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Rash impulsivity predicts lower anticipated pleasure response and a preference for the supernormal
journal contributionposted on 18.07.2018, 00:00 by Belinda Goodwin, Matthew Browne, Matthew Rockloff, NJ Loxton
Alcohol, other psychoactive substances, high calorie foods, media entertainment, gaming, and retail products are all forms of modern supernormal stimuli. They exhibit exaggerated features that activate evolved reward systems more so than the natural stimuli for which these systems are adapted. Recent findings suggest that people may vary in the strength of their preference toward supernormal stimuli. The current study assessed whether the two-factor model of impulsivity (Dawe & Loxton, 2004) predicts a preference for supernormal stimuli. A cross- sectional survey design (n = 5389) was used to measure anticipatory pleasure for both supernormal and natural-reward experiences; and their hypothesized antecedents: Rash impulsivity (RI) and reward drive (RD). As predicted, RI was positively associated with preference for supernormal stimuli and negatively associat- ed with general anticipatory pleasure ratings. In contrast, RD was positively associated with general pleasure rat- ings, but explained little to no variance in supernormal preference when controlling for RI. The findings link trait rash impulsivity with increased sensitivity to supernormal stimuli, and provide new insights into both constructs.