Measurement of Chocolate Approach Tendency by a Touchpad Task- a Methodological Study

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The present study aimed at validating a touchpad version of the Approach-Avoidance Task (AAT). The widely-used joystick AAT is a common instrument for measuring and assessing implicit motivation and automatic action tendencies. However, joystick use, for work and leisure, is decreasing, nowadays, touchpads are being used much more often instead. Therefore, this study aimed to measure an automatic chocolate-approach tendency by using a touchpad AAT. The research questions were whether a chocolate-approach tendency can be found with the touchpad AAT and whether the chocolate-approach tendency correlates with the participants’ current craving for chocolate. The third research question was which of the different reaction times, that can be measured during the touchpad AAT, measures the approach-avoidance tendency in a way which corresponds to the joystick AAT. In total, 55 social organization employees took part in the study. The results indicated no chocolate-approach tendency for any of the reaction times during the touchpad AAT, and no correlation between chocolate-approach tendency and current chocolate craving. Therefore, this study did not confirm the validity of the touchpad AAT. The results were probably influenced by the sample composition and shortcomings in the touchpad-instrument.
Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen