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01-02-2013 | Original Article | Uitgave 1/2013

Cognitive Therapy and Research 1/2013

Attentional Bias and Slowed Disengagement from Food and Threat Stimuli in Restrained Eaters Using a Modified Stroop Task

Tijdschrift:
Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 1/2013
Auteurs:
Ceri Wilson, Deborah J. Wallis

Abstract

This experiment examined fast (orientation) and slow (disengagement) components of attention to food and interpersonal threat words in high and low restrained eaters using a modified Stroop task. Target words (food, interpersonal ego threat, neutral) were presented prior to a sequence of four matched neutral words. Participants were slow to disengage from food and ego threat words, and this pattern was particularly striking for the high restraint group. Findings show no evidence of an orientation bias but indicate that slowed disengagement from these stimuli can be demonstrated consistently using the Stroop task. However, restraint was not a significant predictor, and slowed disengagement was also found in the neutral condition, suggesting a categorical effect. This study provides important suggestions for modifications of Stroop tasks designed to target both attention bias and disengagement. Implications of slowed disengagement from disorder-relevant stimuli are discussed in relation to the development of disordered eating.

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