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Instruction-based approach-avoidance effects: changing stimulus evaluation via the mere instruction to approach or avoid stimuli

Pieter Van Dessel (UGent) , Jan De Houwer (UGent) , Anne Gast (UGent) and Colin Smith (UGent)
(2015) EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY. 62(3). p.161-169
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Abstract
Prior research suggests that repeatedly approaching or avoiding a certain stimulus changes the liking of this stimulus. We investigated whether these effects of approach and avoidance training occur also when participants do not perform these actions but are merely instructed about the stimulus-action contingencies. Stimulus evaluations were registered using both implicit ( Implicit Association Test and evaluative priming) and explicit measures ( valence ratings). Instruction-based approach-avoidance effects were observed for relatively neutral fictitious social groups ( i.e., Niffites and Luupites), but not for clearly valenced well-known social groups ( i.e., Blacks and Whites). We conclude that instructions to approach or avoid stimuli can provide sufficient bases for establishing both implicit and explicit evaluations of novel stimuli and discuss several possible reasons for why similar instruction-based approach-avoidance effects were not found for valenced well-known stimuli.
Keywords
AUTOMATIC ACTION TENDENCIES, IMPLICIT ASSOCIATION TEST, APPROACH BEHAVIORS, ATTITUDES, DETERMINANTS, FAMILIARITY, EXTINCTION, PERCEPTION. approach, avoidance, training, instructions, evaluations, implicit attitudes, IAT

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Chicago
Van Dessel, Pieter, Jan De Houwer, Anne Gast, and Colin Smith. 2015. “Instruction-based Approach-avoidance Effects: Changing Stimulus Evaluation via the Mere Instruction to Approach or Avoid Stimuli.” Experimental Psychology 62 (3): 161–169.
APA
Van Dessel, P., De Houwer, J., Gast, A., & Smith, C. (2015). Instruction-based approach-avoidance effects: changing stimulus evaluation via the mere instruction to approach or avoid stimuli. EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY, 62(3), 161–169.
Vancouver
1.
Van Dessel P, De Houwer J, Gast A, Smith C. Instruction-based approach-avoidance effects: changing stimulus evaluation via the mere instruction to approach or avoid stimuli. EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY. 2015;62(3):161–9.
MLA
Van Dessel, Pieter, Jan De Houwer, Anne Gast, et al. “Instruction-based Approach-avoidance Effects: Changing Stimulus Evaluation via the Mere Instruction to Approach or Avoid Stimuli.” EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 62.3 (2015): 161–169. Print.
@article{5705295,
  abstract     = {Prior research suggests that repeatedly approaching or avoiding a certain stimulus changes the liking of this stimulus. We investigated whether these effects of approach and avoidance training occur also when participants do not perform these actions but are merely instructed about the stimulus-action contingencies. Stimulus evaluations were registered using both implicit ( Implicit Association Test and evaluative priming) and explicit measures ( valence ratings). Instruction-based approach-avoidance effects were observed for relatively neutral fictitious social groups ( i.e., Niffites and Luupites), but not for clearly valenced well-known social groups ( i.e., Blacks and Whites). We conclude that instructions to approach or avoid stimuli can provide sufficient bases for establishing both implicit and explicit evaluations of novel stimuli and discuss several possible reasons for why similar instruction-based approach-avoidance effects were not found for valenced well-known stimuli.},
  author       = {Van Dessel, Pieter and De Houwer, Jan and Gast, Anne and Smith, Colin},
  issn         = {1618-3169},
  journal      = {EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {161--169},
  title        = {Instruction-based approach-avoidance effects: changing stimulus evaluation via the mere instruction to approach or avoid stimuli},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1027/1618-3169/a000282},
  volume       = {62},
  year         = {2015},
}

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