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Int J Eat Disord. 2005 Mar;37(2):156-60.

The impact of subliminal abandonment and unification cues on eating behavior.

Author information

1
Department of Mental Health, St. George's Hospital Medical School, University of London, Cranmer Terrace, London, SO17 0RE, United Kingdom.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Subliminal presentation of visual abandonment cues leads to greater levels of eating, despite a lack of conscious awareness of the information involved. The current study examined whether this behavioral impact can be countered by the subliminal presentation of contradictory, counterschematic information (unification cues).

METHOD:

Ninety-six nonclinical women were presented with subliminal abandonment cues, either preceded or followed by neutral or unification cues. The dependent variable was the amount eaten after the task.

RESULTS:

Presenting subliminal unification information before or after the subliminal abandonment cue significantly reduced the amount eaten (relative to the impact of neutral cues).

DISCUSSION:

These findings are consistent with a model where preconscious processing of unification cues has the effect deactivating abandonment schemas, either through inoculation or restoration. Preconscious presentation of unification cues might play a role in the broader cognitive-behavioral treatment of bulimic behaviors.

PMID:
15732066
DOI:
10.1002/eat.20072
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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