Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 507959
Title Goal-Directed Visual Attention Drives Health Goal Priming: An Eye-Tracking Experiment
Author(s) Laan, Laura N. van der; Hooge, I.T.C.; Smeets, P.A.M.
Source Health Psychology 36 (2017)1. - ISSN 0278-6133 - p. 82 - 90.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/hea0000410
Department(s) Chair Sensory Science and Eating Behaviour
VLAG
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2017
Abstract Objective: Several lab and field experiments have shown that goal priming interventions can be highly effective in promoting healthy food choices. Less is known, however, about the mechanisms by which goal priming affects food choice. This experiment tested the hypothesis that goal priming affects
food choices through changes in visual attention. Specifically, it was hypothesized that priming with the dieting goal steers attention toward goal-relevant, low energy food products, which, in turn, increases the likelihood of choosing these products. Methods: In this eye-tracking experiment, 125 participants chose between high and low energy food products in a realistic online supermarket task while their eye movements were recorded with an eye-tracker. One group was primed with a health and dieting goal, a second group was exposed to a control prime, and a third group was exposed to no prime at all. Results: The health goal prime increased low energy food choices
and decreased high energy food choices. Furthermore, the health goal prime resulted in proportionally longer total dwell times on low energy food products, and this effect mediated the goal priming effect on choices. Conclusions: The findings suggest that the effect of priming on consumer choice may originate from an increase in attention for prime-congruent items. This study
supports the effectiveness of health goal priming interventions in promoting healthy eating and opens up directions for research on other behavioral interventions that steer attention toward healthy foods.
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