Exposure to food cues moderates the indirect effect of reward sensitivity and external eating via implicit eating expectancies

Maxwell, Aimee L., Loxton, Natalie J. and Hennegan, Julie M. (2017) Exposure to food cues moderates the indirect effect of reward sensitivity and external eating via implicit eating expectancies. Appetite, 111 135-141. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2016.12.037

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Author Maxwell, Aimee L.
Loxton, Natalie J.
Hennegan, Julie M.
Title Exposure to food cues moderates the indirect effect of reward sensitivity and external eating via implicit eating expectancies
Journal name Appetite   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1095-8304
0195-6663
Publication date 2017-04-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.appet.2016.12.037
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 111
Start page 135
End page 141
Total pages 7
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
Language eng
Abstract Previous research has suggested that the expectancy "eating is rewarding" is one pathway driving the relationship between trait reward sensitivity and externally-driven eating. The aim of the current study was to extend previous research by examining the conditions under which the indirect effect of reward sensitivity and external eating via this eating expectancy occurs. Using a conditional indirect effects approach we tested the moderating effect of exposure to food cues (e.g., images) relative to non-food cues on the association between reward sensitivity and external eating, via eating expectancies. Participants (N = 119, M = 18.67 years of age, SD = 2.40) were university women who completed a computerised food expectancies task (E-TASK) in which they were randomly assigned to either an appetitive food cue condition or non-food cue condition and then responded to a series of eating expectancy statements or self-description personality statements. Participants also completed self-report trait measures of reward sensitivity in addition to measures of eating expectancies (i.e., endorsement of the belief that eating is a rewarding experience). Results revealed higher reward sensitivity was associated with faster reaction times to the eating expectancies statement. This was moderated by cue-condition such that the association between reward sensitivity and faster reaction time was only found in the food cue condition. Faster endorsement of this belief (i.e., reaction time) was also associated with greater external eating. These results provide additional support for the proposal that individuals high in reward sensitivity form implicit associations with positive beliefs about eating when exposed to food cues.
Formatted abstract
Previous research has suggested that the expectancy “eating is rewarding” is one pathway driving the relationship between trait reward sensitivity and externally-driven eating. The aim of the current study was to extend previous research by examining the conditions under which the indirect effect of reward sensitivity and external eating via this eating expectancy occurs. Using a conditional indirect effects approach we tested the moderating effect of exposure to food cues (e.g., images) relative to non-food cues on the association between reward sensitivity and external eating, via eating expectancies. Participants (N = 119, M = 18.67 years of age, SD = 2.40) were university women who completed a computerised food expectancies task (E-TASK) in which they were randomly assigned to either an appetitive food cue condition or non-food cue condition and then responded to a series of eating expectancy statements or self-description personality statements. Participants also completed self-report trait measures of reward sensitivity in addition to measures of eating expectancies (i.e., endorsement of the belief that eating is a rewarding experience). Results revealed higher reward sensitivity was associated with faster reaction times to the eating expectancies statement. This was moderated by cue-condition such that the association between reward sensitivity and faster reaction time was only found in the food cue condition. Faster endorsement of this belief (i.e., reaction time) was also associated with greater external eating. These results provide additional support for the proposal that individuals high in reward sensitivity form implicit associations with positive beliefs about eating when exposed to food cues.
Keyword Expectancies
External eating
Food cues
Reward sensitivity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research Publications
School of Psychology Publications
 
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