Effects of go/no-go training on food-related action tendencies, liking and choice


Inhibitory control training effects on behaviour (e.g. ‘healthier’ food choices) can be driven by changes in affective evaluations of trained stimuli, and theoretical models indicate that changes in action tendencies may be a complementary mechanism. In this preregistered study, we investigated the effects of food-specific go/no-go training on action tendencies, liking and impulsive choices in healthy participants. In the training task, energy-dense foods were assigned to one of three conditions: 100% inhibition (no-go), 0% inhibition (go) or 50% inhibition (control). Automatic action tendencies and liking were measured pre- and post-training for each condition. We found that training did not lead to changes in approach bias towards trained foods (go and no-go relative to control), but we warrant caution in interpreting this finding as there are important limitations to consider for the employed approach–avoidance task. There was only anecdotal evidence for an effect on food liking, but there was evidence for contingency learning during training, and participants were on average less likely to choose a no-go food compared to a control food after training. We discuss these findings from both a methodological and theoretical standpoint and propose that the mechanisms of action behind training effects be investigated further.

Royal Society Open Science
Loukia Tzavella

📚 My research interests include experimental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, implicit cognition, reproducibility and metascience.