Breaking News
March 23, 2019 - Study suggests depression screening when assessing African-Americans for schizophrenia
March 23, 2019 - New electronic support system for choosing drug treatment based on patient’s genotype
March 23, 2019 - First-of-its-kind study provides pregnancy statistics of imprisoned U.S. women
March 23, 2019 - Marinus Pharmaceuticals Initiates Phase 3 Study in Children with PCDH19-Related Epilepsy
March 23, 2019 - Laparoscopy: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
March 23, 2019 - Shellfish allergies: can they be treated?
March 23, 2019 - Toilet seat heart monitoring system
March 23, 2019 - Researchers identify way to improve common treatment for PTSD
March 23, 2019 - High potency cannabis use linked to psychosis finds study
March 23, 2019 - Evoke Pharma Submits Response to FDA Review Letter for Gimoti NDA
March 23, 2019 - Tracking HIV’s ever-evolving genome in effort to prioritize public health resources
March 23, 2019 - Scientists grow most sophisticated brain organoid to date
March 23, 2019 - ADHD drug raising risk of psychosis
March 22, 2019 - FDA approves brexanolone, first drug developed to treat postpartum depression
March 22, 2019 - Gruesome cat and dog experiments by the USDA exposed
March 22, 2019 - Ball pits used in children’s physical therapy may contribute to germ transmission
March 22, 2019 - Long-term use of inexpensive weight-loss drug may be safe and effective
March 22, 2019 - FDA Approves Sunosi (solriamfetol) for Excessive Daytime Sleepiness Associated with Narcolepsy or Obstructive Sleep Apnea
March 22, 2019 - Anti-Müllerian Hormone Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
March 22, 2019 - Finding the right exercise, diet aids for HIV patients
March 22, 2019 - Health Plans For State Employees Use Medicare’s Hammer On Hospital Bills
March 22, 2019 - Researchers develop new tool for imaging large groups of neurons in living animals
March 22, 2019 - Certain bacteria and immune factors in vagina may cause or protect against preterm birth
March 22, 2019 - Novel breath test could pave new way to non-invasively measure gut health
March 22, 2019 - Pharmaceutical and personal care products may result in new contaminants in waterways
March 22, 2019 - ACC: Catheter Ablation Does Not Cut Mortality, Stroke in A-Fib
March 22, 2019 - Wiedemann-Rautenstrauch syndrome – Genetics Home Reference
March 22, 2019 - Health insurance is not assurance of healthcare
March 22, 2019 - Supporting “curiosity-driven research” at the Discovery Innovation Awards
March 22, 2019 - Must-Reads Of The Week (Some Flying Below The Radar)
March 22, 2019 - Newly engineered nanoscale protein micelles can be tracked by MRI
March 22, 2019 - Mayo Clinic study identifies potential new drug therapy for liver diseases
March 22, 2019 - Pitt engineers win $550,000 NSF CAREER award to develop new intervention for people with ASD
March 22, 2019 - Early discharge does not increase readmission risk for patients after lung surgery
March 22, 2019 - Creating diverse pool of trained scientists to address Alzheimer’s research needs
March 22, 2019 - Surprising discovery offers clues to limit graft-vs.-host disease
March 22, 2019 - Study shows ACA’s positive impact on healthcare affordability and access for women
March 22, 2019 - Study provides new pathway for controlling inflammation
March 22, 2019 - New combination treatment shows promise for common brain tumor in children
March 22, 2019 - Virginia Tech Helmet Lab releases first youth-specific football helmet ratings
March 22, 2019 - New algae-based treatment could reduce need for limb amputation
March 22, 2019 - Stroke risk reduces in both black and white older Medicare beneficiaries, study reports
March 22, 2019 - City of Hope exhibits current studies and data on cancer therapies at AACR
March 22, 2019 - New study identifies CD40 molecule as key entry point for dangerous bacteria
March 22, 2019 - Health Tip: Six Steps to a Healthier Life
March 22, 2019 - even a little activity helps you live longer
March 22, 2019 - Many individuals recovering from addiction continue to suffer from chronic physical disease
March 22, 2019 - New drugs on PBS for Parkinson’s, MND and Cutaneous T cell lymphoma
March 22, 2019 - Saving energy also saves lives, UW-Madison study says
March 22, 2019 - Former inmates who receive social support have better mental health, study finds
March 22, 2019 - Nanofibrous membrane could enhance periodontal tissue regeneration
March 22, 2019 - Anti-vaxxer Italian leader down with chickenpox
March 22, 2019 - Servier collaborates with Harvard researchers to fight metabolic diseases
March 22, 2019 - National Eating Disorders Association
March 22, 2019 - Pumping up red blood cell production
March 22, 2019 - Excessive phosphate fertilizer may hurt plants by altering microbial composition in soil
March 22, 2019 - Medical marijuana laws could be improving older Americans’ health, study suggests
March 22, 2019 - Study indicates the benefits of stopping aspirin in heart attack patients
March 22, 2019 - Deep brain stimulation offers significant relief for patients with treatment-resistant depression
March 22, 2019 - Mental health problems in young adults on the rise
March 22, 2019 - Innovative membrane offers a viable solution for periodontitis
March 22, 2019 - The FDA Grants Rare Pediatric Disease Designation to Odiparcil for the Treatment of MPS VI
March 22, 2019 - insulin therapy: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
March 22, 2019 - Guidelines on the use of genetic testing in psychiatry
March 22, 2019 - Aspiring Doctors Seek Advanced Training In Addiction Medicine
March 22, 2019 - A change in focus could enable the development of new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease
March 22, 2019 - A new way to visualize the immune cell “landscape” of bowel cancer tumors
March 22, 2019 - Understanding maintenance of quiescent stem cells in chronic myelogenous leukemia
March 22, 2019 - Ludwig scientists to share advances in cancer research at AACR Annual Meeting 2019
March 22, 2019 - Less invasive valve replacement can be safe and effective alternative for healthier patients
March 22, 2019 - Aphasia research reveals new, complex interactions between thought and language
March 22, 2019 - Artificial neural networks can predict how different areas in the brain respond to words
March 22, 2019 - Age-related changes to gut microbiome have adverse impact on vascular health, study shows
March 22, 2019 - Study provides new insight into blood cell and immune cell production
March 22, 2019 - Isolated seniors chat online to prevent cognitive decline
March 22, 2019 - Repurposing drugs to outsmart cancers
March 22, 2019 - Naltrexone implant more effective in reducing relapses in HIV patients with opioid addiction
March 22, 2019 - The Brain Institute wins $7.04 million grant to investigate ‘neurophilosphy of free will’
March 22, 2019 - Karyopharm Announces FDA Extension of Review Period for Selinexor New Drug Application
March 22, 2019 - Eruptive xanthomatosis
Consequence-based cognitive training may be more effective, studies suggest

