Recent findings show that preferences for food items can be modified without external reinforcements using the cue-approach task. In the task, the mere association of food item images with a neutral auditory cue and a speeded button press, resulted in enhanced preferences for the associated stimuli. In a series of 10 independent samples with a total of 255 participants, we show for the first time that using this non-reinforced method we can enhance preferences for faces, fractals and affective images, as well as snack foods, using auditory, visual and even aversive cues. This change was highly durable in follow-up sessions performed one to six months after training. Preferences were successfully enhanced for all conditions, except for negative valence items. These findings promote our understanding of non-reinforced change, suggest a boundary condition for the effect and lay the foundation for development of novel applications.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Israeli Science Foundation (ISF number 1798/15 and 2004/15) and the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement n° 715016) granted to Tom Schonberg.
© 2018 The Author(s).