaf et al., 2014). Concerning response times, the initiation of compatible behavior is usually faster than for incompatible behavior (Krieglmeyer and Deutsch, 2010). However, the exact cognitive, affective, and embodied mechanisms that are involved in this decision and behavior initiation process are still actively researched and debated. ...
... While the VAAST simulates the visual flow which would be experienced during a whole-body movement, the study participants remain seated in front of a computer monitor during the entire procedure. However, it is not only the distance regulation itself that plays a key role in the activation of approach-avoidance behavior but also the type of regulation (Krieglmeyer and Deutsch, 2010). In this regard, we can differentiate between movements of the stimulus itself and the person who is observing the stimulus. ...
... In this regard, we can differentiate between movements of the stimulus itself and the person who is observing the stimulus. We assume that a measure relying on actual movements of the self is more closely related the sensori-motor experiences of real-life behavior and thus more closely related to spontaneous and automatic behavioral regulation in real-life (Krieglmeyer and Deutsch, 2010;Rougier et al., 2018). Therefore, IVEs could be beneficial to observe realistic approach-avoidance behavior since users can respond to stimuli via actual whole-body movements. ...
Article
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The use of virtual reality (VR) promises enormous potential for studying human behavior. While approach and avoidance tendencies have been explored in various areas of basic and applied psychology, such as attitude and emotion research, basic learning psychology, and behavior therapy, they have rarely been studied in VR. One major focus of this research is to understand the psychological mechanisms underlying automatic behavioral tendencies towards and away from positively or negatively evaluated stimuli. We implemented a whole-body movement stimulus-response compatibility task to explore approach-avoidance behavior in an immersive virtual environment. We chose attitudinal stimuli—spiders and butterflies—on which people widely agree in their general evaluations (in that people evaluate spiders negatively and butterflies positively), while there is still substantial inter-individual variance (i. e., the intensity in which people dislike spiders or like butterflies). We implemented two parallel approach-avoidance tasks, one in VR, one desktop-based. Both tasks revealed the expected compatibility effects that were positively intercorrelated. Interestingly, however, the compatibility effect in the VR measure was unrelated to participants’ self-reported fear of spiders and stimulus evaluations. These results raise important implications about the usage of VR to study automatic behavioral tendencies.
... Importantly, while both relevant and irrelevant feature versions of the AAT and the SRCT tasks have been used by researchers in the consumption domain, irrelevant feature versions typically yield smaller approach/avoidance bias estimates as compared to relevant feature tasks (Field et al., 2011;Kersbergen et al., 2015;Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010;Lender et al., 2018;Meule et al., 2019). For example, Lender et al. (2018) (Kersbergen et al., 2015). ...
... Research that has examined these questions in other individual difference domains, such as fear and problematic alcohol consumption, has observed that measures yielded from AAT and SRCT tasks are not associated in these domains. For example, Krieglmeyer and Deutsch (2010); Experiment 3) found that measures of spider avoidance bias yielded by the SRCT did not correlate with the measure yielded by the AAT across individuals who varied in fear of spiders. Similarly, Kersbergen et al. (2015) found that though alcohol approach bias scores yielded by the AAT and the SRCT each explained a small proportion of variance in problematic drinking, scores yielded by the AAT and the SRCT did not correlate. ...
... The reliability and convergence of identical paradigms employed in other domains, such as drug and alcohol consumption, fear, emotion, or body image, may yield different patterns of findings. Indeed, Krieglmeyer and Deutsch (2010) found that measures of biased avoidance of spider stimuli yielded by the SRCT did not correlate with a measure yielded by an arm-movement AAT across individuals who varied in fear of spiders. Similarly, Kersbergen et al. (2015) observed that scores yielded by armmovement AAT and an SRCT did not correlate with one another across individuals who varied in problematic drinking. ...
Article
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Theories of motivation posit that people will more readily approach positive or appetitive stimuli, and there has been growing interest in the relationship between biases in approach and avoidance behaviours for food cues and food craving and consumption behaviour. Two paradigms commonly employed by research to investigate this relationship are the Approach Avoidance Task (AAT) and the Stimulus Response Compatibility Task (SRCT). However, it is yet to be determined whether the measures yielded by these tasks reflect the same processes operating in the food craving and consumption domain. The present study examined the internal reliability and convergence of AAT and SRCT paradigms in their assessment of biased approach to unhealthy compared to healthy food stimuli, and whether the measures yielded by the AAT and SRCT paradigms demonstrated associations with individual differences in food craving and eating behaviour. One hundred and twenty-one participants completed an SRCT, an AAT using an arm movement response mode, and an AAT using a key-press response mode. The measures yielded comparable and acceptable levels of internal consistency, but convergence between the different task bias scores was modest or absent, and only approach bias as measured with the AAT task using an arm movement response mode was associated with self-report measures of eating behaviour and trait food craving. Thus, tasks did not converge strongly enough to be considered equivalent measures of approach/avoidance biases, and the AAT task using an arm movement response seems uniquely suited to detecting approach biases argued to characterise maladaptive eating behaviour and craving.
... This suggests that those mappings are not hardwired at the motor level, but are open to cognitive interpretation (Seibt et al., 2008). Consistent with this idea, at least when studying approach/avoidance as a measure (to demonstrate that people are, for instance, faster to approach positive stimuli and avoid negative stimuli than to perform the reverse actions), effects seem more robust when approach/avoidance operationalizations rely on movements of the whole self (where moving closer and away almost always means approaching and avoiding respectively) instead of arm movements (Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010). This difference with movement of the whole self is even larger for arm movements operationalizations which do not use visual feedback in addition to arm movements (Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010). ...
... Consistent with this idea, at least when studying approach/avoidance as a measure (to demonstrate that people are, for instance, faster to approach positive stimuli and avoid negative stimuli than to perform the reverse actions), effects seem more robust when approach/avoidance operationalizations rely on movements of the whole self (where moving closer and away almost always means approaching and avoiding respectively) instead of arm movements (Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010). This difference with movement of the whole self is even larger for arm movements operationalizations which do not use visual feedback in addition to arm movements (Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010). ...
Thesis
In the field of implicit social cognition, indirect evaluative responses represent an opportunity to overcome some of the limitations of self-report. Theoretically capturing something progressively encoded over time and guiding our behaviors, these measures would allow us to determine the attitude that people have towards something, even when these people would not or could not reveal their preferences. For most theoretical models accounting for these behavioral responses, it is through repeated experience that we develop indirect evaluative responses. Recent experimental work, however, highlighted the impact that simple instructions can have on these evaluative responses. Throughout this dissertation, we argue that the effects of repeated experience and simple instructions differ. To investigate this question, we first developed an approach-avoidance training paradigm in which our participants were asked to repeatedly approach and avoid stimuli. After showing that new indirect evaluative responses emerged from this type of training (Exp. 1a–2), we compared this experimental paradigm to an instruction-based procedure (Exp. 3–7). Of these five studies comparing the two procedures on several types of indirect evaluative responses, across different populations, and in different situations, two revealed greater effectiveness of approach and avoidance training (the other three were inconclusive). Two additional experiments addressed the issue of naive theories that individuals might have about this issue (Exp. 8 & 9). Taken together, these results are consistent with recent theoretical advances in the field of implicit social cognition and lead us to recommend paradigms such as approach and avoidance training over paradigms based on simple instructions.
... Several theories contend that affect guides approach-avoidance behavior (e.g., Cacioppo & Berntson, 1999;Lang & Bradley, 2013) and studies have supported this idea in several paradigms (e.g., Aubé, Rougier, Muller, Ric, & Yzerbyt, 2019;Rinck & Becker, 2007). Krieglmeyer and Deutsch (2010) suggest that such influences are more likely when particular actions (e.g., moving a joystick forward) cannot be interpreted in both approach-and avoidance-related terms and Phaf et al. (2014) suggest that such influences are more robust when stimulus objects have been evaluated. Study 1 followed such prescriptions, but there were differences as well. ...
... In Study 1, we sought to create a spatial affective environment that participants could locomote through (Robinson, Zabelina, Boyd, Bresin, & Ode, 2014), using a version of a manikin or avatar task (Aubé et al., 2019;Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010). This E-Prime programmed environment was displayed on a computer screen with a height of 13.65 in. ...
Article
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Individuals are thought to differ in the extent to which they attend to and value their feelings, as captured by the construct of attention to emotion. The well-being correlates of attention to emotion have been extensively studied, but the decision-making correlates have not been. A three study program of research (total N = 328) sought to examine relationships between stimulus-specific feelings and decisions concerning those stimuli in the context of high levels of within-subject power. Evidence for the pleasure principle was robust, in that individuals placed a virtual self closer to stimuli that they found more pleasant (Study 1) and they wished to re-view such stimuli more frequently (Studies 2 & 3). These relationships, however, were more pronounced at higher levels of attention to emotion. The findings affirm the importance of feelings in decision-making while highlighting ways in which individual differences in attention to emotion operate.
... In an exploratory analysis, we found no correlation between effects detected by the mobile and the joystick AAT. This lack of association is surprising, but others have likewise not observed such a correlation (Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010). We also found no correlation between RT-based and RF-based approach-avoidance effects in the mobile AAT. ...
... As noted, the one study comparing different versions of the AAT (the joystick and a manikin version; Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010) similarly did not find a correlation between tasks. In line with the idea that different AATs might tap into different processes, Krieglmeyer and Deutsch (2010) suggested that in the joystick AAT "participants […] might represent their behavior as merely increasing or decreasing the size of the stimulus, which Fig. 6 Average sensor output per cell in Experiment 2. This figure shows the average raw sensor output for approach movements (left) and avoidance movements (right) for happy and angry faces across all analyzed trials. The y-axis represents the mean acceleration. ...
Article
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Approach and avoidance tendencies have helped explain phenomena as diverse as addiction (Mogg, Field, & Bradley, 2005), phobia (Rinck & Becker, 2007), and intergroup discrimination (Bianchi, Carnaghi, & Shamloo, 2018; Degner, Essien, & Reichardt, 2016). When the original approach-avoidance task (AAT; Solarz, 1960) that measures these tendencies was redesigned to run on regular desktop computers, it made the task much more flexible but also sacrificed some important behavioral properties of the original task—most notably its reliance on physical distance change (Chen & Bargh, 1999). Here, we present a new, mobile version of the AAT that runs entirely on smartphones and combines the flexibility of modern tasks with the behavioral properties of the original AAT. In addition, it can easily be deployed in the field and, next to traditional reaction time measurements, includes the novel measurement of response force. In two studies, we demonstrate that the mobile AAT can reliably measure known approach-avoidance tendencies toward happy and angry faces both in the laboratory and in the field.
... Although exercise habit formation is typically considered a transition from goaldirected to more automatic action control, it may be that exercise habit formation (or substituting exercise habits for inactivity habits) could be aided through indirect training of cue-behavior associations, without the actual enactment of the behavior. Approach-avoidance training paradigms are computer-based tasks in which people are trained to have approach behavioral tendencies toward certain cues over many trials in which they must move the cursor, joystick, or manikin toward a word or image representing the cue (Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010). Some, but not all, evidence suggests this training paradigm can enhance engagement in healthy behaviors (e.g., Becker, Jostmann, Wiers, & Holland, 2015;Kemps & Tiggemann, 2015;Schumacher, Kemps, & Tiggemann, 2016;Wiers, Rinck, Kordts, Houben, & Strack, 2010). ...
Article
This chapter presents the benefits of exercise benefits. Stronger exercise habit is beneficial because it should increase the likelihood of frequent exercise, as is supported by the commonly observed association between self‐reported habit and exercise frequency. Having strongly formed exercise habits makes it less likely that people will seek out or be tempted by opposing unhealthy alternative behavioral options. The formation of exercise habits also has the benefit that it is less cognitively demanding than non‐habitual exercise. The chapter explores how exercise habits are formed. Helping people to form exercise habits requires encouraging people to exercise regularly and in the same contexts, so that habit associations develop. Factors can impact habit formation in several ways: by increasing or maintaining the motivation to become physically active, by aiding the translation of motivation into repeated action, or by strengthening the reinforcing value of each repetition on the formation of cue‐behavior associations.
... Specifically, automatic actions are directed actions that decrease (approach) or increase (avoid) interpersonal distance to a stimulus, which serve to gate the output of the larger automatic system (Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2013). Although research has suggested that automatic action tendencies operate independent of conscious stimulus evaluation (Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010), other research has challenged this orthogonality (Eder, 2011;Rotteveel et al., 2015). In the social domain, automatic action tendencies may contribute to maladaptive behaviours such as SAB. ...
Article
Social avoidance behaviour (SAB) significantly interferes with social engagement and characterises various psychopathologies. Dual-process models propose that social behaviour is directed in part by automatic action tendencies to approach or avoid social stimuli. For example, happy facial expressions often elicit automatic approach actions, whereas angry facial expressions often elicit automatic avoidance actions. When motivation to approach and avoid co-occurs, automatic action tendencies may be uniquely modulated to direct social behaviour. Although research has examined how psychopathology modulates automatic action tendencies, no research has examined how SAB modulates automatic action tendencies. To address this issue, one hundred and three adults (65 females, 20.72 ± 5.06 years) completed a modified approach-avoidance task (AAT) with ambiguous facial stimuli that parametrically varied in social reward (e.g. 50%Happy), social threat (e.g. 50%Angry), or social reward-threat conflict (e.g. 50%Happy/50%Angry). SAB was not associated with automatic actions to any single parametric variation of social reward and/or social threat. Instead, SAB was associated with a quadratic (i.e. U-shaped) pattern in which automatic avoidance actions to social reward-threat conflict were faster relative to unambiguous social reward and social threat. Moreover, this association was independent of internalizing and social anxiety symptoms. These results provide insight into mechanisms underlying SAB, which offers clinical implications.
... The Approach-Avoidance Task (AAT) is an implicit task. This technique permits to evaluate automatic responses and controlled responses (Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010). The AAT requires participants to have either approach or avoid stimuli presented on a computer screen. ...
Thesis
Empathy allows us to understand and react to other people feelings. Regarding empathy for pain, a witness looking at a painful situation may react to other-oriented and prosocial-altruistic behaviors or self-oriented withdrawal responses. The main aim of this thesis was to study approach/avoidance and freezing behavioral manifestations that co-occurring along with both others’ pain observation and during the anticipation of pain. In two perspective-taking tasks, we investigated the influence of the type of relationship between the witness and the target in pain. Results showed that higher pain ratings, lower reactions times (experiment 1) and greater withdrawal avoidance postural responses (experiment 2) were attributed when participants adopted their most loved person perspective. In experiment 3, we analyzed the freezing behavior in the observer’s corticospinal system while subject was observing painful stimuli in first-and third-person perspectives. Results showed the pain-specific freezing effect only pertained to the first-person perspective condition. An empathy for pain interpretation suggests empathy might represent the anticipation of painful stimulation in oneself. In experiment 4 results, we found that the freezing effect present during a painful electrical stimulation was also present in the anticipation of pain. In conclusion, our studies suggest that cognitive perspective-taking mechanisms mainly modulate the empathic response and the most loved person perspective seems to be prevalent. In addition, more basic pain-specific corticospinal modulations are mainly present in the first-person perspective and it seems to not be referred to the empathy components
... However, as suggested by prior work on approach/avoidance tendencies, using pulling/pushing responses of arm movement would not be the most adapted way to capture embodied processes (i.e., these movements are not prototypical of approach/avoidance reactions; Rougier et al., 2018). The nonadaptability of the task explains why this type of task sometimes struggles to produce approach/ avoidance effects (Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010). Overcoming these limitations, we relied on the sensorimotor aspects of forward/backward whole-body movements. ...
Article
Background Spontaneous motor responses of approach and avoidance toward stimuli are important in characterizing psychopathological conditions, including alcohol use disorder (AUD). However, divergent results have been reported, possibly due to confounded parameters (i.e. using a symbolic versus a sensorimotor task, implementation of approach‐avoidance as a measure versus a manipulation). Method We studied whole body/posturometric changes by using a sensorimotor measure relying on embodied cognition principles to assess forward (approach) and backward (avoidance) spontaneous leaning movements. Over a 12‐second period, 51 male patients with AUD and 29 male control participants were instructed to stand still in response to both alcohol and sexual visual content. Patients with AUD were then divided into “abstainers” and “relapsers,” depending on their continuous abstinence at two weeks post‐discharge (telephonic follow‐up interview). The effects of the group, the stimulus type, the experimental period, and their interactions with the posturometric changes were tested with mixed ANOVAs, with a significance threshold set at 0.05. Results Contrary to our expectations, mixed ANOVAs showed that patients and controls did not show significant difference in their forward/backward micro‐movements while passively viewing alcohol and sexual content (p > 0.1). However, in line with our hypothesis, patients who relapsed several weeks following discharge from the rehabilitation program were significantly more reactive and more likely to lean back during the first seconds of seeing alcohol cues (p = 0.002). With regard to sexual content, “relapsers” were more likely to lean forward than participants who remained abstinent (p < 0.001). Conclusions We discuss the distinct pattern of spontaneous movements between “abstainers” and “relapsers” in light of existing data and theories on action tendencies in AUD.
... We chose to conduct our study with the manikin task (De Houwer, Crombez, Baeyens, & Hermans, 2001), which is mainly used to assess cognitive biases in the context of approach avoidance behavior (e.g., Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010;Neimeijer, Roefs, Ostafin, & de Jong, 2017) and is similar to other approach avoidance tasks used for retraining cognitive biases in the health context but that do not make use of a manikin (Machulska, Zlomuzica, Rinck, Assion, & Margraf, 2016;Schumacher, Kemps, & Tiggemann, 2016). In the manikin task, individuals see a manikin above or below a picture and have to approach or avoid the picture based on picture content (e.g., high vs. low calorie food) or picture design (e.g., picture was photographed from side vs. picture was photographed from above). ...
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Gamification is often equipped with the promise to increase motivation and performance. However, research explaining which gamification design elements are effective and the mechanisms through which these effects can be explained is still at an early stage. By drawing on the three psychological needs – competence, autonomy, and social relatedness – proposed by self-determination theory, we develop a model to explain the effects of feedback and avatar design on reuse. We test these effects with a 2 (avatar similarity: low vs. high) × 2 (embodied feedback: no feedback vs. embodied feedback) × 2 (status feedback: no feedback vs. score and leaderboard) + 1 (control group) experiment. Additionally, we use structural equation modeling to test the derived model. Our results support evidence that different forms of feedback and avatar design influence reuse by satisfying the three psychological needs. Furthermore, our findings also reveal that autonomy for decision freedom is negatively related to reuse intention, which disagrees with existing research and may provide insights into why results on gamification elements are inconsistent.
... Incorrect responses and responses below 150 ms and above 1500 ms were excluded as recommended by Krieglmeyer and Deutsch (2010). The relative reaction times to approach (or avoid) stimuli depicting sedentary behaviors were calculated by subtracting the median reaction time of the participant when approaching (or avoiding) neutral stimuli from each reaction time when approaching (or avoiding) stimuli depicting sedentary behaviors. ...
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Why do individuals fail to exercise regularly despite knowledge of the risks associated with physical inactivity? Automatic processes regulating exercise behaviors may partly explain this paradox. Yet, these processes have only been investigated with behavioral paradigms based on reaction times. Here, using electroencephalography, we investigated the cortical activity underlying automatic approach and avoidance tendencies toward stimuli depicting physical activity and sedentary behaviors in 29 young adults who were physically active (n=14) or physically inactive but with the intention of becoming physically active (n=15). Behavioral results showed faster reactions when approaching physical activity compared to sedentary behaviors and when avoiding sedentary behaviors compared to physical activity. These faster reactions were more pronounced in physically active individuals and were associated with changes during sensory integration (earlier onset latency and larger positive deflection of the stimulus-locked lateralized readiness potentials) but not during motor preparation (no effect on the response-locked lateralized readiness potentials). Faster reactions when avoiding sedentary behaviors compared to physical activity were also associated with higher conflict monitoring (larger early and late N1 event-related potentials) and higher inhibition (larger N2 event-related potentials), irrespective of the usual level of physical activity. These results suggest that additional cortical resources were required to counteract an attraction to sedentary behaviors. Data and Materials [https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1169140].
... HOS features have been used to analyze human emotion as a spectral representation of higher-order moments or cumulants of a signal 38 . Specifically, we used the mean of bicoherence in four frequency bandstheta (4-7 Hz), alpha (8)(9)(10)(11)(12)(13), beta (14)(15)(16)(17)(18)(19)(20)(21)(22)(23)(24)(25)(26)(27)(28)(29), and gamma (30)(31)(32)(33)(34)(35)(36)(37)(38)(39)(40)(41)(42)(43)(44)(45) to study the efficacy of affective labels to categorize EEG signals. Bicoherence is the normalized bispectrum of a signal x(t). ...
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This paper presents a computational framework for providing affective labels to real-life situations, called A-Situ. We first define an affective situation, as a specific arrangement of affective entities relevant to emotion elicitation in a situation. Then, the affective situation is represented as a set of labels in the valence-arousal emotion space. Based on psychological behaviors in response to a situation, the proposed framework quantifies the expected emotion evoked by the interaction with a stimulus event. The accumulated result in a spatiotemporal situation is represented as a polynomial curve called the affective curve, which bridges the semantic gap between cognitive and affective perception in real-world situations. We show the efficacy of the curve for reliable emotion labeling in real-world experiments, respectively concerning (1) a comparison between the results from our system and existing explicit assessments for measuring emotion, (2) physiological distinctiveness in emotional states, and (3) physiological characteristics correlated to continuous labels. The efficiency of affective curves to discriminate emotional states is evaluated through subject-dependent classification performance using bicoherence features to represent discrete affective states in the valence-arousal space. Furthermore, electroencephalography-based statistical analysis revealed the physiological correlates of the affective curves.
... Concerning measurement procedures, the present findings advise caution in the use of highly symbolic tasks that make exclusive use of manual actions (e.g., keypresses). Although these laboratory tasks often produced strong and reliable effects (Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010), they might underestimate the role of body-based processes that motivate behavior outside of the laboratory task. For example, walking to a cocktail bar requires different body-based simulations than drinking the cocktail, which must be considered in the analysis of both types of (approach) behaviors. ...
... Estas últimas estão associadas a circuitos neurais que orientam o organismo na direção de estímulos positivos e o afastam de estímulos negativos (Centerbar & Clore, 2006;Frijda, 1986;Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010, 2013. Segundo Duckworth, Bargh, Garcia e Chaiken (2002), as respostas aos estímulos afetivos podem ser imediatas, não intencionais e implícitas, consumindo poucos recursos e diferindo de processos conscientes, podendo ser ativadas mesmo sem a atenção consciente do indivíduo. ...
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Além dos aspectos emocionais, o comportamento humano pode ser afetado por outros fatores, tal como a localização espacial dos estímulos, que favorecem a ocorrência de respostas motoras mais rápidas para o mesmo lado de sua apresentação em uma tarefa clássica de compatibilidade estímulo-resposta. O presente artigo consiste em uma revisão narrativa de estudos que utilizaram a Tarefa de Compatibilidade Espacial Afetiva (TCEA) para avaliar a influência da valência afetiva do estímulo sobre os padrões de compatibilidade espacial. De modo geral, os estudos analisados indicam que figuras, imagens e palavras com valência emocional são capazes de influenciar o comportamento do voluntário. Portanto, a TCEA é uma ferramenta com potencial aplicação ao estudo da interação entre emoção e cognição na avaliação neuropsicológica.
... AAT research has not shown any order-effects with regard to approach-avoidance biases [see 23,25] whereas IPD can be affected by familiarity of the approached person [16,26]. To minimize potential effects of stimulus-exposure and habituation, all subjects first completed the IPD Experiment and then the AAT Experiment. ...
Article
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How does sexual attraction alter social interaction behavior? We examined the influence of sexual orientation on locomotor approach-avoidance behavior and interpersonal distance. We immersed androphilic and gynophilic male subjects into a virtual environment and presented various male and female virtual persons. In the first experiment, subjects took a step forward (approach) or backward (avoidance) in response to the sex of the virtual person. We measured reaction time, peak velocity, and step size, and obtained ratings of sexual attractiveness in every trial. In the second experiment, subjects had to approach the virtual person as if they were to engage in a social interaction. Here, we analyzed interpersonal distance and peak velocity of the approaches. Our results suggest that sexual attraction facilitates the approach response and reduces the preferred interpersonal distance. We discuss our findings in terms of proxemics, current findings in sex research, and the applicability of our novel task in other fields of psychological research.
... However, clinical assessments are indicative of deficient or altered emotional regulation, rather than natural fear reactions (e.g., Hermann et al., 2009;Cisler et al., 2010;Lanius et al., 2010). In contrast, non-clinical applications of BATs broadly rely on finite response options and stimuli, such as pressing a key or pulling a joystick to indicate the urge to avoid or approach an aversive stimulus (e.g., Heuer et al., 2007;Hofmann et al., 2009;Krieglmeyer and Deutsch, 2010). These rather artificial setups neglect that fear is a multidimensional response to a holistic environment and associated with complex behavioral programs, such as the fight-or-flight response to immediate threat (e.g., Cannon, 1929;Lynch and Martins, 2015;Teatero and Penney, 2015). ...
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Fear is an evolutionary adaption to a hazardous environment, linked to numerous complex behavioral responses, e.g., the fight-or-flight response, suiting their respective environment. However, for the sake of experimental control, fear is mainly investigated under rather artificial laboratory conditions. The latter transform these evolutionary adaptions into artificial responses, like keystrokes. The immersive, multidimensional character of virtual reality (VR) enables realistic behavioral responses, overcoming aforementioned limitations. To investigate authentic fear responses from a holistic perspective, participants explored either a negative or a neutral VR cave. To promote real-life behavior, we built a physical replica of the cave, providing haptic sensations. Electrophysiological correlates of fear-related approach and avoidance tendencies, i.e., frontal alpha asymmetries (FAA) were evaluated. To our knowledge, this is the first study to simultaneously capture complex behavior and associated electrophysiological correlates under highly immersive conditions. Participants in the negative condition exhibited a broad spectrum of realistic fear behavior and reported intense negative affect as opposed to participants in the neutral condition. Despite these affective and behavioral differences, the groups could not be distinguished based on the FAAs for the greater part of the cave exploration. Taking the specific behavioral responses into account, the obtained FAAs could not be reconciled with well-known FAA models. Consequently, putting laboratory-based models to the test under realistic conditions shows that they may not unrestrictedly predict realistic behavior. As the VR environment facilitated nonmediated and realistic emotional and behavioral responses, our results demonstrate VR’s high potential to increase the ecological validity of scientific findings.
... Besides, the manikin version may be more sensitive as a measure of approachavoidance tendencies than the joystick version. 64,65 ...
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Introduction Current information-processing models of sexual arousal imply that both controlled and automatic affective-motivational processes are critically involved in sexual responding and suggest that dysfunctional automatic processes may be involved in the development and persistence of sexual dysfunctions. Because (dysfunctional) automatic processes and responses cannot be adequately captured by common self-report measures, implicit performance-based measures have been developed to index these processes. Objectives This review provides an overview of studies that used implicit tasks in clinical sexual research, and critically evaluates the contribution and promise of these measures to improve our understanding of the mechanisms involved in sexual dysfunctions. Methods 6 electronic main databases (AMED, MEDLINE, PsycArticles, Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection, PsycINFO, and SocINDEX) were searched for studies involving implicit measurement techniques to measure automatic processes in clinical sex research. Results A series of studies examined if lowered (or heightened) attention for sex stimuli may be involved in low sexual arousal, low desire, and genital pain. Preliminary evidence showed that lowered attention is involved in low sexual arousal. The pattern with regard to desire and genital pain was mixed which may be due to heterogeneity in assessment instruments. A limited number of studies examined automatic memory associations with sexual cues. Preliminary evidence showed negative (sex-threat/sex-disgust) associations in women with genito-pelvic pain or penetration disorder, less positive associations in women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder, and sex-positive and sex-failure associations in men with sexual distress. Thus far, no studies have examined lowered (or heightened) automatic sexual approach tendencies related to sexual dysfunctions. Conclusion Implicit measures showed some promise as tools to index automatic sex-relevant cognitive mechanisms in sexual dysfunctions. Yet, more systematic research and the development of psychometrically sound measures are critical for a more comprehensive evaluation of the relevance of implicit measures in clinical sex research and their usefulness as indices of individual differences in clinical practice. Hinzmann J, Borg C, de Jong PJ. Implicit Measures in Clinical Sex Research: A Critical Evaluation. Sex Med Rev 2020;XX:XXX–XXX.
... This pattern was not anticipated in advance; however, it is not necessarily inconsistent with the patterns observed in the first two studies. Unlike the subjective evaluations reported in Studies 1 and 2, the AAT largely reflects implicit attitudes (Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010) and is sensitive to differences in impulsivity (Kakoschke et al., 2017). Accordingly, it is possible that a direct effect of control over pathogen contact on AAT scores failed to emerge as a by-product of these differences. ...
Article
Disgust is reasoned to operate in conjunction with the immune system to help protect the body from illness. However, less is known about the factors that impact the degree to which individuals invest in pathogen avoidance (disgust) versus pathogen management (prophylactic immunological activity). Here, we examine the role that one’s control over pathogen contact plays in resolving such investment trade-offs, predicting that (a) those from low control environments will invest less in pathogen-avoidance strategies and (b) investment in each of these two strategies will occur in a compensatory fashion (i.e. they will be traded off with one other). Across four studies, we found support for these predictions, using a variety of manipulations and measures. By providing novel insights into how one’s control over pathogen exposure influences disgust sensitivity and immune system activity, the current research poses an important contribution to the literature on disgust, pathogen avoidance, and the immune system.
... According to the literature, affectively charged stimuli could increase the motivational conflict, by increasing the desire strength because of the innate motivation they carry (e.g., automatic approach-avoidance tendencies; Kemps et al., 2013;Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010). Studies based on affective executive-function tasks (i.e., with affectively charged stimuli) have shown that cognitive processes related to the self-control capacity (e.g., attention, inhibition) are influenced by affective stimuli. ...
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The replication crisis in psychology has led to question popular phenomena such as ego depletion, which has been criticized after studies failed to replicate. Here, we describe limitations in the literature that contributed to these failures and suggest how they may be addressed. At the theoretical level, the literature focuses on two out of at least eight identified auxiliary hypotheses. Thus, the majority of the hypotheses related to the three core assumptions of the ego-depletion theory have been overlooked, thereby preventing the rejection of the theory as a whole. At the experimental level, we argue that the low replicability of ego-depletion studies could be explained by the absence of a comprehensive, integrative, and falsifiable definition of self-control, which is central to the concept of ego depletion; by an unclear or absent distinction between ego depletion and mental fatigue, two phenomena that rely on different processes; and by the low validity of the tasks used to induce ego depletion. Finally, we make conceptual and methodological suggestions for a more rigorous investigation of ego depletion, discuss the necessity to take into account its dynamic and multicomponent nature, and suggest using the term self-control fatigue instead.
... These theories are supported by experimental studies showing that direct self-reported affective evaluations of physical activity is predictive of physical activity (Rhodes et al., 2009;Williams & Bohlen, 2019). Moreover, studies based on eyetracking or computerized reaction-time measures, such as the Implicit Association Test (IAT; Greenwald et al., 1998), the dot probe task (Pool et al., 2016), or the manikin task (Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010), showed that cues related to physical activity elicit positive automatic affective evaluations (Bluemke et al., 2010;Chevance et al., 2017;Conroy et al., 2010;Rebar et al., 2015) and behavioral approach tendencies (Cheval et al., 2015;Cheval et al., 2014), especially in the most physically active individuals (Cheval, Miller, et al., 2020). In turn, these affective evaluations are thought to influence physical activity engagement (Conroy & Berry, 2017). ...
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The role of affective responses to effort in the regulation of physical activity behavior is widely accepted. Yet, to investigate these affective responses during physical activity, most studies used direct self-reported measures that are prone to biases (e.g., social desirability, ability to introspect). Here, to reduce these biases, we used an indirect self-reported measure (i.e., an affect misattribution procedure) to assess the incidental affective response to effort elicited during a physically active performance in 42 healthy young adults. Specifically, participants rated the pleasantness of neutral human faces presented on a virtual environment while cycling at different levels of physical effort. We used this rating as an indicator of the incidental affective response to effort. Results showed that higher perceived effort was associated with lower pleasantness ratings of neutral faces, with this effect only emerging at moderate-to-high levels of perceived effort. Further analyses showed that higher actual effort was also associated with lower pleasantness ratings of neutral faces. Overall, these findings suggest that higher levels of perceived effort are associated with decreased affective responses during physical activity. These results also provide evidence on the feasibility of capturing affective responses during physical activity without relying on direct self-reported measures.
... The manikin task, comparable to the joystick task (which was unsuitable for an online study due to the requirement for a joystick), was used to quantify speed of response to either an "approach" or an "avoid" instruction in relation to images of chocolate bars and stationery stimuli using a manikin figure. Past research has found this measure to be reliable in demonstrating approach-avoidance effects (Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2010). ...
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Health warning labels (HWLs) show promise in reducing motivation towards energy-dense snack foods. Understanding the underlying mechanisms could optimise their effectiveness. In two experimental studies in general population samples (Study 1 n = 90; Study 2 n = 1382), we compared the effects of HWLs and irrelevant aversive labels (IALs) on implicit (approach) motivation towards unhealthy snacks, using an approach-avoidance task (Study 1), and a manikin task (Study 2). We also assessed explicit motivation towards unhealthy snacks using food selection tasks. We examined whether labelling effects on motivation arose from the creation of outcome-dependent associations between the food and its health consequences or from simple, non-specific aversive associations. Both label types reduced motivation towards snack foods but only when the label was physically present. HWLs and IALs showed similar effects on implicit motivation, although HWLs reduced explicit motivation more than IALs. Thus, aversive HWLs appear to act both through low level associative mechanisms affecting implicit motivation, and by additionally emphasizing explicit causal links to health outcomes thereby affecting explicitly motivated choice behaviours.
... Among them, approach-avoidance tasks measure spontaneous approach and avoidance reactions towards stimuli. These approach-avoidance tendencies represent crucial responses to the environment (e.g., avoidance of a dangerous animal, or approach for reproduction; Chen and Bargh 1999;Krieglmeyer and Deutsch 2010). A negative stimulus generally triggers a spontaneous avoidance tendency (e.g., a snake, or someone we don't like) whereas a positive stimulus triggers a spontaneous approach tendency (e.g., food, baby; Chen and Bargh 1999;Krieglmeyer et al. 2013;Rinck and Becker 2007;Solarz 1960). ...
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This study examines the public stigma of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by their school-aged peers, focusing on both explicit and implicit attitudes. The twofold aims were to provide a broader picture of public stigma and to explore age-related changes in attitudes. Students completed an explicit measure of the public stigma and an implicit measure of attitudes after watching a video displaying children with ASD vs. typically developing (TD) children. Both measures showed more negative perceptions towards children with ASD compared to TD children. However, while explicit attitudes improved with age, implicit attitudes remained constantly negative. This finding suggests that both explicit and implicit attitudes should be considered when promoting an inclusive climate at school.
Article
Previous behavioral studies using stimulus-response compatibility tasks have shown that people are faster to carry out instructed approach/avoidance responses to positive/negative stimuli. This result has been taken as evidence that positive/negative stimulus valence directly activates a tendency to approach/avoid, which in turn, facilitates execution of instructed approach/avoidance behavior. In these studies, however, it cannot be excluded that the results reflect a purely semantic link between stimulus valence and instructed responses. According to this alternative interpretation, positive/negative stimuli do not elicit an approach/avoidance tendency, but instead they interact with the positive/negative valence of the instructed responses, and in this way, produce the observed compatibility effect. To circumvent this possible disadvantage of compatibility tasks, we used a novel method for the measurement of early action tendencies: TMS induced MEPs. In two experiments, participants were first trained to abduct the index finger to approach and the thumb to avoid. Then, they observed a series of positive and negative stimuli. Each stimulus was followed by a TMS pulse (at 400 ms post-stimulus onset) and MEPs were measured continuously on the muscles of both fingers. These observation trials were randomly intermixed with response trials, in which neutral stimuli were presented and participants were instructed to approach/avoid the stimuli. In Experiment 1, participants received clear visual feedback on the outcome of their response in the response trials. In Experiment 2, we omitted this feedback to test whether it was necessary for the effect to occur. The results indicated higher MEPs for the approach/avoidance finger after positive/negative stimuli in Experiment 1 but not in Experiment 2. Analyses on the data aggregated over both experiments suggest that the visual feedback was necessary for stimulus valence to elicit action tendencies. Taken together, the results are in line with the results of behavioral studies with compatibility tasks, suggesting that stimulus valence directly elicits specific action tendencies already at 400 ms but they indicate that clear visual feedback is necessary for this effect to occur.
Article
Repeated engagement in addictive behaviors may lead to relatively automatic action tendencies whereby individuals approach rather than avoid addictive stimuli. This study assessed whether an approach bias for erotic stimuli exists among heterosexual college-aged females who report using pornography. We tested 121 female undergraduates using an approach-avoidance task (AAT) employing both erotic and neutral stimuli, during which participants were instructed to push or pull a gaming joystick in response to image orientation. To simulate approach and avoidance movements, pulling the joystick enlarged the image and pushing shrunk the image. Severity of pornography use was assessed using the Brief Pornography Screener (BPS) and the Problematic Pornography Use Scale (PPUS). Participants demonstrated a significant approach bias of 24.81 ms for erotic stimuli as compared to neutral stimuli, and this approach bias significantly positively corelated with PPUS scores. Moreover, approach bias scores were significantly positively correlated with anhedonia (as assessed by the Snaith-Hamilton Pleasure Scale), indicating that the stronger the degree of approach for erotic stimuli, the more anhedonia that was observed. Anhedonia was not significantly associated with pornography use severity, however.Findings implicate both similarities and differences in problematic pornography use among female and male users. A limitation of the current study is that it assessed approach biases among only heterosexual females due to the erotic stimuli employed during the AAT. Future studies should examine approach biases among females of varying sexual orientations.
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Dual-process models with a default-interventionist architecture explain early emotional action tendencies by a stimulus-driven process and they allow goal-directed processes to intervene only in a later stage. An alternative dual-process model with a parallel-competitive architecture developed by Moors, Boddez, and De Houwer (2017), in contrast, explains early emotional action tendencies by a goal-directed process. This model proposes that stimulus-driven and goal-directed processes often operate in parallel and compete with each other, and that if they do compete, the goal-directed process often wins the competition. To examine these predictions, we set up a goal-directed process in an experimental group by rewarding participants for avoiding positive stimuli and for approaching negative stimuli and punishing them for the opposite behavior. We expected this process to compete with a potentially pre-existing stimulus-driven process in which positive stimuli are associated with approach and negative stimuli with avoidance. We compared the elicited action tendencies of participants in this group with a control group in which only the stimulus-driven process could operate. Early approach and avoidance tendencies were assessed via motor evoked potentials (MEP) measured in the finger muscles previously trained to approach or avoid stimuli after single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) delivered at 400 ms. Results confirmed that positive/negative stimuli led to stronger avoidance /approach tendencies in the experimental group but not to approach/avoidance tendencies in the control group. This suggests that goal-directed processes are indeed able to determine relatively early emotional action tendencies, but it does not show that goal-directed process can defeat stimulus-driven processes.
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Positive and negative events are known to trigger opposing action tendencies (approach vs. avoidance). Recently, we found that advance monetary incentive cues can override such valence-action biases. In the present study we tested whether symbolic emotional valence cues can lead to similar adjustments and facilitate performance regardless of the required action. To this end, we performed three closely related experiments in which valence prospect (positive vs. neutral; indicated by stimulus color) and action requirements (approach vs. avoid; indicated by stimulus shape) were manipulated in a trial-to-trial fashion. Orthogonal to this, valence prospect was either embedded in the cue or target stimulus in discrete blocks (cue-valence vs. target-valence blocks). Actual valence was presented in the form of emotional face stimuli after response execution, which mirrors monetary incentive manipulations. In two of the experiments, we observed a positive-approach bias in form of performance benefit for positive versus neutral valence trials, which was exclusive for approach actions. Although numerically more pronounced in target-valence blocks, the bias was not significantly diminished in cue-versus target-valence blocks. This opposes our prediction that emotional valence cues can diminish such biases and instead highlights the robustness of inherent mappings between emotional valence and action tendencies-even if this goes against the task goal.
Conference Paper
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Introduction According to the WHO, 3 of every 4 heart diseases could be prevented thanks to healthy behavior adoption such as physical activity, healthy diet or not smoking. However, most people have difficulties to follow public health guidelines (e.g., Ford, Zhao, Tsai, & Li, 2011). Socio-cognitive models (e.g., HAPA, Schwarzer, Lippke & Luszczynska 2011) have been successful in identifying the key determinants of behavioral intention (e.g., self-efficacy), but they present some limitations. Indeed, intentions do not systematically translate into behavior change, a phenomenon known as the “intention-behavior gap”. Moreover, these models focus on explicit processes while implicit processes also predict health behaviors (Sheeran, Gollwitzer & Bargh, 2013). The recent self-control model of Hofmann and colleagues (Hofmann, Baumeister, Förster, & Vohs, 2012) is promising to address these limitations (Hofmann, Friese & Wiers). This model is composed of four components: desire, conflict, resistance and self-control capacity. The model considers that when a conflict is detected between a particular desire (e.g., to rest on the couch watching TV) and a long-term goal (e.g., to increase one’s physical fitness), self-control effort increase to override the conflict. Whether the individual succeeds in resisting temptations notably depends on his/her self-control capacity. This model is promising to better understand behavior change but its validation is still at early stages. One question that deserves particular attention is whether the model is applicable only to behaviors that need to be inhibited (unhealthy behaviors) or also to behaviors that need to be activated (healthy behaviors). Moreover, the role of desires at the implicit level remain unclear. Methodology Based on Hofmann et al. (2012), experience sampling method was used in this study. This longitudinal methodology, allows assessment of psychological variables in daily life settings, thus limiting the retrospective bias. During 7 days, questions assessing state self-control capacity, explicit desire, conflict and resistance randomly appeared 7 times per day on participants’ smartphones. During this week, participants also wore an accelerometer to objectively assess physical and sedentary activities, completed a daily diary to assess their diet and smoking behavior, and a pill organizer MEMS to assess medication adherence. To assess desire at the implicit level, impulsive approach tendencies toward behaviors were measured based on the Manikin task (Krieglmeyer & Deutsch, 2011) at baseline. Trait self-control capacity was also assessed at baseline with the Brief self-control scale (Tangney, Baumeister et Boone, 2004). Following Goetz, Bieg & Hall (2016), 30 participants were recruited and divided into 2 groups. 15 participants were cardiac patients recruited from a cardiac rehabilitation center, with a history of unhealthy behaviors, and 15 control participants were students from a Sports Sciences Department with a history of healthy behaviors. Results Two results are expected: (1) the self-control components of Hofmann’s model will differentially predict behaviors to approach and behaviors to avoid; more particularly, while self-control capacity should predict both types of behaviors, the role of desire, conflict and resistance should concern only behaviors to avoid; (2) desires at the explicit and implicit level will both moderate the relation between resistance and behaviors. Discussion Results of this study will have two principal benefits. First, they will allow us to better understand how the self-control model works in real context and its influence on both healthy and unhealthy behaviors. Next, by considering different behaviors, this study could allow us to identify variables common to all of them and, in future studies, built and test interventions on these in order to generate multiple health behaviors change. References Ford, E., Zhao, G., Tsai, J., & Li, C. (2011). Low-Risk Lifestyle Behaviors and All-Cause Mortality: Findings From the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III Mortality Study. American Journal Of Public Health, 101(10), 1922-1929. Goetz T., Bieg M., Hall N.C. (2016) Assessing Academic Emotions via the Experience Sampling Method. In: Zembylas M., Schutz P. (eds) Methodological Advances in Research on Emotion and Education. Springer, Cham Hofmann, W., Baumeister, R., Förster, G., & Vohs, K. (2012). Everyday temptations: An experience sampling study of desire, conflict, and self-control. Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology, 102(6), 1318-1335. Hofmann, W., Friese, M., & Wiers, R. (2011). Impulsive processes in the self-regulation of health behaviour: theoretical and methodological considerations in response to commentaries. Health Psychology Review, 5(2), 162-171. Krieglmeyer R, Deutsch R (2010) Comparing measures of approach–avoidance behaviour: The manikin task vs. two versions of the joystick task. Cogn Emot 24:810–828. Muraven, M., & Baumeister, R. (2000). Self-regulation and depletion of limited resources: Does self-control resemble a muscle?. Psychological Bulletin, 126(2), 247-259. Schwarzer, R., Lippke, S., & Luszczynska, A. (2011). Mechanisms of health behavior change in persons with chronic illness or disability: The Health Action Process Approach (HAPA). Rehabilitation Psychology, 56(3), 161-170. Sheeran, P., Gollwitzer, P., & Bargh, J. (2013). Nonconscious processes and health. Health Psychology, 32(5), 460-473. Tangney, J. P., Baumeister, R. F., & Boone, A. L. (2004). High self‐control predicts good adjustment, less pathology, better grades, and interpersonal success. Journal of personality, 72(2), 271-324.
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Drawing on the literature about approach-avoidance behavior, this study tested whether asymmetries in the ways people interact with their smartphones using flick input (an input method based on swiping a key in a certain direction to produce the desired letter) influence their evaluations of the emotional valence of words. Specifically, a downward flick is regarded as an approach behavior in that the movement of a finger is directed toward the self, while an upward flick is regarded as avoidance behavior in that the movement is directed away from the self. In five studies, the predicted relationship between emotional valence and direction of finger movement on the smartphone was observed for nonwords and existing words. On average, words with more downward flick letters were rated as more positive in valence than words with more upward flick letters (hereafter referred to as the Flick effect). Of note, the Flick effect was not found among people who have never owned a smartphone, suggesting that smartphone use with flick input shapes the meaning of words.
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Previous studies have shown that humans show an implicit approach bias toward food related items which is moderated by hunger and properties of the food items displayed (such as their palatability and calorie content). However, little is known about if and how this approach bias is moderated by food preferences and/or diet choices. In this study, we compared approach-avoidance biases in a group of young female omnivore and vegetarian eaters towards images of vegetarian and non-vegetarian food items using a manikin stimulus-response compatibility task. While vegetarian eaters showed a slightly larger approach bias for vegetarian than for non-vegetarian food stimuli, this bias was of similar size to that observed in the omnivorous group. Most interestingly, vegetarian eaters' approach bias towards non-vegetarian food pictures also did not differ from that of the omnivorous group, despite vegetarians rating those pictures as much less pleasant. Our findings suggest that approach biases towards food items are quite robust and do not rapidly change with dietary practice. However, despite approach biases often guiding behaviour, vegetarian eaters successfully withstand these implicit action tendencies and avoid non-vegetarian produce. Potential implications of this finding for the addiction literature are discussed.
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Strong cravings for unhealthy foods and implicit tendencies to approach and consume them constitute threats to physical and mental health in vulnerable populations. Yet, implicit measures of such food approach tendencies have methodological limitations, as existing approach-avoidance tasks (AAT) are often unreliable, require specialized hardware, and do not clarify whether the person or object moves during approach and avoidance. We propose a novel method to measure approach biases: on a touchscreen, participants slide their hand either toward a food item (and away from control images) or away from a food item (and toward control images) in separate blocks. Adequate attention to the stimuli is ensured by the coupling of stimulus category to the required response. We found that this touchscreen-variant of the manikin task yields reliable bias scores when approach and avoidance are defined as movements relative to the stimulus rather than to the body. Compared to control images, we found an approach bias for low-calorie foods but not for high calorie foods. This bias additionally varied on a food-by-food basis depending on the participant’s desire to eat individual food items. Correlations with state and trait cravings were inconclusive. Future research needs to address the order effects that were found, in which participants avoiding foods in the first block showed larger biases than participants approaching food in the first block, likely due to insufficient opportunity to practice the task. Our findings highlight the need for approach bias retraining paradigms to use personalized stimulus sets. The task can enrich the methodological repertoire in eating behaviour research with its relevance for eating disorders, obesity and cognitive bias modification trainings.
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Approach biases to foods may explain why food consumption often diverges from deliberate dietary intentions. When cognitive resources are depleted, implicit responses may contribute to overeating and overweight. Yet, the assessment of behavioural biases with the approach-avoidance tasks (AAT) is often unreliable. We previously addressed methodological limitations of the AAT by employing naturalistic approach and avoidance movements on a touchscreen (hand-AAT) and instructing participants to respond based on the food/non-food distinction. In the consistent block, participants were instructed to approach food and avoid objects while in the inconsistent block, participants were instructed to avoid foods and approach objects. Biases were highly reliable but affected by the order in which participants received the two task blocks. In the current study, we aimed to resolve the block order effects by increasing the number of blocks from two to six and validate the hand-AAT with the implicit association task (IAT) and self-reported eating behaviours. We replicated the presence of reliable approach biases to foods and further showed that these were not affected by block order. Evidence for validity was mixed: biases correlated positively with external eating, food craving and aggregated image valence ratings but not with within-participants differences in desire to eat ratings of the images or the IAT. We conclude that hand-AAT can reliably assess approach biases to foods that are relevant to self-reported eating patterns and were not probably confounded by block-order effects.
Chapter
We hope this chapter will provide an overview on current theoretical approaches to emotion and its measurement, without neglecting their historical roots. Simultaneously, our goal is to bring the major conceptual foundations for the work described in the following chapters. We have grouped theories of emotion in three families, a taxonomy grounded in historical and conceptual reasons that is helpful to grasp theoretical developments in affective sciences, and to systematically present key concepts and theories in the field. Such a classification provides the readers with an organized description of theoretical roots and major conceptual distinctions in affective sciences.
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Approach biases to foods may explain why food consumption often diverges from deliberate dietary intentions. Yet, the assessment of behavioural biases with the approach-avoidance tasks (AAT) is often unreliable and validity is partially unclear. The present study continues a series of studies that develop a task based on naturalistic approach and avoidance movements on a touchscreen (hand-AAT). In the hand-AAT, participants are instructed to respond based on the food/non-food distinction, thereby ensuring attention to the stimuli. Yet, this implies the use of instruction switches (i.e., ‘approach food – avoid objects’ to ‘avoid food – approach objects’), which introduce order effects. The present study increased the number of instruction switches to potentially minimize order effects, and re-examined reliability. We additionally included the implicit association task (IAT) and several self-reported eating behaviours to investigate the task’s validity. Results replicated the presence of reliable approach biases to foods irrespective of instruction order. Evidence for validity, however, was mixed: biases correlated positively with external eating, increase in food craving and aggregated image valence ratings but not with desire to eat ratings of the individual images considered within participants or the IAT. We conclude that the hand-AAT can reliably assess approach biases to foods that are relevant to self-reported eating patterns.
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Approach biases to foods may explain why food consumption often diverges from deliberate dietary intentions. Yet, the assessment of behavioural biases with the approach-avoidance tasks (AAT) is often unreliable and validity is partially unclear. The present study continues a series of studies that develop a task based on naturalistic approach and avoidance movements on a touchscreen (hand-AAT). In the hand-AAT, participants are instructed to respond based on the food/non-food distinction, thereby ensuring attention to the stimuli. Yet, this implies the use of instruction switches (i.e., ‘approach food – avoid objects’ to ‘avoid food – approach objects’), which introduce order effects. The present study increased the number of instruction switches to potentially minimize order effects, and re-examined reliability. We additionally included the implicit association task (IAT) and several self-reported eating behaviours to investigate the task’s validity. Results replicated the presence of reliable approach biases to foods irrespective of instruction order. Evidence for validity, however, was mixed: biases correlated positively with external eating, increase in food craving and aggregated image valence ratings but not with desire to eat ratings of the individual images considered within participants or the IAT. We conclude that the hand-AAT can reliably assess approach biases to foods that are relevant to self-reported eating patterns.
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Introduction Being physically active is associated with a wide range of health benefits in patients. However, many patients do not engage in the recommended levels of physical activity (PA). To date, interventions promoting PA in patients mainly rely on providing knowledge about the benefits associated with PA to develop their motivation to be active. Yet, these interventions focusing on changing patients’ conscious goals have proven to be rather ineffective in changing behaviours. Recent research on automatic factors (eg, automatic approach tendencies) may provide additional targets for interventions. However, the implementation and evaluation of intervention designed to change these automatic bases of PA are rare. Consequently, little is known about whether and how interventions that target automatically activated processes towards PA can be effective in changing PA behaviours. The Improving Physical Activity (IMPACT) trial proposes to fill this knowledge gap by investigating the effect of a cognitive-bias modification intervention aiming to modify the automatic approach towards exercise-related stimuli on PA among patients. Methods and analysis The IMPACT trial is a single-centre, placebo (sham controlled), triple-blinded, phase 3 randomised controlled trial that will recruit 308 patients enrolled in a rehabilitation programme in the Division of General Medical Rehabilitation at the University Hospital of Geneva (Switzerland) and intends to follow up them for up to 1 year after intervention. Immediately after starting a rehabilitation programme, patients will be randomised (1:1 ratio) to receive either the cognitive-bias modification intervention consisting of a 12-session training programme performed over 3 weeks or a control condition (placebo). The cognitive-bias modification intervention aims to improve PA levels through a change in automatic approach tendencies towards PA and sedentary behaviours. The primary outcome is the sum of accelerometer-based time spent in light-intensity, moderate-intensity and vigorous-intensity PA over 1 week after the cognitive-bias modification intervention (in minutes per week). Secondary outcomes are related to changes in (1) automatic approach tendencies and self-reported motivation to be active, (2) physical health and (3) mental health. Sedentary behaviours and self-reported PA will also be examined. The main time point of the analysis will be the week after the end of the intervention. These outcomes will also be assessed during the rehabilitation programme, as well as 1, 3, 6 and 12 months after the intervention for secondary analyses. Ethics and dissemination The study will be conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. This trial was approved by the Ethics Committee of Geneva Canton, Switzerland (reference number: CCER2019-02257). All participants will give an informed consent to participate in the study. Results will be published in relevant scientific journals and be disseminated in international conferences. Trial registration details The clinical trial was registered at the German clinical trials register (reference number: DRKS00023617); Pre-results.
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Two studies tested whether affective stimuli presented auditorily spontaneously trigger approach/avoidance reactions toward neutral visual stimuli. Contrary to hypotheses, Exp.1 revealed that when the target was present, participants responded faster after positive (vs. negative) stimuli, and faster to the absence of the target following negative (vs. positive) stimuli, whatever the response modality (i.e., approach/avoidance). Instructions were to approach/avoid stimuli depending on whether a target was presented or not. We proposed that affective stimuli were used in this study as information about the presence/absence of the target. In Exp.2, we replicated the results of Exp.1 when participants responded to the presence/absence of the target, whereas an Approach/Avoidance compatibility effect was observed when each response modality was associated with a target. These results indicate that affective stimuli influence approach/avoidance across perceptual modalities and suggest that the link between affective stimuli and behavioral tendencies could be mediated by informational value of affect.
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Background: Precursors driving leisure-time sedentary behaviors remain poorly investigated, despite their detrimental consequences. This study aimed to investigate the predictive validity of controlled and automatic motivational precursors toward reducing sedentary behaviors and being physically active on leisure-time sedentary behaviors. The influence of demographic, physical, socio-professional, interpersonal, and environmental variables was also examined and compared with the associations of motivational precursors. Methods: 125 adults completed questionnaires measuring controlled motivational precursors (i.e., intentions, perceived competence), demographical (i.e., sex and age), physical (i.e., body mass index), and interpersonal (i.e., number of children) variables. Regarding automatic motivational precursors, habit strength and approach-avoidance tendencies were captured using the Self-Report Behavioral Automaticity Index and a manikin task. Time at work was computed as a socio-professional variable, days of the week and weather conditions were recorded as environmental precursors. Participants wore an accelerometer for 7 days and leisure time was identified using notebooks. Associations between the different precursors and the leisure-time sedentary behaviors were examined in linear mixed effect models. Results: Intention to be physically active and habit strength toward physical activity were negatively associated with leisure-time sedentary behaviors. Sex, body mass index, time at work, number of children, day of the week, and weather conditions were more strongly associated with leisure-time sedentary behaviors. Conclusion: Our findings show that, in comparison with other variables, the influence of motivational precursors on leisure-time sedentary behaviors is limited. This study supports the adoption of a broad-spectrum of precursors when predicting sedentary behaviors.
