About this Research Topic
Environmental cues have been shown to be associated with a range of health behaviors, including eating and drug use. The relationship between environmental cues and health behaviors is typically viewed as an example of stimulus control. Various theories have described how associative learning processes can result in the observed relationship between environmental cues and health behaviors. These theories propose that cues that have been repeatedly paired with a behavior (for example, a specific location and drug administration) gain strong motivational properties and can “grab” an individual’s attention. This preference for certain environmental stimuli is referred to as ‘attentional bias,’ a form of cognitive bias which involves giving preferential attention to a particular type of information.
The attentional bias literature is highly variable with regard to the association between attentional bias and measurable health behaviours, and factors that moderate this association. Some of this variation may be due to issues with how attentional bias is measured. Within the literature, there is currently a lack of agreement as to the best way to measure attentional bias, with various measures and tasks (e.g., dot probe task, eye tracking, stroop task) being commonly used and reported to measure the same construct. Similarly, even when the same attentional bias measures have been used, labs can also differ in the way that these measures are scored. Currently, it remains unclear how much this variation in measurement uniformity contributes to the variation across the literature.
To address this objective, this Research Topic will focus on the measurement and interpretation of attentional bias. We welcome submissions focusing on any type of health behavior (e.g., drug use, eating, exercise etc). While not exhaustive, we are particularly interested in Original Research and Review articles that address the following subtopics:
• Relating attentional bias measures to health behaviors;
• Relating changes in attentional bias scores to changes in health behaviors;
• Assessing moderators of attentional bias;
• Describing the development and/or evaluation of attentional bias interventions;
• Examining issues related to the measurement of attentional bias.
Keywords: attentional bias, measurement, interpretation, obesity, dependence, health behavior, attentional processes, associative learning
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.