Interactions between incentive valence and action information in a cued approach–avoidance task

  • Vincent Hoofs
  • Thomas Carsten
  • C. Nico Boehler
  • Ruth M. Krebs
Original Article
  • 80 Downloads

Abstract

Environmental stimuli can provoke specific response tendencies depending on their incentive valence. While some studies report positive-approach and negative-avoidance biases, others find no such mappings. To further illuminate the relationship between incentive valence and action requirement, we combined a cued monetary incentive paradigm with an approach/avoidance joystick task. Incentive type was manipulated between groups: The reward group won money, while the punishment group avoided losing money for correct and fast responses to targets following incentive cues. Depending on their orientations, targets had to be ‘approached’ or ‘avoided’. Importantly, incentive valence (signaled by cue color) was orthogonal to action requirement (target orientation). Moreover, targets could carry valence-associated information or not (target color), which was, however, task-irrelevant. First, we observed that both valence cues (reward/punishment) improved performance compared to neutral cues, independent of the required action (approach/avoid), suggesting that advance valence cues do not necessarily produce specific action biases. Second, task-irrelevant valence associations with targets promoted action biases, with valence-associated targets facilitating approach and impairing avoid responses. Importantly, this approach bias for valence-associated targets was observed in both groups and hence occurred independently of absolute valence (‘unsigned’). This rather unexpected finding might be related to the absence of a direct contrast between positive valence and negative valence within groups and the common goal to respond fast and accurately in all incentive trials. Together, our results seem to challenge the notion that monetary incentives trigger ‘hard-wired’ valence–action biases in that specific design choices seem to modulate the presence and/or direction of valence–action biases.

Keywords

Reward Punishment Valence Action Approach/avoidance Monetary incentive paradigm 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Vincent Hoofs, Thomas Carsten, C. Nico Boehler, and Ruth M. Krebs declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

