|||FAILURES TO CHANGE STIMULUS EVALUATIONS BY MEANS OF SUBLIMINAL APPROACH AND AVOIDANCE TRAINING||Jan De Houwer||UGENT||2015 10||
Van Dessel, P. , De Houwer, J., Roets, A., & Gast, A. (2016). Failures to change stimulus evaluations by means of subliminal approach and avoidance training. Journal of Social and Personality Psychology, 110, e1-e15. Previous research suggests that the repeated performance of approach and avoidance (AA) actions in response to a stimulus causes changes in stimulus evaluations. Kawakami, Phills, Steele, and Dovidio (2007) and Jones, Vilensky, Vasey, and Fazio (2013) provided evidence that these AA training effects occur even when stimuli are presented only subliminally. We also examined whether reliable AA training effects can be observed with subliminal stimulus presentations but added more sensitive checks of perceptual stimulus discriminability. Three experiments, including a direct replication of the study by Kawakami et al. (2007), failed to provide any evidence for effects of subliminal AA training on implicit or explicit evaluations. Bayesian analyses indicated that our data provide robust evidence that subliminal AA training does not cause changes in evaluations. In contrast, we observed changes in evaluations when participants were provided with (either correct or incorrect) information about the stimulus-action contingencies in the subliminal AA training task and when participants performed a supraliminal AA training task that allowed participants to detect these contingencies. These findings support the idea that contingency awareness is necessary for the occurrence of AA training effects.