Attentional Bias in Exercise Dependence

Özbek B. , Wright O. A.

16. Ulusal Sinirbilim Kongresi, İstanbul, Turkey, 20 - 23 May 2018, vol.12, pp.76-77

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • Volume: 12
  • City: İstanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.76-77


Objective: Exercise dependence is a condition that physical

activity becomes an excessive and compulsive behavior having

cognitive, behavioral and physical symptoms. In literature, there

are many studies found attentional bias in many dependencies

such as alcohol, cigarette, gambling. This study aims to measure

attentional bias in exercise dependence.

Methods: 48 male participants were grouped in three based on

Exercise Dependence Scale; risk for exercise dependence, nondependent-

symptomatic and nondependent-asymptomatic.

Participants who are doing fitness in gyms were included.

Computerized addiction-stroop task is used to measure attentional

bias. A pilot study was conducted to determine fitness

related words used in the task. Words were blocked and appearing

randomly. Participants were informed about the task and

asked them to press the appropriate button as fast and accurate

as possible according to the word’s color and ignore the world

itself. Participants’ reaction times and errors were recorded.

Participants received Social Physique Anxiety Scale and participants

who have high social physique anxiety were excluded from

the analysis.

Results: Analysis were conducted with 43 participants. Two

separate 3 (group) × 2 (word type; fitness, neutral) mixed

ANOVA was conducted both for reaction time and errors.

There was no significant interaction between group and word

type both for reaction time (p=.350) and errors (p=.831). There

is a significant main effect of word type on reaction time (.002).

Participants respond slower to fitness related words (M=843ms,

SD=141) than neutral words (M=814ms, SD=137).

Conclusion: As different from expected, there is no significant

reaction time and error difference on fitness related words

among risk for dependence group compared to other groups.

However, all participants have significantly longer reaction times

to fitness related words compared to neutral words. There is no

attentional bias found in exercise dependents compared to other

groups. However results indicated that all men have an attentional

bias towards fitness related words.

Keywords: Addiction stroop, attentional bias, exercise dependence