References

  1. Anderson, B. A., Folk, C. L., Garrison, R., & Rogers, L. (2016). Mechanisms of habitual approach: Failure to suppress irrelevant responses evoked by previously reward-associated stimuli. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 145(6), 796–805.  https://doi.org/10.1037/xge0000169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, B. A., Laurent, P. A., & Yantis, S. (2011). Value-driven attentional capture. In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(25), 10367–10371.  https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1104047108.
  3. Anderson, B. A., Laurent, P. A., Yantis, S., Grados, M., & Umaña, P. (2011). Learned value magnifies salience-based attentional capture. PLoS ONE, 6(11), e27926.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0027926.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anderson, B. A., & Yantis, S. (2013). Persistence of value-driven attentional capture. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 39(1), 6–9.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0030860.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Bargh, J. A., & Chartrand, T. L. (1999). The unbearable automaticity of being. American Psychologist, 54(7), 462–479.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.54.7.462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Baumeister, R. F., Bratslavsky, E., Finkenauer, C., & Vohs, K. D. (2001). Bad is stronger than good. Review of General Psychology, 5(4), 323–370.  https://doi.org/10.1037/1089-2680.5.4.323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Becker, D., Jostmann, N. B., Wiers, R. W., & Holland, R. W. (2015). Approach avoidance training in the eating domain: Testing the effectiveness across three single session studies. Appetite, 85, 58–65.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2014.11.017.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bouton, M. (2007). Learning and behavior: A contemporary synthesis. Sunderland: Sinauer Associates.Google Scholar
  9. Bouton, M. E. (1993). Context, time, and memory retrieval in the interference paradigms of Pavlovian learning. Psychological Bulletin, 114(1), 80–99.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bruyer, R., & Brysbaert, M. (2011). Combining speed and accuracy in cognitive psychology: Is the Inverse Efficiency Score (IES) a better dependent variable than the mean Reaction Time (RT) and the Percentage of Errors (PE)? Psychologica Belgica, 51(1), 5–13.  https://doi.org/10.5334/pb-51-1-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. (1998). On the self-regulation of behavior. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cavanagh, J. F., Eisenberg, I., Guitart-Masip, M., Huys, Q., & Frank, M. J. (2013). Frontal theta overrides pavlovian learning biases. The Journal of Neuroscience: The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 33(19), 8541–8548.  https://doi.org/10.1523/jneurosci.5754-12.2013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chen, M., & Bargh, J. A. (1999). Consequences of automatic evaluation: Immediate behavioral predispositions to approach or avoid the stimulus. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25(2), 215–224.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167299025002007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cornsweet, T. N. (1962). The staircase-method in psychophysics. The American Journal of Psychology, 75(3), 485.  https://doi.org/10.2307/1419876.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dayan, P., Niv, Y., Seymour, B., & Daw, N. D. (2006). The misbehavior of value and the discipline of the will. Neural Networks, 19(8), 1153–1160.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neunet.2006.03.002.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. De Houwer, J. (2003). A structural analysis of indirect measures of attitudes. The psychology of evaluation: Affective processes in cognition and emotion (pp. 219–244).Google Scholar
  17. De Houwer, J., Crombez, G., Baeyens, F., & Hermans, D. (2001). On the generality of the affective Simon effect. Cognition & Emotion, 15(2), 189–206.  https://doi.org/10.1080/0269993004200051.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Engelmann, J. B., Damaraju, E., Padmala, S., & Pessoa, L. (2009). Combined effects of attention and motivation on visual task performance: Transient and sustained motivational effects. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 3, 4.  https://doi.org/10.3389/neuro.09.004.2009.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Engelmann, J. B., & Pessoa, L. (2007). Motivation sharpens exogenous spatial attention. Emotion, 7(3), 668–674.  https://doi.org/10.1037/1528-3542.7.3.668.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Freeman, S. M., Razhas, I., & Aron, A. R. (2014). Top-down response suppression mitigates action tendencies triggered by a motivating stimulus. Current Biology: CB, 24(2), 212–216.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2013.12.019.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Geurts, D. E. M., Huys, Q. J. M., Ouden, D. H. E., & Cools, R. (2013). Aversive Pavlovian Control of Instrumental Behavior in Humans.  https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_00425.
  22. Gray, J. A. (1990). Brain systems that mediate both emotion and cognition. Cognition & Emotion, 4(3), 269–288.  https://doi.org/10.1080/02699939008410799.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Griffiths, B., & Beierholm, U. R. (2017). Opposing effects of reward and punishment on human vigor. Scientific Reports, 7, 42287.  https://doi.org/10.1038/srep42287.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Grison, S., & Strayer, D. L. (2001). Negative priming and perceptual fluency: More than what meets the eye. Perception & Psychophysics, 63(6), 1063–1071.  https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03194524.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Guitart-Masip, M., Duzel, E., Dolan, R., & Dayan, P. (2014). Action versus valence in decision making. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 18(4), 194–202.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2014.01.003.
  26. Guitart-Masip, M., Fuentemilla, L., Bach, D. R., Huys, Q. J. M., Dayan, P., Dolan, R. J., & Duzel, E. (2011). Action dominates valence in anticipatory representations in the human striatum and dopaminergic midbrain. The Journal of Neuroscience: The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 31(21), 7867–7875.  https://doi.org/10.1523/jneurosci.6376-10.2011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Guitart-Masip, M., Huys, Q. J. M., Fuentemilla, L., Dayan, P., Duzel, E., & Dolan, R. J. (2012). Go and no-go learning in reward and punishment: Interactions between affect and effect. NeuroImage, 62(1), 154–166.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.04.024.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Huys, Q. J. M., Cools, R., Gölzer, M., Friedel, E., Dolan, R., Heinz, A., & Peter, D. (2010). Approaching avoidance: asymmetries in reward and punishment processing. Frontiers in Neuroscience. 4.  https://doi.org/10.3389/conf.fnins.2010.03.00179.Google Scholar
  29. Huys, Q. J. M., Cools, R., Gölzer, M., Friedel, E., Heinz, A., Dolan, R. J., & Raftery, A. (2011). Disentangling the roles of approach, activation and valence in instrumental and pavlovian responding. PLoS Computational Biology, 7(4), e1002028.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002028.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kim, H., Shimojo, S., & O’Doherty, J. P. (2006). Is avoiding an aversive outcome rewarding? Neural substrates of avoidance learning in the human brain. PLoS Biology, 4(8), e233.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.0040233.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kong, G., Larsen, H., Cavallo, D. A., Becker, D., Cousijn, J., Salemink, E., & Krishnan-Sarin, S. (2015). Re-training automatic action tendencies to approach cigarettes among adolescent smokers: a pilot study. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 41(5), 425–432.  https://doi.org/10.3109/00952990.2015.1049492.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Konorski, J. (1967). Integrative activity of the brain; an interdisciplinary approach. Chicago:University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  33. Krebs, R. M., Boehler, C. N., Egner, T., & Woldorff, M. G. (2011). The neural underpinnings of how reward associations can both guide and misguide attention. The Journal of Neuroscience: The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 31(26), 9752–9759.  https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0732-11.2011CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Krebs, R. M., Boehler, C. N., & Woldorff, M. G. (2010). The influence of reward associations on conflict processing in the Stroop task. Cognition, 117(3), 341–347.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2010.08.018.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Krieglmeyer, R., Deutsch, R., De Houwer, J., & De Raedt, R. (2010). Being moved: Valence activates approach-avoidance behavior independently of evaluation and approach-avoidance intentions. Psychological Science, 21(4), 607–613.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797610365131.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kristjánsson, Á, & Campana, G. (2010). Where perception meets memory: A review of repetition priming in visual search tasks. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 72(1), 5–18.  https://doi.org/10.3758/APP.72.1.5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Lee, J., & Shomstein, S. (2014). Reward-based transfer from bottom-up to top-down search tasks. Psychological Science, 25(2), 466–475.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797613509284.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Logan, G. D. (1990). Repetition priming and automaticity: Common underlying mechanisms? Cognitive Psychology, 22(1), 1–35.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0010-0285(90)90002-L.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Markman, A. B., & Brendl, C. M. (2005). Constraining theories of embodied cognition. Psychological Science, 16(1), 6–10.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0956-7976.2005.00772.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Müller, S., Rothermund, K., & Wentura, D. (2016). Relevance drives attention: Attentional bias for gain- and loss-related stimuli is driven by delayed disengagement. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 69(4), 752–763.  https://doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2015.1049624.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Neumann, R., Förster, J., & Strack, F. (2003). Motor Compatibility: The Bidirectional Link Between Behavior and Evaluation. Mahwah:Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.Google Scholar
  42. Novak, K. D., & Foti, D. (2015). Teasing apart the anticipatory and consummatory processing of monetary incentives: An event-related potential study of reward dynamics. Psychophysiology, 52(11), 1470–1482.  https://doi.org/10.1111/psyp.12504.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Phaf, R. H., Mohr, S. E., Rotteveel, M., & Wicherts, J. M. (2014). Approach, avoidance, and affect: a meta-analysis of approach-avoidance tendencies in manual reaction time tasks. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 378.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00378.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Richter, A., Guitart-Masip, M., Barman, A., Libeau, C., Behnisch, G., Czerney, S., & Schott, B. H. (2014). Valenced action/inhibition learning in humans is modulated by a genetic variant linked to dopamine D2 receptor expression. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 8, 140.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fnsys.2014.00140.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Sali, A. W., Anderson, B. A., & Yantis, S. (2014). The role of reward prediction in the control of attention. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Human Perception and Performance, 40(4), 1654–1664.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0037267.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Schacter, D. L., & Buckner, R. L. (1998). Priming and the Brain. Neuron, 20(2), 185–195.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0896-6273(00)80448-1.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Seibt, B., Neumann, R., Nussinson, R., & Strack, F. (2008). Movement direction or change in distance? Self- and object-related approach–avoidance motions. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44(3), 713–720.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2007.04.013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Small, D. M., Gitelman, D., Simmons, K., Bloise, S. M., Parrish, T., & Mesulam, M. (2005). Monetary incentives enhance processing in brain regions mediating top-down control of attention. Cerebral Cortex, 15(12), 1855–1865.  https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhi063.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Solarz, A. K. (1960). Latency of instrumental responses as a function of compatibility with the meaning of eliciting verbal signs. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 59(4), 239–245.  https://doi.org/10.1037/h0047274.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Thayer, R. E. (1989). The Biopsychology of Mood and Arousal. Oxford:Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  51. Theeuwes, J., & Belopolsky, A. V. (2012). Reward grabs the eye: Oculomotor capture by rewarding stimuli. Vision Research, 74, 80–85.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.visres.2012.07.024.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Verbruggen, F., & McLaren, R. (2016). Effects of reward and punishment on the interaction between going and stopping in a selective stop-change task. Psychological Research Psychologische Forschung.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-016-0827-5.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Wagenbreth, C., Zaehle, T., Galazky, I., Voges, J., Guitart-Masip, M., Heinze, H.-J., & Düzel, E. (2015). Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus modulates reward processing and action selection in Parkinson patients. Journal of Neurology, 262(6), 1541–1547.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00415-015-7749-9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Waszak, F., & Hommel, B. (2007). The costs and benefits of cross-task priming. Memory & Cognition, 35(5), 1175–1186.  https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03193487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Wentura, D., Müller, P., & Rothermund, K. (2014). Attentional capture by evaluative stimuli: Gain- and loss-connoting colors boost the additional-singleton effect. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 21(3), 701–707.  https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-013-0531-z.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wiers, R. W., Rinck, M., Dictus, M., & Van den Wildenberg, E. (2009). Relatively strong automatic appetitive action-tendencies in male carriers of the OPRM1 G-allele. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 8(1), 101–106.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1601-183X.2008.00454.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Wirth, R., Dignath, D., Pfister, R., Kunde, W., & Eder, A. B. (2016). Attracted by rewards: Disentangling the motivational influence of rewarding and punishing targets and distractors. Motivation Science, 2(3), 143–156.  https://doi.org/10.1037/mot0000037.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Zajonc, R. B. (1980). Feeling and thinking: Preferences need no inferences. American Psychologist, 35(2), 151–175.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.35.2.151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Experimental PsychologyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

Personalised recommendations