D. van Gucht
- Counterconditioning reduces cue-induced craving and actual cue-elicited consumption.
- Volume | Issue number
- 10 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Cue-induced craving is not easily reduced by an extinction or exposure procedure and may constitute an important route toward relapse in addictive behavior after treatment. In the present study, we investigated the effectiveness of counterconditioning as an alternative procedure to reduce cue-induced craving, in a nonclinical population. We found that a cue, initially paired with chocolate consumption, did not cease to elicit craving for chocolate after extinction (repeated presentation of the cue without chocolate consumption), but did so after counterconditioning (repeated pairing of the cue with consumption of a highly disliked liquid, Polysorbate 20). This effect persisted after 1 week. Counterconditioning moreover was more effective than extinction in disrupting reported expectancy to get to eat chocolate, and also appeared to be more effective in reducing actual cue-elicited chocolate consumption. These results suggest that counterconditioning may be more promising than cue exposure for the prevention of relapse in addictive behavior.
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