King’s College London, UK
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: Clin Exp Psychol
Statement of the Problem: Impairment in inhibitory control has been suggested to be associated with major
disorders such as overeating, substance use and gambling. Albeit response inhibition training (training to inhibit
one’s responses) has been found to be effective for these disorders, not any previous research has attempted to explore
the role of inhibitory control and apply such training for compulsive buying as compulsive buying has been also
found to be underpinned by a deficit in inhibition.
Aim: This study aims to explore the effectiveness of response inhibition training on compulsive acquisition as a first attempt to support novel treatment approaches.
Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: Sixty-nine individuals with a relatively high compulsive acquisition were selected from a non-clinical student population and were allocated to a randomized, double blind design to receive four 10-min sessions of go/no-go training in either active or inactive condition. In training, participants were told to withhold their responses to either chosen items (active condition) or to faces and landscapes (inactive condition). Participants were told to complete the training pre- and post-intervention and provided self-report measures of compulsive acquisition at pre, post and follow up.
Findings: Participants in the active condition showed a significant reduction in the likeability of both chosen and corresponding items compared to participants in the inactive condition in which a slight reduction was observed only at follow-up. Not any association between intervention and shopping tasks, three main self-report measures was found. There was also no observed effect of intervention on the number of bought items and total spending.
Conclusion & Significance: This is the first study to investigate the effectiveness of response inhibition training on compulsive acquisition. The results show that future studies are warranted to look at the role of inhibitory control and evaluate the training effect.
1. Allom V, Mullan B and Hagger M (2016) Does inhibitory control training improve health behaviour? A metaanalysis. Health Psychology Review, 10(2):168-186.
2. Jones A and Field M (2013) The effects of cue-specific inhibition training on alcohol consumption in heavy social drinkers. Experimental and clinical psychopharmacology, 21(1): 8-16.
3. Lawrence N S, O’Sullivan J, Parslow D, Javaid M, Adams R C, Chambers C D and Verbruggen F (2015) Training response inhibition to food is associated with weight loss and reduced energy intake. Appetite, 95:17-28.
4. Muller A, Mitchell J E and de Zwaan M (2015) Compulsive buying. The American Journal on Addictions, 24(2):132-137.
5. Stevens T, Brevers D, Chambers C D, Lavric A, McLaren I P, Mertens M and Verbruggen F (2015) How does response inhibition influence decision making when gambling? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 21(1):15-36.
Elif Peksevim has received her BA in Psychology from Ozyegin University in 2016 and her MSc in Mental Health Studies from King’s College London in 2018. Her research topic is to evaluate the effectiveness of response inhibition training on compulsive buying which has been suggested to be an impulse control related disorder. Her aim is to come up with a novel treatment approach for compulsive buying where the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been suggested to be limited. She previously held in various internships including French Lape Hospital, Institute of Behavioral Science, and Bethlem Royal Hospital. Her research interests are centered on behaviour change, self-control and dual-process theory.