Various studies have demonstrated an association between implicit measures of attitudes and dietary-related behaviours. However, no study has tested whether implicit measures of attitudes predict dietary behaviour after controlling for explicit measures of palatability. In a prospective design, two studies assessed the validity of measures of implicit attitude (Implicit Association Test, IAT) and explicit measures of palatability and health-related attitudes on self-reported (Studies 1 and 2) and objective food (fruit vs. chocolate) choice (Study 2). Following regression analyses, in both studies, implicit measures of attitudes were correlated with food choice but failed to significantly predict food choice when controlling specifically for explicit measures of palatability. These consistent relationships emerged despite using different category labels within the IAT in the two studies. The current research suggests implicit measures of attitudes may not predict dietary behaviours after taking into account the palatability of food. This is important in order to establish determinants that explain unique variance in dietary behaviours and to inform dietary change interventions.
- Implicit measures
- Incremental validity