A dual-process psychobiological model of temperament predicts liking and wanting for food and trait disinhibition

Lynette Mackey, Melanie J. White, Zephanie Tyack, Graham Finlayson, Michelle Dalton, Neil A. King

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    4 Citations (Scopus)
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    A dual-process model of temperament, incorporating the Behavioural Inhibition System (BIS), Behavioural Activation System (BAS) and effortful control (EC), may help to predict hedonic responses to palatable food and trait disinhibition. Purpose: This study aimed to determine if the BIS, BAS and EC predicted liking and wanting for high-fat, sweet foods in adults with overweight and obesity, and if collectively, these variables predicted the eating behaviour trait of Disinhibition. Methods: 168 adults (104 females, mean BMI = 33.3 kg/m2) completed the Three Factor Eating Questionnaire, the Carver and White BIS/BAS scales, the Adult Temperament Questionnaire-Effortful Control Scale – Short Form and the Leeds Food Preference Questionnaire. The strength of the BIS, BAS and EC in predicting wanting and liking for high-fat sweet foods, and trait Disinhibition was assessed using hierarchical multiple regression. Results: Both the BIS and EC predicted liking, F (6, 161) = 5.05, p <.001, R2 = 0.16, and EC inversely predicted wanting, F (6, 161) = 3.28, p =.005, R2 = 0.11. The BIS, EC and liking predicted, F (8, 159) = 11.0, p <.001, R2 = 0.36, and explained 36% of Disinhibition. The BAS did not predict wanting, liking or Disinhibition. Conclusions: These results demonstrate that a sensitive BIS and a lower level of effortful control predicts food reward and Disinhibition in overweight and obese adults. Consequently, interventions that aim to increase effortful control and reduce BIS reactivity may be beneficial for reducing hedonically motivated, disinhibited eating behaviour.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)9-16
    Number of pages8
    Early online date14 Dec 2018
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


    • Behavioural activation system
    • Behavioural inhibition system
    • Disinhibition
    • Eating behaviour
    • Effortful control
    • Obesity
    • Temperament
    • Wanting and liking


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