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Title: Induced impulsiveness? : eating behaviour and the modulation of behavioural sub-types of impulsivity
Author: Brace, Aaron
ISNI:       0000 0004 5924 0690
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2016
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Previous research has implicated the role of food associated cues or pre-task reward exposure with eating behaviour. Eating behaviour (specifically overeating) has itself been associated with subtypes of impulsivity. To date, no research has examined the direct relationship between (food) reward-associated cues, or rewarding food exposure on behavioural impulsivity – a possible underlying mechanism. This thesis aimed to examine how behavioural impulsivity may be modulated by external cues, or by hedonic reward consumption, and how this interacts with eating attitudes (TFEQ). Experiment 1 examined the aims explicitly, giving participants a hedonic preload (or nothing) before they completed impulsivity tasks. Those who received a preload were more impulsive in terms of their impulsive choice, and inhibitory control than those who had not received a preload. This effect did not replicate in experiment 3, where 2 further conditions were added, a non-hedonic preload, and an anticipation condition, but no differences were found between the groups. Experiment 4 conditioned rewarding cues to novel stimuli, and presented them before the behavioural tasks, but again, no difference was found between the groups. This thesis discusses the theoretical and methodological concepts, which may explain some of these null findings. Experiment 2 aimed to examine how the reinforcing value of food (RRV) may be associated with types of impulsivity. However, no relationship was found between RRV and impulsivity, but RRV was consistent in predicting ad libitum food intake, as shown in previous studies. Chapter 6 of this thesis is a meta-analysis of our laboratory's research linking delayed discounting (DDT), the TFEQ, and cue exposure paradigms. The analysis showed that those in high in dietary disinhibition (TFEQ-D) who were shown food cues, or consumed a hedonic preload were more impulsive on the DDT than those high in TFEQ-D that did not consume anything. The key limitations of this thesis are discussed, most notably the lack of statistical power in the experimental studies conducted. The general discussion of this thesis discusses the important implications of this finding in understanding modulation of behavioural impulsivity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF0199 Behaviourism. Neobehaviourism. Behavioural psychology