Bias modification training can alter approach bias and chocolate consumption

Sophie Schumacher, Eva Kemps, Marika Tiggemann

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    71 Citations (Scopus)


    Recent evidence has demonstrated that bias modification training has potential to reduce cognitive biases for attractive targets and affect health behaviours. The present study investigated whether cognitive bias modification training could be applied to reduce approach bias for chocolate and affect subsequent chocolate consumption. A sample of 120 women (18-27 years) were randomly assigned to an approach-chocolate condition or avoid-chocolate condition, in which they were trained to approach or avoid pictorial chocolate stimuli, respectively. Training had the predicted effect on approach bias, such that participants trained to approach chocolate demonstrated an increased approach bias to chocolate stimuli whereas participants trained to avoid such stimuli showed a reduced bias. Further, participants trained to avoid chocolate ate significantly less of a chocolate muffin in a subsequent taste test than participants trained to approach chocolate. Theoretically, results provide support for the dual process model's conceptualisation of consumption as being driven by implicit processes such as approach bias. In practice, approach bias modification may be a useful component of interventions designed to curb the consumption of unhealthy foods.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)219-224
    Number of pages6
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


    • Approach bias
    • Approach-avoidance task
    • Chocolate
    • Cognitive bias modification
    • Consumption


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