Consequence-based cognitive training may be more effective, studies suggest

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Interventions aimed at reducing unhealthy behaviors often focus on retraining people’s mental associations, but a series of studies suggests that showing people the consequences of the behaviors may be more effective. The findings are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

The research specifically focuses on “approach-avoidance” training in which participants learn to approach some targets (e.g., nutritious foods) and avoid other ones (e.g., junk foods). Repeated exposure to these pairings is supposed to reinforce their mental associations in ways that increase positive behaviors and reduce negative behaviors. However, studies have not consistently shown an effect of this type of training.

Psychological scientist Pieter Van Dessel and colleagues hypothesized that this training may work when it actually alters people’s beliefs about the consequences that follow when they approach or avoid certain foods.

“Our findings show that targeting these adaptive inferences can be effective in changing unhealthy eating behavior,” says Van Dessel, a researcher at Ghent University. “This is important because it is often difficult to change these types of automatic behavior.”

Van Dessel and coauthors Sean Hughes and Jan De Houwer tested their hypothesis in three online studies and one lab-based study, with a combined total of 1,547 participants. In all four studies, the participants completed a series of computer-based trials in which they saw a digital avatar standing near an open refrigerator. In each trial, the refrigerator contained a particular food and a color cue indicated whether the participants should move the avatar toward the food or away from it.

Some participants also saw a bar that indicated the avatar’s health, which reflected the consequences of the participants’ decisions. If they chose to approach the healthy food (or avoid the unhealthy food), the avatar’s health bar filled up and the avatar appeared healthier while exclaiming “I feel healthy.” Choosing to approach the unhealthy food (or avoid the healthy food), on the other hand, depleted the health bar and the avatar appeared less healthy, exclaiming “I feel sick.”

Another group of participants saw these outcomes and were explicitly told to try to make their avatar as healthy as possible.

The results were consistent across the studies: Participants who had the explicit mission of maximizing their avatar’s health showed the most positive automatic evaluations of the healthy food, gave the most positive ratings to the healthy food, and were most likely to choose a coupon for the healthy food compared with participants who saw the consequences of their choices but had no goal and those who did not see the consequences at all and only performed the typical approach-avoidance training.

Participants who were given a health-related goal also seemed to internalize the relationship between the foods and their consequences – compared with the other groups, they were most likely to approach the healthy food and avoid the unhealthy food when they were given free rein to choose foods without any consequences.

These effects also extended to actual eating behavior. In one version of the experiment, participants followed the avatar task with a supposedly unrelated task that involved rating the sensory characteristics of snack foods, such as candy and potato chips. The results showed that participants who had worked to maximize their avatar’s health in the first task ate smaller quantities of the snacks compared with their peers.

In another experiment, participants who had the goal of boosting their avatar’s health reported less unhealthy eating the next day and a greater intention to eat healthy foods.

Van Dessel was intrigued to find that the results of the inference training were so robust:

“After one instance of inference training, on one occasion, in one specific context, we found effects on participants’ actual snacking behavior and self-reported food consumption a day after the training,” he says. “This is striking because this quick training needs to go against an entire learning history of many years, in which people might have learned that eating unhealthy foods has positive effects for them.”

The findings suggest that when trainees have a goal that requires that they learn the consequences of certain behaviors, it enhances the overall effectiveness of approach-avoidance training. Future research will help to illuminate whether changing certain aspects of the task, such as making it more personally relevant or including more trials, will strengthen the effects.

The researchers are now expanding on these findings, investigating whether consequence-based training can help to reduce other unwanted behaviors (such as smoking and alcohol use), and even increase certain positive behaviors (such as environmentally friendly behaviors).

Source:

https://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/releases/cognitive-training-focused-on-consequences-may-promote-healthier-habits.html

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles