Impulsivity does not moderate the relationship between attentional bias and stimulus control
thesisposted on 2023-05-27, 09:18 authored by McCrae, AE
Researchers have been increasingly interested in the role that attentional bias to food cues plays in obesity. While some researchers have documented a positive association between attentional bias to food cues and obesity, other studies have failed to find such a relationship. Theory suggests that attentional bias and stimulus control are linked but recent work by our lab failed to observe the theorised positive association between these variables during real-world eating. This may have been because executive functions such as levels of impulsivity were not accounted for. This research investigated the role of impulsivity as a moderator for the relationship between attentional bias and stimulus control. After completing the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale to assess impulsivity levels, and a visual probe task to assess attentional bias, participants (N = 70) monitored their eating for 14 days as they went about their daily lives. Results did not support impulsivity as a moderator for the relationship between attentional bias and stimulus control. Nor was there a correlation between attentional bias and stimulus control. Study outcomes may have been limited by the measurements employed, particularly in relation to attentional bias. Future research should focus on standardising measures for and definitions of, attentional bias.
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