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Background and objectives Romantic relationship breakups can lead to severe emotional disturbances including major depression. Anxious attachment and desired attachment with the ex-partner are hypothesized to elicit repetitive thought about the breakup and the former partner and attempts to reunite with (i.e. approach) the ex-partner, which fuel breakup distress. Since prior research on this topic has mostly used survey methodology, the study aim was to examine the relations between above-mentioned variables employing a behavioral measure of approach of the ex-partner. Methods Automatic approach-avoidance tendencies toward the former partner were assessed with an Approach Avoidance Task (AAT). Sixty-two students (76% female) moved a manikin towards or away from stimuli pictures (ex-partner, matched stranger, landscape) as fast as possible based on the stimulus frame color (blue, yellow). Participants also completed questionnaires assessing anxious attachment, desired attachment, repetitive thought about the breakup (rumination) and the ex-partner (yearning), and breakup distress (prolonged grief symptoms). Results Anxious attachment related positively to rumination and breakup distress. Desired attachment related positively to yearning, automatic approach bias toward the ex-partner, and breakup distress. Both anxious and desired attachment, rumination, yearning, and approach bias related positively to breakup distress. Limitations The use of a student sample may limit generalizability. A correlational design precludes causal conclusions. Conclusions Together with prior work, results suggests anxious attachment hampers psychological adaptation to a breakup by increasing the use of ruminative coping. Desire to retain an attachment bond with the ex-partner, expressed in yearning and approach of the ex-partner, may also worsen breakup distress.
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Food craving is a transdiagnostic process underlying clinically significant disordered eating behaviors and eating disorder diagnoses. However, the lack of literature examining the role of food craving as it relates to the full spectrum of disordered eating behaviors, including restrictive eating and compensatory behaviors, may be due to the traditional definition of food craving as the desire to consume particular foods. Applying motivational models of substance use craving to food craving may help to explain inconsistencies within existing literature. Three motivational models of craving from the substance use literature may be particularly applicable to (1) provide a clear definition of food craving as a motivational process, (2) understand the role of that motivational process as it underlies the full spectrum of disordered eating behavioral patterns, (3) provide insight for the most appropriate ways in which to accurately assess food craving, and (4) establish ways in which food craving may represent a useful motivational process to target in eating disorder treatments. This narrative review describes three models of substance use craving and provides suggestions for utilizing motivational models to understand the transdiagnostic role of food craving as it relates to the full spectrum of disordered eating behaviors in both research and clinical work.
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Approach–avoidance responses to facial expressions have been previously examined, but they are mainly based on contrasting two expression types. However, these examinations are limited; the approach–avoidance response differs depending on the combination of facial expressions. In the current study, the approach–avoidance responses to three expression types were examined using a tablet device. The avoidance response to the anger expression was confirmed, but the approach response to the happy expression was not confirmed. These results indicate that examining approach–avoidance responses using a tablet device is effective and that avoidance responses to angry expressions are robust.
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Individuals with addictions often exhibit approach bias, or the relatively automatic action tendency to approach rather than avoid addiction-related stimuli. The current study used a cannabis-Approach-Avoidance Task (AAT) to assess approach-avoidance tendencies toward cannabis stimuli among 211 undergraduate college students with varying levels of cannabis use. Frequency and severity of cannabis use was assessed using the Cannabis Use Disorder Identification Test - Short Form (CUDIT-R). The sample did not demonstrate a significant approach or avoidance bias toward cannabis stimuli; instead, participants were significantly slower to approach and avoid cannabis stimuli relative to neutral stimuli. Individuals with problematic cannabis use who met criteria for a possible cannabis use disorder (CUD) based on CUDIT-R criteria were significantly slower to avoid but not to approach cannabis stimuli compared to individuals with nonuse and non-problematic use. Moreover, increased frequency and severity of cannabis use was significantly associated with increased reaction times to avoid cannabis stimuli. Findings appear to differ from some previous studies examining approach-avoidance tendencies toward cannabis, suggesting that the role of cognitive biases in cannabis use is complex and should be further investigated.
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Previous behavioral studies using stimulus-response compatibility tasks have shown that people are faster to carry out instructed approach/avoidance responses to positive/negative stimuli. This result has been taken as evidence that positive/negative stimulus valence directly activates a tendency to approach/avoid, which in turn, facilitates execution of instructed approach/avoidance behavior. In these studies, however, it cannot be excluded that the results reflect a purely semantic link between stimulus valence and instructed responses. According to this alternative interpretation, positive/negative stimuli do not elicit an approach/avoidance tendency, but instead they interact with the positive/negative valence of the instructed responses, and in this way, produce the observed compatibility effect. To circumvent this possible disadvantage of compatibility tasks, we used a novel method for the measurement of early action tendencies: TMS induced MEPs. In two experiments, participants were first trained to abduct the index finger to approach and the thumb to avoid. Then, they observed a series of positive and negative stimuli. Each stimulus was followed by a TMS pulse (at 400 ms post-stimulus onset) and MEPs were measured continuously on the muscles of both fingers. These observation trials were randomly intermixed with response trials, in which neutral stimuli were presented and participants were instructed to approach/avoid the stimuli. In Experiment 1, participants received clear visual feedback on the outcome of their response in the response trials. In Experiment 2, we omitted this feedback to test whether it was necessary for the effect to occur. The results indicated higher MEPs for the approach/avoidance finger after positive/negative stimuli in Experiment 1 but not in Experiment 2. Analyses on the data aggregated over both experiments suggest that the visual feedback was necessary for stimulus valence to elicit action tendencies. Taken together, the results are in line with the results of behavioral studies with compatibility tasks, suggesting that stimulus valence directly elicits specific action tendencies already at 400 ms but they indicate that clear visual feedback is necessary for this effect to occur.
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In this paper, we introduce an affective variant of the Simon paradigm. Three experiments are reported in which nouns and adjectives with a positive, negative, or neutral affective meaning were used as stimuli. Depending on the grammatical category of the presented word (i.e. noun or adjective), participants had to respond as fast as possible by saying a predetermined positive or negative word. In Experiments 1 and 2, the words POSITIVE and NEGATIVE were required as responses, in Experiment 3, FLOWER and CANCER were used as response words. Despite the fact that participants were explicitly instructed to ignore the affective meaning of the presented words, reaction times were faster when the affective connotation of the presented word and the correct response was the same than when it differed. The results lend further support to the hypothesis that stimulus valence can be processed automatically. We also argue that the affective Simon paradigm can be used as a flexible tool for the study of affective-processing and discuss how other variants of the Simon paradigm can be developed to stimulate research on other aspects of information-processing.
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In affective Simon studies, participants are to select between a positive and negative response on the basis of a nonaffective stimulus feature (i.e., relevant stimulus feature) while ignoring the valence of the presented stimuli (i.e., irrelevant stimulus feature). De Houwer and Eelen (1998) showed that the time to select the correct response is influenced by the match between the valence of the response and the (irrelevant) valence of the stimulus. In the affective Simon studies that have been reported until now, only words were used as stimuli and the relevant stimulus feature was always the grammatical category of the words. We report four experiments in which we examined the generality of the affective Simon effect. Significant affective Simon effects were found when the semantic category, grammatical category, and letter-case of words was relevant, when the semantic category of photographed objects was relevant, and when participants were asked to give nonverbal approach or avoidance responses on the basis of the grammatical category of words. Results also showed that the magnitude of the affective Simon effect depended on the nature of the relevant feature.
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Based on the conceptualization of approach as a decrease in distance and avoidance as an increase in distance, we predicted that stimuli with positive valence facilitate behavior for either approaching the stimulus (object as reference point) or for bringing the stimulus closer (self as reference point) and that stimuli with negative valence facilitate behavior for withdrawing from the stimulus or for pushing the stimulus away. In Study 1, we found that motions to and from a computer screen where positive and negative words were presented lead to compatibility effects indicative of an object-related frame of reference. In Study 2, we replicated this finding using social stimuli with different evaluative associations (young vs. old persons). Finally, we present evidence that self vs. object reference points can be induced through instruction and thus lead to opposite compatibility effects even when participants make the same objective motion (Study 3).
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Viewing emotion from an evolutionary perspective, researchers have argued that simple responses to affective stimuli can be triggered without mediation of cognitive processes. Indeed, findings suggest that positively and negatively valenced stimuli trigger approach and avoidance movements automatically. However, affective stimulus-response compatibility phenomena share so many central characteristics with nonaffective stimulus-response compatibility phenomena that one may doubt whether the underlying mechanisms differ. We suggest an "affectively enriched" version of the theory of event coding (TEC) that is able to account for both affective and nonaffective compatibility, and that can account for the observation that both types of compatibility seem to be modulated by goals and intentions. Predictions from the model are tested in an experiment where participants carried out approach and avoidance responses to either the valence or the orientation of emotionally charged pictures. Under affective instruction the positive-approach/negative-avoid mapping yielded faster responses than the positive-avoid/negative-approach mapping, but no such effect was observed under spatial instruction. Conversely, spatial compatibility effects were obtained under spatial, but not under affective instruction. We conclude that affective and nonaffective compatibility effects reflect the same mechanism. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)
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Implicit measures can be defined as outcomes of measurement procedures that are caused in an automatic manner by psychological attributes. To establish that a measurement outcome is an implicit measure, one should examine (a) whether the outcome is causally produced by the psychological attribute it was designed to measure, (b) the nature of the processes by which the attribute causes the outcome, and (c) whether these processes operate automatically. This normative analysis provides a heuristic framework for organizing past and future research on implicit measures. The authors illustrate the heuristic function of their framework by using it to review past research on the 2 implicit measures that are currently most popular: effects in implicit association tests and affective priming tasks. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).
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Numerous studies use arm movements (arm flexion and extension) to investigate the interaction between emotional stimuli and approach/avoidance behaviour. In many experiments, however, these arm movements are ambiguous. Arm flexion can be interpreted either as pulling (approach) or as withdrawing (avoidance). On the contrary, arm extension can be interpreted as reaching (approach) or as pushing (avoidance). This ambiguity can be resolved by regarding approach and avoidance as flexible action plans that are represented in terms of their effects. Approach actions reduce the distance between a stimulus and the self, whereas avoidance actions increase that distance. In this view, action effects are an integral part of the representation of an action. As a result, a neutral action can become an approach or avoidance reaction if it repeatedly results in decreasing or increasing the distance to a valenced stimulus. This hypothesis was tested in the current study. Participants responded to positive and negative words using key-presses. These "neutral" responses (not involving arm flexion or extension) were consistently followed by a stimulus movement toward or away from the participant. Responses to emotional words were faster when the response's effect was congruent with stimulus valence, suggesting that approach/avoidance actions are indeed defined in terms of their outcomes.
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It is known that the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) is crucially involved in emotion regulation. However, the specific role of the OFC in controlling the behavior evoked by these emotions, such as approach-avoidance (AA) responses, remains largely unexplored. We measured behavioral and neural responses (using fMRI) during the performance of a social task, a reaction time (RT) task where subjects approached or avoided visually presented emotional faces by pulling or pushing a joystick, respectively. RTs were longer for affect-incongruent responses (approach angry faces and avoid happy faces) as compared to affect-congruent responses (approach-happy; avoid-angry). Moreover, affect-incongruent responses recruited increased activity in the left lateral OFC. These behavioral and neural effects emerged only when the subjects responded explicitly to the emotional value of the faces (AA-task) and largely disappeared when subjects responded to an affectively irrelevant feature of the faces during a control (gender evaluation: GE) task. Most crucially, the size of the OFC-effect correlated positively with the size of the behavioral costs of approaching angry faces. These findings qualify the role of the lateral OFC in the voluntary control of social-motivational behavior, emphasizing the relevance of this region for selecting rule-driven stimulus-response associations, while overriding automatic (affect-congruent) stimulus-response mappings.
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In the pain-flexor reflex, arm extension is temporally coupled with the onset of the unconditioned aversive stimulus, whereas flexion is associated with its offset; when retrieving desirable stimuli, arm flexion is more closely coupled temporally to the acquisition or consumption of the desired stimuli than arm extension. It was posited that these contingencies foster an association between arm flexion, in contrast to extension, and approach motivational orientations. Six experiments were conducted to examine this hypothesis. Ideographs presented during arm flexion were subsequently ranked more positively than ideographs presented during arm extension, but only when the Ss' task was to evaluate the ideographs when they were presented initially. Arm flexion and extension were also each found to have discernible attitudinal effects. These results suggest a possible role for nondeclarative memory in attitude formation.
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Traditional approaches to human information processing tend to deal with perception and action planning in isolation, so that an adequate account of the perception-action interface is still missing. On the perceptual side, the dominant cognitive view largely underestimates, and thus fails to account for, the impact of action-related processes on both the processing of perceptual information and on perceptual learning. On the action side, most approaches conceive of action planning as a mere continuation of stimulus processing, thus failing to account for the goal-directedness of even the simplest reaction in an experimental task. We propose a new framework for a more adequate theoretical treatment of perception and action planning, in which perceptual contents and action plans are coded in a common representational medium by feature codes with distal reference. Perceived events (perceptions) and to-be-produced events (actions) are equally represented by integrated, task-tuned networks of feature codes--cognitive structures we call event codes. We give an overview of evidence from a wide variety of empirical domains, such as spatial stimulus-response compatibility, sensorimotor synchronization, and ideomotor action, showing that our main assumptions are well supported by the data.
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Implicit and explicit alcohol-related cognitions were measured in 2 dimensions: positive-negative (valence) and arousal-sedation, with 2 versions of the Implicit Association Test (IAT; A. G. Greenwald, D. E. McGhee, & J. L. Schwartz) and related explicit measures. Heavy drinkers (n = 24) strongly associated alcohol with arousal on the arousal IAT (especially men) and scored higher on explicit arousal expectancies than light drinkers (n = 24). On the valence IAT, both light and heavy drinkers showed strong negative implicit associations with alcohol that contrasted with their positive explicit judgments (heavy drinkers were more positive). Implicit and explicit cognitions uniquely contributed to the prediction of 1-month prospective drinking. Heavy drinkers' implicit arousal associations could reflect the sensitized psychomotor-activating response to drug cues, a motivational mechanism hypothesized to underlie the etiology of addictive behaviors.
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In reporting Implicit Association Test (IAT) results, researchers have most often used scoring conventions described in the first publication of the IAT (A.G. Greenwald, D.E. McGhee, & J.L.K. Schwartz, 1998). Demonstration IATs available on the Internet have produced large data sets that were used in the current article to evaluate alternative scoring procedures. Candidate new algorithms were examined in terms of their (a) correlations with parallel self-report measures, (b) resistance to an artifact associated with speed of responding, (c) internal consistency, (d) sensitivity to known influences on IAT measures, and (e) resistance to known procedural influences. The best-performing measure incorporates data from the IAT's practice trials, uses a metric that is calibrated by each respondent's latency variability, and includes a latency penalty for errors. This new algorithm strongly outperforms the earlier (conventional) procedure.
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Emotional reactions are organized by underlying motivational states--defensive and appetitive--that have evolved to promote the survival of individuals and species. Affective responses were measured while participants viewed pictures with varied emotional and neutral content. Consistent with the motivational hypothesis, reports of the strongest emotional arousal, largest skin conductance responses, most pronounced cardiac deceleration, and greatest modulation of the startle reflex occurred when participants viewed pictures depicting threat, violent death, and erotica. Moreover, reflex modulation and conductance change varied with arousal, whereas facial patterns were content specific. The findings suggest that affective responses serve different functions-mobilization for action, attention, and social communication-and reflect the motivational system that is engaged, its intensity of activation, and the specific emotional context.
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Affect may have the function of preparing organisms for action, enabling approach and avoidance behavior. M. Chen and J. A. Bargh (1999) suggested that affective processing automatically resulted in action tendencies for arm flexion and extension. The crucial question is, however, whether automaticity of evaluation was actually achieved or whether their results were due to nonautomatic, conscious processing. When faces with emotional expressions were evaluated consciously, similar effects were obtained as in the M. Chen and J. A. Bargh study. When conscious evaluation was reduced, however, no action tendencies were observed, whereas affective processing of the faces was still evident from affective priming effects. The results suggest that tendencies for arm flexion and extension are not automatic consequences of automatic affective information processing.
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This article describes a 2-systems model that explains social behavior as a joint function of reflective and impulsive processes. In particular, it is assumed that social behavior is controlled by 2 interacting systems that follow different operating principles. The reflective system generates behavioral decisions that are based on knowledge about facts and values, whereas the impulsive system elicits behavior through associative links and motivational orientations. The proposed model describes how the 2 systems interact at various stages of processing, and how their outputs may determine behavior in a synergistic or antagonistic fashion. It extends previous models by integrating motivational components that allow more precise predictions of behavior. The implications of this reflective-impulsive model are applied to various phenomena from social psychology and beyond. Extending previous dual-process accounts, this model is not limited to specific domains of mental functioning and attempts to integrate cognitive, motivational, and behavioral mechanisms.
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This article advances a simple conception of test validity: A test is valid for measuring an attribute if (a) the attribute exists and (b) variations in the attribute causally produce variation in the measurement outcomes. This conception is shown to diverge from current validity theory in several respects. In particular, the emphasis in the proposed conception is on ontology, reference, and causality, whereas current validity theory focuses on epistemology, meaning, and correlation. It is argued that the proposed conception is not only simpler but also theoretically superior to the position taken in the existing literature. Further, it has clear theoretical and practical implications for validation research. Most important, validation research must not be directed at the relation between the measured attribute and other attributes but at the processes that convey the effect of the measured attribute on the test scores.
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Five studies examined whether, in self-control dilemmas, individuals develop an implicit disposition to approach goals and avoid temptations, psychologically as well as physically. Using a method developed by A. K. Solarz (1960; see also K. L. Duckworth, J. A. Bargh, M. Garcia, & S. Chaiken, 2002), the authors assessed the time for pulling and pushing a lever in response to goal- and temptation-related stimuli (e.g., studying and partying). The results show that individuals offset the influence of tempting activities by automatically avoiding these stimuli (faster pushing responses) and by approaching stimuli related to an overarching goal (faster pulling responses). These implicit self-control dispositions varied as a function of the magnitude of the self-control conflict, itself defined by how strongly individuals were attracted to temptations and held the longer term goal. These dispositions were further shown to play a role in successful self-control.
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In psychological research, it is desirable to be able to make statistical comparisons between correlation coefficients measured on the same individuals. For example, an experimenter (E) may wish to assess whether 2 predictors correlate equally with a criterion variable. In another situation, the E may wish to test the hypothesis that an entire matrix of correlations has remained stable over time. The present article reviews the literature on such tests, points out some statistics that should be avoided, and presents a variety of techniques that can be used safely with medium to large samples. Several numerical examples are provided. (18 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)